This post is part of a sponsored collaboration with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s #SparkAMind Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
As a mom, I’m always looking for fun, inspiring ways for my kids to play and ultimately learn. My girls are currently 16 mos. and 4, so it’s pretty easy to keep them entertained most of the time, but keeping them entertained isn’t my worry – sparking their creativity is. That’s why I’ve partnered with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to help promote their #SparkAMind campaign.
Too often, children are stuck in an environment where they aren’t able to be creative. They aren’t being challenged or encouraged due to whatever circumstances their family is facing. Statistics show that in middle-income homes, the number of books per child is 13 to 1. In low-income families, the average number of age-appropriate books is 1 for every 300 children.
Creativity in Everyday Moments
Last October, my family was able to learn more about a program that helps provide school supplies to underprivileged children in the Caribbean. These children were so grateful for the smallest gifts like one book, a pack of crayons or a backpack. We take so much for granted in our home and I know that hearing some of these children’s’ stories struck a chord with my 4-year old.
When we arrived back home from our vacation, my daughter and I sat down to color – something we often do together. I started picking her brain and little and encouraged her to create a book about her vacation. She began with a story name, and went page-to-page unfolding this story of kindness and hope. She drew pictures to go along with her story and waived her arms in the air as she dramatically told me what should be written on each page.
Charlotte’s story was called Alanna from Agona and was about a little girl who visited an island that had been impacted by a huge storm. The residents of this island included a human, ants and a family of crabs who were all in need of something. Little Alanna was determined to help Agona’s residents in one way or another. She provided them with food – sandwiches and macaroni and cheese. She provided them with shelter – sand castles. And she provided them with love and kindness.
I was incredibly impressed with my daughter’s mind and the way she was able to come up with this elaborate story with just a little bit of prompting. All it took was undivided attention from me and some inspiration from memorable moments that we experienced as a family.
My family reads multiple books together just about every day. We have an entire library full of amazing books and 61% of low-income families have absolutely no books in their home. (Reading Literacy in the United States, 1996.) This saddens me. This is the reason I pledged to participate in the #SparkAMind campaign.
Join HMH to show how you foster a love for learning in others or how others have motivated you to follow your own curiosity. For every social media share that includes the hashtag #SparkAMind, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will donate a book to a non-profit early childhood education partner that ensures all learners have access to the resources they need to thrive.
Learn more about the #SparkAMind campaign and read some of their featured stories from social media at learn.hmhco.com/hmhsparkamind.
Get the Curious World App
The Curious World App is designed for kids ages 3-7 and has over 500 fun, educational games, videos and books. If you purchase the app using promo code Spark20 and you’ll receive your first 30 days FREE + 20% off your monthly subscription (ends 4/30/16).