Acting Before Thinking

  1. Play charades, having the child imitate things which go slow, such as a dinosaur, King Kong, swimming under water, or a chicken hatching out of an egg.
  2. Let The Clock Beat You. Ask the child to work on a task, making sure he does not finish before his time runs out. He must go as slow as possible and remain on task, no daydreaming or looking around. You can start with a shorter time period, one minute if you have to, and work up to longer periods as the child gets better. You can also make it tougher by adding distractions to lure away his attention.
  3. A-maze Me. This game involves (a) building a maze out of whatever you want–paper, milk cartons, popsicle sticks; (b) tracking the shortest way out of the maze with footprints, string, ribbon, birdseed; (c) placing three red squares and three yellow circles at various spots along the route; (c) a small doll or object which represents the child.

Ask the child to follow the route you have marked out. Every time he comes to a red square he must hop three times slowly and his doll must hop three times. When he comes to a yellow square he must do two somersaults slowly, and his doll must turn around two times in the air. These slow-down activities are key parts in the game; make sure the child does them. When he finishes the maze, the child earns a reward.

This game can be modified in a number of ways: (a) asking the child to make his own maze or choose his own slow-down activities; (b) turning the maze into a racetrack with checkered flags, pit stops, and victory rounds; (c) making the maze harder for the child by removing the way-out route, taking off points for wrong turns, and adding more blind alleys; and (d) asking the child to internalize his self-instructions by just saying, whispering, and thinking them rather than doing them.