Philosophy For Kids: The Ongoing Benefits (Pt. 1)

Hot Grounds Gym in Arlington Heights is focused on developing leadership skills in our kids. We promote a thoroughgoing love for physical activity and the natural world. In short, our gym in Arlington Heights doesn’t approach kids fitness narrowly. Developing children into well-rounded individuals who can be confident, compassionate, and effective leaders involves more than just instilling a love for climbing obstacle courses. It’s for this reason that Hot Grounds Gym in Arlington Heights offers a variety of programs and activities, from our Junior Boots program to our Summer Camps — all of which maintain a focus on the healthy development of our children.

In the spirit of approaching kids fitness through both body and mind, we wanted to do a two-part blog series on the benefits of teaching kids philosophy. Philosophy sometimes has a reputation for little more than impractical navel-gazing. The stereotype of the philosopher is someone with their head in the clouds, thinking and asking about things that have no relevance to the real world. We’re here to challenge that stereotype by exploring some of the very real benefits that can come from practicing philosophy with your kids. Before jumping into the benefits, we’ll need to take a look at what philosophy is and how you can do it with your kids.

What Is Philosophy?

Philosophy is a lot of things. It can certainly play into the stereotype of the person with their head in the clouds, since it sometimes involves asking questions about whether the world actually exists and how we can know that we’re not actually brains in vats. But that’s not what philosophy is really about. 

Philosophy, at its core, is about how to critically reflect on the world and our place within it. This very much involves an examination of what it means to live a good and meaningful life, as well as how to be functioning and well-rounded humans in the world today. Despite its reputation, philosophy has a lot of real-world applications. Every time you think about what kind of life you want to live, what type of life you want your kids to live, and how to accomplish all of this — you’re doing philosophy!

How Can You Practice Philosophy With Your Kids? 

When it comes to practicing philosophy with your kids, the main way to accomplish this is by simply involving them in deliberate thinking. Philosophy can involve systematic critical thinking, but it can also be as straightforward as asking challenging questions and going on an exploratory journey with your kids. 

Philosophy can be good for your kids (and everyone!) because it’s about appreciating the questions themselves, rather than always needing certainty. Simply sitting with your kids and encouraging them to think about things in a deliberate, reflective manner — this is a good way to start practicing philosophy together. After that, you can start to be more structured and bring in specific thought experiments and lessons. With that in mind, we will turn to some of the benefits in part two of this blog series!

Stay tuned for our next blog post. In the meantime, explore how Hot Grounds Gym in Arlington Heights can help provide a well-rounded approach to kids fitness. Contact us today to learn more.