Learning for FUN

by Kimberly Evans

We know learning should be entertaining, but school-related for our children. However, “teaching to the test” in schools can make this goal challenging and frustrating to accomplish. The question of “How do I make learning entertaining at home?” often comes to mind. 

Making learning entertaining means making it interactive for your child. Interactive learning is engaging and uses creativity and active thinking. It is not just about finding a right answer, but rather searching for and supporting an answer.

There are multiple ways to make learning interactive and fun! These are only a few.      

Acting It Out

Role play is an excellent way to engage your child in learning. Your child will love this child-centered dialogue where playing and pretending are the major themes.

It can fit every age group and relates well to real-life learning, such as playing store or becoming a character in a play. If you put on a play, the selection of scripts should be based on a child’s independent reading level or the level that is used during silent reading time at school.

Several free play scripts can be found at http://www.storycart.com/scripts_free.php   

Making Music

Children love music! Whether they are creating the music with instruments, singing songs, or listening to music, being musical makes children interactive. It develops their listening skills and makes learning memorable for both parent and child.

Music supports multiple subjects – math, reading, and writing – and encourages children to follow directions. There are many suggestions for websites providing kid-friendly activities at the Music Teachers National Association website and on Pinterest.

Being Creative

Art is fun and it meets the needs of multiple learning styles. Playdoh, shaving cream, and finger paints are a few examples of materials that are often used. Think about ways to use these materials when learning a concept or skill, such as writing letters in shaving cream or doing addition while finger painting.

Reinforce that learning through dialogue about what your child did as they completed the activity. One interactive resource is found on The National Gallery of Art website where kids can recreate classic art online.     

Cooking Together

Another creative outlet is through cooking with your child. Recipes teach children about measurement, following directions, and how food is prepared. Children become curious about how their food is made and what ingredients are in the food they eat.

Start with simple recipes that are age appropriate and build on those experiences with more complex dishes. Together you can create a collection of your favorite recipes and share those with other family members to highlight their learning. Spatulatta.com is a kid-led website that introduces simple recipes with instructions in both written and video forms.       

Kimberly Evans is founder and owner of KAEvans Consultancy, specializing in coaching/mentoring/professional development for teachers and administrators. She is mom to 22-month-old daughter Caroline.

For More Information:

What it’s all about when learning with music

http://www.communityplaythings.com/resources/articles/musicandmovement/learningthroughmusic.html

Simple activities and ideas with role play

http://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/content/learning-through-role-play

Hands-on activities categorized by age group and subject area

http://www.scholastic.com/parents/activities/

Fantastic art and craft ideas for learners of all ages

http://www.artfulparent.com/kids-arts-and-crafts-visual-directory.html

Tips, advice, and simple recipes about learning with cooking

http://aplaceofourown.org/question_detail.php?id=581

    

About WF Staff

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