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12 Creative Ways To Make Learning Fun For Your Kids

Cute little kids playing together with modeling clay in pottery workshop, craft and clay art

There's a whole world of fun that lies just beyond your child's bedroom door. The opportunities for learning are endless and the benefits never-ending! Your kids will be healthier, more cooperative with others, wiser about their imaginations - not to mention all those skills in math, literacy and science they'll develop along the way. 

Sounds good, right? And guess what? You don't even have to leave home yet because there're so many games out there that incorporate playtime while teaching important life lessons too. 

Here are just a few ideas on how parents can introduce their children into these fabulous worlds where education is both active AND imaginative!

Math

Loose Parts Shapes

If you want to keep your kids entertained for hours, then I suggest crafting what we like to call the "kitchen crafts" station. Just grab some loose parts from around the house and create a bin or open box that's filled with all sorts of interesting things: sticks, pine cones, buttons - anything goes! 

Give them space in their playroom (or any other room) where they can go anytime they're bored and unleash their creativity by using these materials.

Kids will be able to use their creativity and imagination with the loose pieces given in this activity. They'll have a blast creating circles, squares, triangles--even octagons! Once they've mastered two dimensions, 3D shapes such as cubes and pyramids will provide them even more of an adventure that's exciting for all ages alike.

Math skills used: geometry

Jump to the Lily Pad Dice Game 

"Jump to the Lily Pad Dice Game!" You'll need hula hoops or sidewalk-chalk-drawn circles for this game. Create spaced out lily pads for your little frogs! Have children roll two regular dice and count up their pips (dots). Then take that number of frog jumps towards a pad, with smaller numbers appropriate for tadpoles and larger ones needed if you're dealing with bigger amphibians.

Math skills used: counting and adding

Gaggles of Geese

The leader of the gaggle is Mother Goose. Gather a group of kids and have them walk around in a play area. Mother Goose will call out "gazillions" (a number). If she calls for three, then they must waddle together into groups of three. One or two extra children can be either 'out' or waiting to hear another number from the goosey mother! Finally when you are called on again, move quickly to your new groupee.

Math skills used: addition and subtraction

Giant Steps

No matter how short or tall your kids are, they all get to be giants in this game.

A fun way to play with sticks on the ground is Giant steps! Place two objects of different heights and see who can make it from one object over to another in the fewest number of giant steps possible." For example, a rock might take three large strides while a stick would only need one big step for them both as walking aids. 

You don't have a time limit either- just go back and forth until you're ready for something else! This also works great when children want their parents' help but aren't quite able yet (or vice versa).

Math skills used: measurement and data

Literacy

Name Game

The name game is a fun way to get the whole family involved. You will need note cards or cardboard pieces for each letter in your child's name, five or six additional action cards that are individual actions like jumping jacks and hops on one foot, as well as enough time set aside so you can play! 

The idea of this game is more about getting through all the letters rather than completing an objective--you're not keeping score but simply trying to do the most number of exercises while naming out loud what they just did. 

This helps teach kids how their muscles work together when doing different movements which also teaches them spelling words with better coordination since it works similar pathways in their brain! An added bonus? They'll be learning some new vocabulary.

Literacy skills used: letter recognition and spelling

Rhyme Time

The game begins by yelling out a word of your choice. You then throw the bag to any other child in the circle who has to come up with a word that rhymes with that original word (or say it if you want this game more quiet, but really when you’re kid everything feels better!). 

This continues until someone can't think of another rhyming words and names themselves as "it" so they have new syllables for everyone else's challenge!

The Rhyme Time is always exciting because all I have on my mind are thoughts about how clever each one is from their brain too see what will pop next--a cat or rat? A peach or pear!? It never disappoints me. 

Literacy skills use: sound recognition

Loose Parts Story/Movie Writers

Gather together a collection of loose parts. Come up with an idea for the plot and characters you want, then tell your kids that they get to be the writers of their own adventure or comedy movie! First, have one child come up with a starting point and say it out loud so everyone can hear what's in store. 

For example "Once upon a time there were four children who were always bored because nothing ever happened." After this is said aloud, give all the other children 2-5 minutes to think about how they would like this story to go on before passing things over one at a time. The first child gets 1 minute to start telling part two of our story using as many pieces from those parts.  

Literacy skills used: story creation, retelling a story, writing

Detective Clue-So

Detective Clue-So is a great game that will be sure to please your family as you work together while figuring out the clues.

Detective Clue-so normally takes place in an old mansion with lots of rooms making it fun for all ages! 

However, it’s super easy to pay at home too! You get one card from each of six categories: victim; weapon; location; perpetrator (in these cards I like how they always include male or female so when we decide on who committed this crime there can't really ever be any arguments); motive/opportunity which are also cleverly illustrated by icons before having them read aloud while everyone points to their favorite suspect based on those three factors. Whoever gets 3 right wins and becomes the new detective!

Literacy skills used: reading and following directions

Science

Sunny Crayons

If your kids are like mine, chances are good that you have a ton of broken crayons around. My kids would find it very entertaining to sit and peel the wrappers off the crayons.  Between no wrappers and small pieces, our crayons were perfect for this activity. 

On a sunny, hot day, cover a plate with aluminum foil and place different shapes of cookie cutters on it. Drop a mix of different colours of broken crayons (make them even smaller if you want to hurry the process along) into the cookie cutters and leave the plate in the sun. 

Within an hour, your tiny crayon bits will have melted into brand-new, funky-coloured crayons. Cool the plate fully and pop the crayons out of the cutters.  

Science branch used: sources of energy and state of matter

Dominant Side Game

By the time a child reaches four years old, they typically have an instinctive preference for one hand over another. Kids begin using this dominant limb to write and draw but also brush their teeth or kick balls with it. 

These preferences are visible when kids ball play sports like golfing or hockey as well because by age six most children will choose only use either left-handedness in order to shoot a puck at goal, hit tennis serves, volley shots on the court, etc., while righties focus more on aiming and shooting with power from that side of their body instead!

Science branch used: anatomy

Let’s Get Launching

Catapults aren't just for storming castles anymore. Build your own catapult and see how high, and how far, you can launch different objects!

The construction of a catapult is fairly simple; one need only set up an A-frame on top of two bricks or logs (the fulcrum). 

Place the object to be launched at one end of the frame while holding onto it with both hands. 

Have another person stomp or jump on that side in order to send it flying into the air - let go as soon as they've released their hold so there's no risk involved! Repeat until satisfied with results before moving back further from either end using smaller pieces such as books instead.

Science branch used: forces and motion, qualitative and quantitative observations

Sensory Nature Scavenger Hunt

Get the kids together and head out on a walk to learn and have fun with nature. Produce a checklist, but don’t forget to make it shorter a little shorter for the younger ones and longer for your older ones.

Can they see yellow leaves? Squirrels? Tall trees? Rocks that are speckled in colors like an artist’s palette? What about flowers or pine needles or mosses under their feet as well as buzzing insects, flowing waterfalls? 

Science branch used: five senses, observation

Learning is always better when it's combined with some good old fashioned playtime- so try to make sure there's plenty of games where different skill sets can come into use at home. And, if academic subjects seem too dull for them, then let their imagination go wild - because who knows what imaginative antics may lead to more creativity later on down the line!

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