Today, our children are growing up in a different day and age then we were young. They are heavily influenced by peers and technology and unfortunately the innocent means at which we used as learning experiences are no longer available to our children. It’s important for us to remember that we are our children’s first teacher and by creating a fun learning environment at home it will influence your child to have a positive outlook on learning at school.
Some days my children are overwhelmed with homework. As a result, the last thing I want them to do after learning in school all day is to have a negative demeanor towards learning. This inspired me to think outside the box and really come up with some fun ways to not only help my children find learning exciting but yours also.
My favorite fun opportunity to help my children learn is at night when i’m tucking them in bed. I think they kind of get a kick out of it too! Here’s what I do….whatever area we have been working on learning for that day, at night when I’m tucking them in bed I give them a quick quiz in a fun way to make sure they have mastered it. For example, I was teaching my son about above and below earlier in the day. Sometimes he stumbled a bit but ultimately I think he caught on. So right after I tucked him in bed I grabbed four of his super hero figurines and quizzed him. This is how it went:
Who is above Superman? Who is below Captain America, etc….
The point is for you to find little fun learning opportunities to help your children stay encouraged and excited about gaining all this knowledge at their disposal. Below, I have some suggestions to get you inspired…
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9 WAYS TO MAKE LEARNING FUN FOR YOUR KIDS
Meet Them Where They Are
Its important for you to meet your child at whatever level they are at. A 5-year-old’s attention span is all of about five minutes. Don’t try to give them a thirty minute lesson and then become frustrated when they are no longer listening or become distracted. The first step to making learning fun for your child is to meet them where they are. Once you realize their limits you will see that they in fact do enjoy learning but within their age appropriate limits.
My children aren’t particularly fond of spelling although they do well because they have to. However, if I teach them to spell words of things that’s of interest to them then its game on.
For example, when my son was just learning to spell and went through a phase where he was obsessed with cars, I used this to my advantage. He was excited to learn how to spell his favorite toy. I posted the word on the refrigerator and also taped it to one of his biggest cars for repetition. He learned how to spell the word “car” in his sleep!
I then took the word “can” which was a requirement at school for his age group and placed it next to the word car. I taught him that the only difference between the two words “car” and “can” was that one ended in the letter “r” and the other in the letter “n” and we practiced the ending sounds. This method is called correlation. Correlation is defined as a mutual relationship or connection between two or more things.
Moms, use this to your advantage. Find out what your child is passionate about and use it as a learning tool to make learning fun!
Another technique I use to make learning fun is to turn spelling into songs. Take the word and spell it in a little song or rhyme and your child will be singing and dancing to it for days!
For example, L-I-K-E, L-I-K-E we like to play outside! Take your child outdoors and make this song a staple in your household daily and eventually your child will learn how to spell the word like and you’ll have the song you created to thank for it.
When I was a kid, I remember my mom using dried beans to help me count. All I can think about is how boring that is! When my daughter was learning to count I can remember us using hairbows and crayons. Then, when my son was learning to count we used the hundreds of little cars he has. You can use anything that your child is interested in because it makes learning fun!
If your child is into baby dolls use those. If your child is into Pokemon cards use those. If your child has an obsession with Shopkin’s use those. This is how you do so, lay out one baby doll and make her tell you how many dolls there are. Then add one more doll and then have her count how many dolls there are. The lesson is ‘1 + 1 = 2″ but instead of teaching it in a boring format you are actually making it more fun by using things they can relate to.
They also have finger puppets that are popular now. If you teach your child to count on their fingers you can try adding some of those to their tiny fingers to make learning fun!
This is another area of learning that you can turn into song! 1 + 1 is 2, 1 + 1 is 2 and I love you! lol You can make up any math song you can think of. There are no barriers to learning and opportunities to learn are everywhere.
The best place to make learning colors easy and fun in my opinion is to get outdoors. Go for a walk in your neighborhood or at your local park. Nature is your flashcards! I remember trying to use flashcards to help my kids learn their colors. One day the cards were new and crisp and the next they were bent and fading. The outdoors is free and the view can never be distorted.
Your child will not only see green grass but they can touch the green grass. Your child will not only see red roses but they can smell them too. Your child will love taking a ride in your white car to the park or riding their blue or pink bike along the side walk.
You can also break out the colorful side walk chalk and make a game out of the variety of colors and drawing. For example, have them grab the yellow chalk and draw their rendition of the sun. Maybe they can pick out the orange chalk and attempt to draw a fish.
