I asked you to talk logic with your kids, and Rebecca came through in a big way! What follows is the transcript from her conversation with her kids. I've got some follow-up questions -- see them at the bottom of the post.---
Three questions were posed, and I presented them to my children in order. My kids are K (8th grade girl), M (5th grade girl), and J (2nd grade boy).
1. Ask your kid: Merds laugh when they're happy. Animals that laugh don't like mushrooms. Do merds like mushrooms? Why?
J: Of course they do!
J: Because they’re not real animals. They like whatever I say they like.
M: Nu-unh. You didn’t make them up. She gave us the facts, and the facts say they laugh so they don’t like mushrooms.
K: they wouldn't like mushrooms because they laugh when they are happy, and animals who laugh don't like mushrooms.
I thought the bit about Merds eating cheese with every meal might’ve thrown J off about food preferences, so I forged ahead.
2. Ask your kid: Every banga is purple. Purple animals always sneeze at people. Do bangas sneeze at people? Why?
J: No way. Bangas don’t sneeze at people.
Me: Why not?
J: Because they’re imaginary. They can only sneeze at people if they’re sneezing at imaginary people.
K: Yes, because they are purple and you told us that purple animals sneeze at people.
M: And they certainly have enough noses to get it done.
3. "Are glasses made of rubber?" Tell your kids: Glasses bounce when they fall. Everything that bounces is made of rubber. Ask your kid: Are glasses made of rubber? Why?
All 3 of them, resoundingly, “no. Glasses aren’t made of rubber.”
J: glasses aren’t made of rubber.
M: and they don’t bounce. I’d prove it but that’s dangerous.
K: nonsense. That one’s nonsense.
- Why did the kids answer so confidently to the third question?
- Why did the littlest one have trouble with the "make-believe" questions?
- What's the difference between the youngest kid and his older sisters? What do they get that he doesn't?
- Would an even younger child have an easier or harder time with these questions?
- When can children reason deductively? When do they fail to reason deductively?