As parents, we all know that many kids would prefer to be having fun and playing games as opposed to learning something new. You will probably be familiar with the phrase “oh, but that’s so borrrrring!” when you suggest doing homework or revision, which can sort of put you off asking again. Of course, it is necessary for us to get our kids to develop new skills, which is why it is important to look at different ways to do it without being so obvious.
There are ways in which you can have fun with your kids, whilst still making it educational. The trick here is to not let them know your intentions! So if you are keen to hear about some ideas that you can incorporate within your own family life, here are a few to get you started:
Kids love to act and pretend to be different characters, so why don’t you use this to your advantage? You can dress up as various modern or historic characters to different effects. If your daughter loves Dora the Explorer, you could have a little scavenger hunt around the house where the clues use a few Spanish words. There are many similar scenarios like this that you could research.
Birthday parties are part of any child’s social calendar, and they are something they look forward to with great anticipation. If you are hosting a party at your home, think about the games you can arrange for the big day – could some of these include an element of positive education? Have a look at the Pencil Street numeracy resources to start your train of thought, and see where your creativity takes you.
Even going on holiday can be educational; this is true whether you are going near or far. There are many things to learn about including geography, weather patterns, climates, seasons and so on. Of course, going abroad can also introduce your children to different cultures, something which arguably will lead them to become a better-rounded individual in the future. Don’t forget about the obligatory sandcastle making when you are at the beach so you can see tides in action.
It can be nice to have a bit of family bonding time over your favourite programmes on television; this experience can be more educational than you would first expect. Shows such as Family Fortunes and Catchphrase can get your kids thinking a bit more; a bit of friendly competition in their own home is often what they need to enjoy themselves whilst learning. Even programmes such as The Cube can be good for learning about the time and how fast it goes by.
Some board games can bring exasperated sighs to the lips of your children, especially ones such as Scrabble or Boggle. However ones such as Hungry Hippos or Frustration can be ideal, especially if they involve some element of excitement and noise. However these games usually come back down to numeracy or literacy, so spelling and counting will come into play one way or another! You just need to find the games that your kids are happy to play…
Disclosure: This post is brought to you from Pencil Street