Often we only think of alternatives until we find one that satisfies us at the time. Then we quit. Think again about finding a name for a new puppy. Maybe you think of alternatives until you find a name you like, then quit.
But that might not be the best name. If the first names that came to your mind were Fido and Rover and if you stopped there, your dog would not have a very original name.
Anytime we stop at the first suitable alternative, we might miss many other very satisfactory alternatives. Looking for a better alternative is how new and great ideas are born.
It’s natural for kids to look for alternatives. Every day you look for alternatives many times. Think about your alternatives in a normal school day.
You’ve had breakfast and it’s time to go to school. Think of your alternatives for getting to school.
You can walk. That is a good alternative. If you stop with walking, however, you will miss many other and possibly better alternatives for getting to school.
You could ask your mother to give you a ride to school. This will only work if your mother has a car. Well, maybe, but an alternative is for mom to borrow a car. Or she could ride you on the back of a bicycle or a horse. She could even lead you to school on a donkey.
Could she give you a ride to school in a hot air balloon? Now there is a fun alternative. But is it suitable? Horses, donkeys, and hot air balloons are not suitable alternatives for a ride to school, however, for most kids.
Add other ways to get to school on a separate sheet of paper.
Now you are at school. Your teacher tells you to turn in your homework. You have two sheets of paper with your homework that must be kept together. List the different alternatives of attaching two sheets of paper.
After school you are hungry. How many different alternatives do you have for acquiring a snack? List those alternatives on your paper.
Maybe one of the ways you could get a snack was to stop at the store. That is not a good alternative without money. What are some different alternatives you have for earning money? List your alternatives for earning money.
Then it is bedtime. How many different alternatives can you think of to convince your parents to let you stay up? Put a star by ones that have worked in the past. Put a checkmark by the new ones, alternatives that have never been attempted, that might work in the future.
Before you go to bed, get your clothes ready for school tomorrow. If you always wear your blue shirt with your blue pants, try different alternatives. If necessary, actually put the shirt and pants together to see if they "match." If you don’t have many clothing colors, imagine clothes–like Scottish kilts–that have different colors.
School Day Alternatives
Get to School
NOT Go to Bed
Use a separate sheet of paper to list your alternatives. Oh, by the way, how many different ways can you divide your paper to make the six lists?