Lateral thinking: How to workshop innovative ideas

Don't underestimate the power of play when it comes to problem-solving.

  • As we get older, the work we consistently do builds "rivers of thinking." These give us a rich knowledge of a certain kind of area.
  • The problem with this, however, is that as those patterns get deeper, we get locked into them. When this happens it becomes a challenge to think differently — to break from the past and generate new ideas.
  • How do we get out of this rut? One way is to bring play and game mechanics into workshops. When we approach problem-solving from a perspective of fun, we lose our fear of failure, allowing us to think boldly and overcome built patterns.

New study: Like humans, world's smallest bears can mimic faces too

This may be more common in mammals than we'd thought.

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  • Sun bears imitate each other's faces during play.
  • This is the first time this has been seen in non-primate, non-domesticated animals.
  • They're mostly solitary, so this is likely innate, as opposed to a learned behavior.
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Toddlers engage more with print books than ebooks, developmental researchers say

Researchers find that toddlers verbalize and interact more with their parents when reading sessions feature print books, not tablets.

(Photo: Pixabay)
  • Neurological development, educational success, social aptitude, the benefits of early reading are well-known.
  • A new study finds that print books offer better communication and bonding opportunities for parents and their toddlers.
  • While more Americans read print books than ebooks, they still don't make reading a priority outside of work and school.
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7 best board games to help children think big

Like sneaking veggies into dessert, these board games teach STEM, strategy, and executive functions through the joys of play.

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  • Many popular board games offer little more than colorful distractions, lacking both thoughtful design or quality learning principles.
  • However, the recent board game renaissance has resulted in a host of new games that teach children a range of hard and soft skills through play.
  • We look at some of the best new board games and offer tips to find even more.
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What keeps elite athletes motivated to win? It's not just money.

A wealthy team doesn't automatically make for a successful team.

Photo credit: Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images
  • Revenues for teams in the MLB, the NBA, and the NHL are boosted by wins — but not those in the NFL.
  • Your favorite sports team might not be experiencing a "real" championship drought, at least compared to others.
  • The average overall length of a title drought in the NFL is 61.5 years
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