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Today, April 18th, is National High Five Day! I’m celebrating by joining the High Five Blog Tour, sharing my review of the new book High Five and also the STEAM concepts behind a perfect high five! Read on to learn how to do the perfect high five with your kids today on National High Five Day!
High Five is a fun book all about the most awesome high five competition starring your kid! It is written by Adam Rubin and Illustrated by Daniel Salmieri. My kids know this duo’s work well – we’ve read their Dragons Love Tacos books hundreds of times!
Similar to Dragons Love Tacos, this book features a hilariously entertaining story involving your kid with fun bright, and vibrant illustrations.
The neon colors featured in this book really drew in both my kids (ages 2 and 4). And the chance to participate in the high five contest was unbelievably silly and fun for them.
First we warmed up and learned technique.
Then my kids giggled and slapped the page with (sometimes too much) enthusiasm each time I yelled “HIGH FIVE!”
There were so many fun characters and surprises throughout the high five contest.
Both kids took the contest very seriously and paid attention to the tips and technique suggestions throughout the book.
They were thrilled when on the last page of the book they won the trophy.
I don’t think we’ve had this much fun reading a book in a very long time. Obviously, this is an awesome book that’s written perfectly for kids, with great illustrations.
I also made sure to really get involved while reading it. I try to convey the mood of the words I was reading throughout the book. I help them act out certain parts, and I make sure to yell with enthusiasm when it’s time to “HIGH FIVE!”
Of course this made for some ridiculous pictures of my facial expressions while reading to the kids, but that’s ok with me because we were all engaged and having fun!
To prepare my kids to win the high five contest I included a little STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) talk about the lost art of the high five.
Believe it or not there are STEAM concepts behind a perfect high five! And I’m going to share them with you, so that when you read this book with your kids you too can prepare them to win the high five competition. 🙂
There is science proving the mental benefits of high fives and there is math behind connecting the palms for a perfect high five.
First, let’s talk about the mental benefits. It’s all about the sense of touch. Sharing a high five with a friend, family or teammate to celebrate an achievement or win puts you in physical contact with that person. Touch can encourage positive feelings and trust, which benefits teams and families.
There have been several studies of sports teams documented that showed that teams that touched more often (mostly high fives, but also includes giving a hand to help a team mate up), worked better together as a team and also had better performance.
If you want a more detailed information about sense of touch, please check out my sense of touch post, which was part of the Five Senses for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers Series.
Now, here’s how to make the best connection with your high five. The number one most important factor to make a high five work is making contact with your partner (duh – but not always as easy as it sounds!).
In my research, I found out that if both parties in a high five stare at their partner’s elbow, they will not miss (this tip can also be found in the High Five book).
This blog post shares the mathematical reason staring at your partner’s elbow helps. In simplified form, it says to make contact it requires each partner’s hand in the right place (x, y, and z location) at the right time (t), x+y+z+t makes 4 variables, multiplied by 2 partners, for a total of 8 variables.
They suggest that when you are looking at your partner’s elbow, you are minimizing the number of variables from 8 to 2. You are only left with relying on your visual and motor systems to complete the contact.
You can also tie geometry into the best high-five arm position. Each parter should have their upper arm parallel to the ground and the forearm extending upward at a 90 degree angle for an ideal starting position. This will give you a good view of your partner’s elbow and requires only a forward motion by your forearm to make high five contact.
After research, and a lot of experimenting with my kids, here are my steps for perfect high five execution:
1. Upper arm parallel to the ground
2. Forearm extended upward at 90 degree angle with wrist straight and palm facing your partner
3. Eyes focused on partner’s elbow
4. Extend forearm forward until palms make contact
5. Repeat often (practice makes perfect and you’ll benefit from the physical contact!)
As in most things in life, we found that the best way to improve your high five skills is through practice. I explained the best strategy to do a high five with my kids, then we practiced, over and over and over again. Fortunately, this is one thing that they enjoy practicing so their high five skills improved very quickly.
My kids love the High Five book. They love high fiving the characters in the book, high fiving each other, and high fiving me and their dad! We got lots and lots and lots of practice high fiving while reading this book, and I have to say the tips I posted here worked! And maybe we do feel a little more connected as a family after all this high fiving. I think we’ll have to add it to our everyday routine. 🙂
Let me know… Will you try my tips to achieve the ultimate high five on National High Five Day? Are you going to buy or borrow High Five for your kids?