Practicing Planning Skills with Splashy Dots and Workflowy

Practicing Planning Skills with Splashy Dots and Workflowy

Strong planning skills mean thinking about how to complete a task before attempting to begin it. In this workshop, our expert Gamer Guides introduce LW4K Explorers to a game and an app to practice identifying an end goal and then plotting the necessary steps to achieve it.


This workshop focuses on the skill of planning. Kids with good Planning skills combine school and social activities without getting overwhelmed by stress, tend to be good at scheduling activites, can anticipate the tools necessary to successfully complete a task and prioritize their activities effectively.

When playing games, players are asked to develop strategies to accomplish a variety of goals. Strategizing how to solve a puzzle in the fewest possible moves or build your village’s economy while keeping it safe builds many of the same skills we need to plan an essay, prepare for a school trip, or plan a group project. Playing games can help improve Planning by allowing the practice of this skill while in the midst of a fun and immersive experience. Great planning games focus on the sequencing of activities, setting goals, and anticipating the future.

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Games and Apps Used in this Workshop

Splashy Dots When a game board first opens up, the player will see many different ways to connect the dots. To solve the problem presented by each board, the player must connect the dots (without going diagonally), starting at the black dot, and ending at the open circle. To be successful, the player must plan multiple steps ahead (like in chess) in order to solve the puzzle quickly and move on to the next level. Without exercising the planning skill, the player can get stuck on a level and be unable to advance.

Learn More about Game

Splashy Dots Mac/iOS Download

Splashy Dots Android Download



Workflowy can help to make the process of planning out tasks and event easier. Users can jot down ideas directly on their lists, helping them prepare ideas and materials ahead of time. All content from Workflowy can be edited and accessed remotely, affording users the opportunity to use the app via desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. The app can also be used like a checklist or daily planner, where users can cross out activities that they complete throughout the day, keeping them up to date with their schedule.

Learn More about Game

Work Flowy Mac/iOS Download

Work Flowy Android Download

Workshop Schedule

To join the live session, simply select the appropriate date and time below, then click on the Join Live Session button.  If this is your child’s first session, please make sure to view and follow our setup instructions below.

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Workshop Activities

The LW4K method to using video games as teaching tools relies on strategic teaching principles and our approach of “Detect, Reflect, and Connect.” The purpose of the Detect, Reflect, and Connect steps is to mold the child into an active learner who becomes aware of, engaged in, and contemplative of what she is learning. These steps can enhance motivation and concentration. They also assist in extending learning beyond a particular game or technology and connecting it to the real world.

  • Detect

    Detect or identify when and where they are using thinking skills in video game play.

    After a brief introduction, explorers will have the opportunity to explore the tutorials and introductory levels of the game. A discussion will follow focusing on the different strategies individual players used to approach each level.

  • Reflect

    Reflect or consider how the thinking skills used during gameplay helps them to achieve their goals.

    With these strategies in mind, explorers can return to the game to either refine their strategy or employ a fellow explorer’s method. After a short period of play, we continue with a group discussion to further reflect on the benefits and drawbacks of various strategies used by the group.

  • Connect

    Connect or apply game-based thinking skills to real-world activities.

    The group discussion will move on to how these same strategies can be used for achieving goals outside of the game. During the discussion, we will introduce an app that can help explorers plan for school and extracurricular activities.

Follow-Up Activities

Activity #1

Practice with a workflowy by first outlining the steps to something you know how to do like make the bed, build a sand castle, wash a load of laundry, etc. Experiment with the apps different icons and functions to best represent your plan.

Activity #2

If you have an upcoming test or project, plan out the steps needed in workflowy to help you set out a strategy to achieve your goal. Consider adding due dates to help you stay on track!

Activity #3

Look further ahead to a far away goal like running a 7-minute mile or submitting a painting to an art competition. Put that goal at the top of your work flowy then break that goal into three steps and then break those steps into three more steps and so on. Keep breaking down your steps until each step can take less than 30 minutes.

Submit a painting to ArtCON

  1. Get the painting materials
    1. Make a list of the materials I need
    2. Look up how much each item costs
    3. Do chores to earn money for materials
    4. Ask Dad to take me to the art store
    5. Buy materials
  2. Paint the picture
    1. decide what to paint
    2. make a drawing to practice
    3. Paint 30 minutes, 3 times a week
  3. Submit to the competition
    1. Register my name for the competition
    2. Mail in my painting
    3. Pay the registration fees