Combining nature, fresh air and the colorful world we live in will have your children eager to learn and high off the fun!
To me teaching a child to read is the most difficult core area of them all. However, it is still a way to make reading fun! I’m an avid reader and I encourage my children to read too. We take trips to the library and they get a joy out of picking out their own books and giving the librarian their library card all on their own. They also enjoy the days we sit outside and read. They enjoy reading on airplanes when we travel or at our lazy days on the beach.
Reading goes hand in hand with spelling and sounding out words. So much like making spelling fun you should be encouraging your children to first learn how to read by reading things that’s of interest to them. For example, I’m sure your daughter will get a kick out of the reading the American Girl magazine that comes in the mail. Like me, you can allow your child to pick out their own age appropriate books from the library. They’ll be much more excited to read it because it was their choice rather then something you forced on them.
If you have an early reader on your hands, place site words throughout their room or around the house so not only will they know what a table or bed is but they will have a visual of how to spell and/or read the word.
We are living in a technology driven world and its only going to get greater as our children grow up. Instead of teaching them to learn the old school way we did when we were growing up, help your children get ahead of the learning curve by using some of the latest technology to make learning fun.
At my daughter’s school all of the fifth graders have their own laptops. My son has been learning in class on the computer since Kindergarten. I know two and three year old’s who can navigate their parents cell phone better than I can. My daughter had to do a PowerPoint presentation in second grade. Elementary school aged children run Youtube channels. These are the times we are living in so we must help our children get an advantage.
Don’t wait on the teacher to teach your child the basics of a computer. You use one everyday! Teach them what a keyboard and a mouse is. You are your child’s first teacher. Teach them about finance and what a credit card is and how it looks. Explain to them the purpose of a bank, what a check is and how to fill one out.
If you are worried about all the awful things that are present on the internet, I don’t blame you. I have parental controls in place for my children. Start there!
There are tons of educational Apps at your disposal to help make learning fun for your child. You can also help your child learn how to navigate the internet by having them look up things they are passionate about. For example, have your daughter look up the American Girl store or have your son look up Toys R Us.
Those who embrace change easily grow, evolve and progress further!
My children’s school district is one of the best! However, I’ve always been disappointed that they don’t take many field trips at all. Some of my greatest memories as a kid was of the field trips we took at school. But then I decided that I’m my child’s teacher too and even if they don’t go at school I can take them on field trips as well and that’s exactly what I do.
We go to the zoo, museums, parks, festivals, libraries and other events going on around town. They can still take what they learned in a fun environment back to school and apply it to what they are being taught.
You can do this too! Take your child on field trips around your city. This is an opportunity to bond, make memories and a way to have fun learning together.
My family travels quite a bit. It’s not always on an airplane or a million miles away but we do make it happen because it’s such a fun and enriching learning opportunity. Did you know that you can travel locally? Have you ever drove to an area of town that is heavily populated with a culture different from your own? This is a great opportunity for your child to see how other cultures live. You can spend some time trying authentic food from their area or by patronizing some of their local shops to see and touch authentic pieces from their culture. As you spend the day in history you can provide your children with some fun facts about the culture.
If your child is curious about a certain city, state or country why not take them there to see for themselves. Experiences are definitely the best teacher! You can save for it and plan ahead for the visit. Even if it takes you a couple of years you can make it happen. Trust me when I tell you it will be fun and you will be your child’s hero as you guide them through a lesson is geography and history.
There are so many city’s with free cultural experiences. Along your journey, i’m sure you can find a way to incorporate some math, reading and spelling too.
Come from behind the desk or kitchen table and get outdoors. Its so much you can learn by taking a quick stroll around your neighborhood. Go for a walk, play in the yard, do homework on the patio. The options are endless.
Just like adults, children are inspired by their surroundings. Find out where your child is inspired by the most and take them there for a little educational fun.
One day homework can be done at the playground, next the backyard, then on the porch, patio or balcony. Maybe as an incentive home work can be completed at your local ice cream shop and for doing so great they will be rewarded with ice cream after.
These are just my opinions, ideas and techniques that work for making learning fun for my children. There is no guarantee that these will work for yours. However, it is a means to inspire you because you know your child the best. My goal is to make learning fun for all children and I wish you the best on your making learning fun journey!
How do you make learning fun for your child?
What Are You Waiting For? GO OWN YOUR FANCY!