Einstein Might Not Have Used Flashcards, But He Did Ride a Bike

A couple of years back I did a guest post for a cycling clothing site entitled, “Einstein Never Used Flashcards”.  It was an article written about kids, free-thinking, and exercise.  The idea came from a book that my Wife was reading at the time and for some reason the concepts have been floating around my mind once again.  So I’ve decided to resurrect that post, make a few tweaks, and lay it down for all of you here on our website.

My wife has this book called, “Einstein Never Used Flashcards” and she used to read excerpts of the book to me.  The book talks about how schools are going away from recess and there is less and less free-thinking playtime given to children.  I won’t even get into the whole childhood obesity thing right here, and I’ll just focus on the kids that are still getting in some exercise.  We’re part of a society that is overdosing on structured fitness classes and sports for kids.  It’s great to see them active and getting involved with so many different sports, but as the book points out…they aren’t given “unstructured time to discover their own creativity and strengths.”

As the title of the book insinuates, the great Albert Einstein did all he did because of the free-thinking free time he took part in and not because of using structured learning….and we all know that he spent a lot of time on his bike.  I’m not a preacher, and really just wanted to have some fun with this, so I’ll leave it up to you to decide if the book is worth a read or not.  It spoke to me, and if you think it might do the same for you…give it a go.

But I will add in just one more quote from the authors, Kathy Hirch-Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, that I think sums things up quite well: “Despite societal brain washing that kids need exposure to a wide variety of activities to encourage their interests, the reality is that it’s okay to just play!”

When I was a kid, I remember two types of physical activity: cruising on my bike, and running through town with my friends.  I lived on my bike.  It was my source of freedom, transportation, and endless amounts of great times.  It really was one of my best friends.  When I wasn’t on my bike, I was running around playing games with my friends.  I’m absolutely convinced that it was all this play time on and off the bike that made me the dude I am today.  Now that I’m the Dad of three super awesome kids, I’m making sure that they are encouraged to just get out there and play as well.

I’m a fan of any source of athletics and totally encourage kids to try things out and find what they love best.  But my advice to the parents out there is to make sure that there’s room for play time in the sports they take part in, and that maybe it doesn’t have to be taken too seriously.  I want to see kids loving the sports they play.  Having a total blast while they are lovingtheswim, lovingthesoccer, and of course….lovingthebike.  Most of all…..just getting out there to play.

  • AmandaGaleKotyk

    I agree with Karen…this is definitely an important message to get out. I won’t get into all my thoughts here, but I’m thankful you posted this.
    I also think we all need to play more….to remember what it was like to be a kid.

  • Karen

    This is the best post you’ve had on your website. This is an important message to get out so thank you for sharing it with your readers. Our kids need less structure and more free time.