Growth mindset is a concept developed by Carol Dweck, a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University.It is the believe that a person's intelligence and abilities can be developed through practice, hard work, dedication, and motivation. Children who have growth mindset are more likely to learn from their mistakes, be motivated to succeed, take challenges head on, take risks, learn more, and seek feedback.
Picture books are an amazing tool to convey growth mindset concepts to young minds. I use these 5 wonderful books to promote growth mindset in my children as early as 3 years old because forming a solid foundation for learning is vital. Growth mindset can help young minds steer through life's obstacles and promote healthy learning environment.
1) What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada
This is a picture book about a child with an idea. He wondered about his idea and tried to ignore it as he was afraid of what others would think. But somehow he seemed happier when he thinks about his idea. The boy realised his idea needed nurturing. He paid attention to his idea and it grew and grew, and eventually becomes something magnificent. This book inspires children to believe in themselves, nurture their talents, and stay committed. In fact, this book is great for adults too.
2) The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
One day, a little girl had a spark of idea to build the most magnificent thing. She embarked on the daunting task with her pet dog. They gathered supplies, and the girl started to tinker, hammer, and measure. Soon, she learns that to make something magnificent, one needs to be patient, persevere, and learn to overcome obstacles. This book holds a promise that creativity needs alternate ways of seeing, thinking, and doing. It is a great book for young perfectionist children on how to deal with challenges and frustrations.
" Being creative is not only about thinking: it is about feeling." - Sir Ken Robinson
3) The Dot by Peter H.Reynolds
Vasthi believes that she is bad at arts. But her teacher thought otherwise. She encourages Vasthi to make a mark on an empty paper and see where it leads on. Vashti makes a dot on her paper angrily and opened up to a whole new world. This book nudges children to take a first step even if it is small, because those small steps can lead to extraordinary places.
4) Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg
Beautiful Oops! is an interactive picture book with fantastic examples of how mistakes can be turned into something beautiful. Each mistake is a tool to spark our imagination and create something spectacular. The 'oops' are torn or bent paper, stains, smudges, and holes. This book convinces children that mistakes and flaws can be beneficial if they are willing to look at it positively by embracing it.
5) How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers
This beautifully illustrated book tells a story of a boy who wishes to catch a star. He diligently plans and tries various ways to catch a star. But soon, he realises he needed to shift his perspective to attain his goal. Children would soon catch on that with determination and a little flexibility, anything is possible. Besides promoting growth mindset, this book proves to be aesthetically pleasing to young art lovers with watercolour illustrations filled with geometric shapes.
These are my children's 5 favourite books that projects growth mindset to young minds. It is as important for the parent or teacher to model growth mindset to ensure a lasting effect on children.