Observe and Describe Activities
There’s an old saying that the best way to know if you understand something is to teach it to someone else. Because Observe and Describe is actually harder to get down than most parents realize, it’s a good idea to practice. Practice is always more fun when it’s turned into a game or activity.
Guess the candy
Who doesn’t love candy? In this game, blindfold a family member of family and give them a piece of candy. Have them describe the candy by touch and make a guess as to what candy it is. Then they put the candy in their mouth and describe the flavor and texture and make another guess to what it is. Then reveal the candy. Continue until all family members have had a chance to describe different candies.
Because you can’t see the candy, it forces you to use descriptive words and not rely on cliches.
- Selection of candy
Describing Coloring Activity
This coloring activity is a simple activity that works for the whole family. The activity itself is pretty easy, describe an object to your family and have them draw it trying to get as close to the original picture as possible. Because they don’t know what they are drawing, the tricky part becomes in making sure you’re giving descriptive enough descriptions.
Here’s what you need to remember about this activity.
First, be specific. Instead of saying, “draw a red circle,” say, “daw a red circle that is about the size of a nickel. Fill in the red circle completely.”
Second, break the instructions into small pieces. Break down complex steps and don’t try to give all the instructions at once. “Now, I need you to draw another red circle around the circle leaving about a finger width’s space between that circle you are drawing and the circle you’ve already drawn.”
Third, it’s probably not going to go as smoothly as you expect. Don’t sweat it. There’s a good chance that the finished drawings will not look like what you describe. That’s ok. This exercise is to help you get in the habit of observing and describing behavior and will show you the where you need to improve when it comes to describing behavior.
- Art activity printout
- Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
- Blank sheets of paper
What would you do?
Just because we’re looking at the same thing, doesn’t mean that we see the same thing. We’ve collected a bunch of pictures of different situations—both good and bad. Use this activity to get the whole family on the same page when it comes to using Observe and Describe. Have each member write down what they see, or, if they can’t write, have them describe the photos. Make sure they focus only on what they are seeing and don’t bring in any assumptions or emotions.