School is out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean children need to become zombies.
Popular culture has been fascinated with zombies for well over a decade now. Sure, zombies have always been a staple of the horror genre, but more than just a staple, zombies have been at the forefront of American pop culture since the movie 28 Days Later hit theaters in 2002 and reinvigorated our collect thirst for brains. Since then there have been several other box office hits, ubiquitous bumper stickers, gag gifts, books (including Zombie Christmas Carols), and even orchestrated zombie walks (think of a flash mob comprised of zombies). The hit series The Walking Dead is looking to its 8th season and has spawned another series that is becoming even more popular than the original – Fear The Walking Dead. Why has America’s typically short attention span been focused on zombies for so long? They must tap into something deeply rooted in our collective experience.
The popularity of zombies may reflect the often soulless nature of modern society. Too much of the modern grind is mindless and automated – even for our children. Indeed, several studies have shown that the traditional classroom model actually reduces brain activity! Additionally, our brains our so inundated so often with information, noise, images, etc. all competing for our attention, it is only natural to want to shut our brains off and zone out. These mind-numbing bombardments also reduce brain activity.
How do we combat this? How do we keep the zombie virus from infecting our brains or the brains of our children? Tapping into our creativity is one way. Play is the most natural way to learn and to discover. When we allow ourselves and our children time to play and time to create, we activate the brain and build new pathways. This makes it harder for the zombie virus to take hold. Such creative endeavors help instill a mindful attitude and help develop a growth mindset. Mindfulness has been proven to reduce stress, increase positive affect (happiness), and boost brain activity. Likewise, a growth mindset creates a perspective of discovery and adventure with a reduced fear of failure – such a mindset also improves positive affect and success in life.
If you are looking for an affordable and easily accessible way for your child to fight the zombie virus, check out DRAWN TO DISCOVER. This online, visual literacy program is a fun and invigorating way to fight the summer slide!