Lateral thinking

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As today is World Book Day, I shall be writing about the many and varied uses of a small (approximately the size of a Playmobil pirate, as evidenced by today’s photograph), peeled, hollowed-out twig. Son number 1 made it in Forest School today. (Forest School is even more fun than it sounds.) Paper is made out of twigs and books are made out of paper, and this is the only tenuous connection I can make between the two subjects. It is a prime example of lateral thinking. SO. Uses for said twig, as considered by two boys aged 5 and 9.

Telescope

Chinese beard

Wooden leg for a kitten

High heel

Half a binocular

Pencil holder

Spare eyebrow

Tiny rolling pin

Worm spyer (poke down hole first)

Flute

Spare stalk for a mushroom

Studies have shown that children’s ability to think laterally decreases with age. Why do we get so narrow in our thinking as we grow older and supposedly wiser?

Assuming we can somehow educate our children to KEEP thinking laterally, and also assuming that one or two of them choose to become doctors or research scientists, there may be magical turning points ahead of us all. A bit of lateral thinking about, say, turning the ball of rubber bands the postman leaves lying on the doorstep into an artificial liver, or ways of turning flat Orangeade into vaccines. Keep your eyes and imaginations open, as wide as they will go, for as long as you live. Someone will thank you one day.

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