With a little bit of creativity, learning can be A LOT of fun! Check out these 10 ways you can expand your child’s mind while inspiring them to be curious in all of their pursuits. Caution: These lessons are so amusing, nobody will want to stop!
Make Your Own Word Games
Crosswords and word searches are a lot of fun but they’re even better when you create them yourself! This is a good way to practice critical thinking while also working on building vocabulary. Two or more children (or you and your child) can each create a word search or crossword and then switch puzzles with each other and complete them.
Invent a New Board Game
Why limit board games to the kind we can buy in store? Let imaginations run wild when thinking up the rules for your very own board game. Of course you’ll have to also make the board game which is irresistibly fun! Critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and motor skills are all going on under the surface of this family favorite activity.
Get hands-on with one of nature’s most beautiful phenomena when you build your own rainstorm right in your own kitchen! Just a few simple ingredients will teach children about gravity, precipitation, and also practice pipetting – all great skills for those future scientists! Check out the full tutorial here.
You probably have the game “Twister” stashed away in one of your closets. Put a new spin on the classic game simply by placing a sticky note on each dot. Every sticky note should have a different number. Challenge players to complete math problems by having them place body parts (for example, one hand and one leg) on numbers that equal the number you’ve called out. Have them explain their math problem. Last mathlete standing wins!
Get moving and expand vocabulary by making a fun backyard version of everyone’s favorite word game. Scrabble is an excellent way to use critical thinking and problem solving to improve literacy and have fun doing it. This version makes it even better! Bonus: Enlist your child to help you build the game pieces. You can find the full instructions here.
Create a Website
Technology is an integral part of our lives. Spend time with your child learning how to create a website. Even preschool age children can contribute to their own website by taking pictures to upload and giving input on placement of page items. If you don’t have any website building experience, don’t worry! There are plenty of drag and drop plugins that you can easily use.
Shop on a Budget Scavenger Hunt
Having a budget is important for everyone. It teaches financial responsibility and when children are taught to shop on a budget, it helps to improve their math skills. Children of all ages can have fun shopping for items when you give them an item scavenger hunt. For example, you can give your child a budget of $20 and tell them to find something in aisle 10 that costs less than $4.29, a vegetable for under $2.00, and two items in aisle 14 that cost less than $12.35 combined, etc. Younger children can count out actual money while older children can practice check writing or using a debit card to pay for the items.
Grow Your Own Crystals (Borax)
Did you know you can grow your own crystals overnight? With a jar, Borax, a pipe cleaner, and a few other common household items, you can grow your own gorgeous gems! This eye-catching craft shows children how a chemical reaction can change the state of matter. Click here for full instructions.
Create Chromatography Flowers
Chromatography flowers are easy enough that toddlers can make them but beautiful enough that older kids will be just as intrigued. Let imaginations and creativity take over as you try new color schemes to make each flower more unique than the last. Children will learn about absorption and liquid distribution which will give them an idea about how real flowers actually work – plus the end result makes a great centerpiece! Full instructions here.
Binary Code Jewelry
Binary code is the basic language that all computers speak in order to transmit data around the globe. It’s surprisingly simple yet oddly complex. Children can learn the basics of coding by using beads to write their name in binary code. You can find the full instructions (and a basic introduction to binary code) here.