09 Aug Fun Educational Activities for Kids Every Parent Must Know
It was an incredible sight when my niece, who was one and a half years old recognized colours and shapes and named them fluently. It amazed me even more that she could now speak full sentences like “Hush a bye baby” or “Mama, don’t go”. I could only imagine that the kid was a genius or that her parents were really putting in efforts for her to learn early.
With my curiosity getting the best of me, I just had to ask my cousin, how she managed to teach her daughter at such an early stage. My cousin just laughed at my question at first, but then later went on to explain that she communicated with her daughter as much as possible. My cousin also added that she mostly ensured that her child mostly had toys that were educational and every time her daughter said something right everyone in the family applauded. This really encouraged her daughter and improved her vocabulary immensely.
“Incredible!” I thought. Then I began wondering how great a technique this could be for parents everywhere. After all, most parents are of the impression that learning starts at school. There is more to education than school and parents need to realise this if they want their kids to catch up with the fast pace of the world. Hence, for parents wondering what they can do for their kids to learn, here are some educational activities for kids to do which are fun as well. Let’s take a look at what these are.
Play with Educational Toys
While teddy bears, dolls, and cars are toys that every child has, it is important for parents to also add educational toys like legos, colour and shape blocks, alphabet blocks and more. When you play games while teaching your child, the process becomes less tedious for both of you and your child learns faster. Ensure that the games which you choose matches the age of your child, otherwise their attention will only be diverted. Let imagination take control; in fact, you can put yourself in the shoes of your child to understand what they would like to do.
Teach them to read
Reading is a habit that should be inculcated into your child’s life at an early stage. Your child might not realise it now, but it is one of the most wonderful gifts that you will give your child. Based on the age of your child you can start with basic books, teaching them to pronounce sounds that letters can make, thus preparing them for spelling and reading skills. Doing this does not mean that you sit on a chair like a teacher and repeat the words. To enhance the learning experience for your kid, try adding activities that make learning an adventure instead of a tedious lesson. You can create games like a treasure hunt where children have to look for things that start with a certain sound, or an alphabet to make a word out of it.
Let them scribble
Every child scribbles and the walls, floors, and furniture of almost every home speak tales of children’s adventures when they were small. After all, at a younger age, their imagination was endless and the world was a canvas to paint on. So, when you catch your child scribbling, try not to scold them but gently explain to them that doing so would only trouble you.
Encourage your child to scribble on paper or a scribble pad instead. Ensure to stay stocked with chart paper, child-safe colours, brushes and everything that can make scribbling fun. It is by scribbling that your child’s creativity can be encouraged. Other than that, you can also enhance their writing skills.
Play “I spy”
If you have seen the movie “The Intern” then you must surely remember the scene where Robert De Niro keeps a small girl occupied by playing the famous guessing game called “I Spy”. You can start the game by saying, “I spy with my little eye something…” and then add any shape or colour that you see in front of you. Your child can start looking around for any object that matches the colour or shape you mentioned and answer. The game is great to educate kids about their surroundings. Kids are interested in learning their colours at an early age.
It’s a task for a child to get numbers in the correct order even when reciting them out. Hence, playing games only seems like the perfect way to get them counting correctly. You can do this b allowing them to physically touch the objects they are counting. According to studies, it was found that hands-on projects help in activating children’s brains, thus assisting them to learn better.
If your kids are more advanced in their counting skills, you can try a more challenging variation that will encourage them to think beyond and in terms of how many objects they actually see before them. Math is not a difficult subject if it has been taught to children early.
Encourage their love for music
According to a study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute, it was found that music can play an important role in a child’s brain development, especially language. Another study by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM Foundation), also states that mathematical skills can be improved by learning to play musical instruments.
Hence, if you are planning to add educational activities for your kids do not forget to add music to the list. The activity can be anything ranging from creating music by clinking a spoon on a glass, singing nursery rhymes, or dancing to the tune of a song on YouTube.
You can even start by enrolling your little one for music classes at an early age and then encouraging them to play the same at home for you. Remember to applaud them for their efforts every time, or they will lose interest.
Plant a Garden
The world today needs a new generation of eco-friendly people to save the environment. So, why not start with your little one. Plant a flower to begin with and let your child join in. As you perform the task, your child will understand that there is more to growing a plant than just sticking the seed inside the ground.
The activity will teach your child how to love the environment, the basics of botany, the importance of nutrition, and most importantly the virtue of patience. You can enhance the experience by keeping a gardening journal for your children wherein you can add all details of the plant gradually with every passing day.
Ensuring that your kids participate in recreational activities daily without pressuring them is the best way for them to benefit emotionally, mentally, and physically. Hence, as parents, it is important to consistently encourage children to learn by constructing a healthy and fun educational environment, where they can unleash their creativity and broaden their skills. Guide them on how to express their thoughts, feelings and actions better through the use of words as this will prepare them to face the world with confidence as they grow.