I know-grit is one of those concepts like mindset that tends to get overused by educators and even sometimes in the wrong way.
I think this is a really good description of what it is if you are not familiar: http://www.npr.org/
I do believe that grit is one of those things children today are not necessarily being encouraged to develop. I had a friend whose little one would get frustrated learning how to tie shoes, so they invested in all Velcro for him. A kid can't get to the next level on a video game and they are just given a new video game. They play Little League T-ball and can't hit the ball for the life of them, so they join another sport team. I actually had a parent tell me once (in front of the child)--"math is just not her thing".
So I make it a point to encourage the kids to take risks and keep trying even if it's challenging. I want them to never give up on learning how to do something-who knows what might lead to a future passion. One activity we do I stole from Code.org's Hour of Code resources where the students try to build the biggest tower with gumdrops and toothpicks. It is definitely something that proves difficult for them and the point of the lesson is to keep trying and not to give up.
Fast forward to last week. We went on the "big" playground (instead of our little Pre-K/K playground) because there were classes out during our time. When we got out there someone had left a jump rope. Another student and I swung that jump rope about 1,000 times giving everyone the opportunity to try it. I wouldn't say anyone was really good at it-some could get over the rope-our class record was 3 times. When we came inside I showed them a video of something that has always been awe-inspiring to me--Double Dutch. One of the students said "we should try that". And my response, as I always try to make it be was "sure". So I ordered a bunch jump ropes from Amazon and a book of jump rope rhymes and we have been working on our jump rope skills ever since.
Now some students absolutely gave up right away and went back to racing around the playground, something they are very good at already. But a few of them were determined to get better at it. I even found myself going back and watching more tutorials so I could figure out how we could get better at it.
Will you see us on the Double Dutch circuit this year? Probably not. But I think we are learning something in the fact that we are continuing to try. :)