When we talk about learning, what comes to mind for most adults is the traditional boring classroom setting with 30 plus kids and a teacher that we are at times not font of, in front of the class. There is an urgent need for teachers and parents to explore learning through play ideas to enhance the learners learning experience.
Due to the engraved believe that learning is boring tons of students part with their learning attitude and mindset at the door of their graduation hall.
It is unfortunate that the times we live in demands that we be life long learners because things rapidly change on daily basis .
The rapid changes usually renders what we previously learned irrelevant. To keep ourselves relevant to the now we have to be life long learners. And for us to be life long learners requires positive perception and beliefs about learning.
If history failed us on this, we need to do our best to change the narrative that learning is boring for our kids.
In this article we are going to explore different ideas and activities we can do to create a fun learning environment for our kids.
I have never met a child who is neat enough to not want to deep himself in a sand whenever it meets his eye. There is something about the sight of sand that turns every child on. Because there are embedded benefits in this kind of play parents should relax and let them be,
Develops fine motor skills ( fine motor skills is the coordination of small muscles, in movements—usually involving the synchronization of hands and fingers—with the eyes. Sand play is as important as writing and drawing as they both require subtle motions of the hand and the finger. The digging, scooping, burying,the sifting and the controlling of the shovel all play an amazing role in the development of fine motor skills. The mentioned activities are also very important in the development of the hand eye coordination.
Develops social skills. This unstructured play opportunity afford them the opportunity to independently make their own decisions, negotiate to take turns as they use the toys, cooperate and celebrate their achievements together
Promotes creativity & use of imagination – There is no limit to what the little ones can do during sand play. Enhance their play by making water available, give them toys, blocks measuring cups, shovels anything sand friendly and watch them build their own world.
There are a lot of extras you can use to enhance or even prolong the play.I f you need the extras or sand itself Amazon got you covered with varieties.
We cannot talk about sand play and leave the mud play behind. These two are interdependent, . They both contribute to development of fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. Mud play has an added advantage of developing gross motor skills (the use of large muscles in the body, arms and leg).
It has been scientifically proven that mud play makes us healthier and happier. It apparently has some dirt that contains microscopic bacteria called Mycobacterium Vaccae.
These bacteria increase the serotonin in our brains that leaves the kids happier, calmer and reduces anxiety. Research also alludes that the same bacteria boost the immune system.
I can still remember the days I gave my kids the full mud day experience the excitement cannot be compared to any form of expensive gift. WARNING : some of their clothes got permanently stained and damaged, so plan their attire wisely.
Dolls and role-playing
This one works like magic, you don’t have to do much just buy dolls and step aside. Before I get you all excited let me warn you that, you might have to accessorize the doll now then. I have bought dolls for all my kids boy and girls. I don’t know if there can ever be a lesson that can teach love,how to to love and expressing love than doll play.
I have seen kids expressing affection to their dolls and getting better at it daily in a way no church sermon can teach them.
I have seen them showing some level of maturity, responsibility, compassion and empathy in a way that exceed the impact of conversations I have tried to have with them on mentioned subjects.
I have witnessed them expressing selflessness by taking off their jackets to cover the dolls whenever they feel it is chilly and their babies are not well-dressed.
I have heard them play the whole drama episode with each other while engaging with their dolls. Many a time I wished we had some hidden cameras, I’m confident some of these plays if recorded will make us some money on a later stage.
Their creativity, imagination and use of words surely gets nurtured through these episodes. Without doubt, I can confidently say that doll play is the most powerful Character Development class for all kids (Boys Included)
Drawing & Painting
Traditional schooling screwed this one up for me ( you know it always gives us good sense of relieve when we blame someone) I am just so bad with pencil and a paint brush. I believe the main reason for my lack of confidence in this area is it was presented as a classroom duty, restricted by time and subject to the teacher’s assessment, who couldn’t spare her negative feedback towards my not so good attempts.
My point is drawing and painting should be experienced under an unstructured environment, no time limit, no rules, no authority. Present the tools and vamoose.
- Good stress reliever.Best communication method for hidden emotions, It actually gives you access to the child’s mind and emotions.Increases one’s emotional intelligence.Great imagination and creativity enhancer
- If sand play and mud play develop fine motor skills then drawing and painting seals the deal.
- It’s a great brain stimulator, training the painter or the drawer to be able to pay attention to finer details.
As a homeschooling mom, kitchen has been our best learning area.
In the kitchen beside learning the obvious life long skill of preparing meals, we also learn to work as a team, communicate with each other, calculate risks,evaluate and make timely decisions.
In the kitchen we learn good hygiene, we learn patience, diligence and they joy of serving others
Measurements are best understood in the kitchen than from a text book. Our best reading lessons happened while reading recipes. We learn and continue to learn how to read and understand time in the kitchen as some recipes have strict time restriction.
Depending on the age of the child, it can be real kitchen or pretend to play kitchen the fact remains that the lessons learned there are invaluable.
Obstacle courses gives the kids that exciting and daring experience. It is a thrilling adventure that develops and test their various skills.
Like the name suggest it teaches kids how to tackle obstacles, giving them a heroic and confident feeling when they have conquered, and teaching them how to handle failure if they fail.
Among many it teaches them how to face and handle uncertainty and be ok with doing the uncomfortable
At best an obstacle course provides an opportunity for sensory exploration, that comes with the running, jumping, climbing and crawling involved.
Finally, I cannot not think of a better way to build your little one’s strength and balance. It is a great overall workout.giving strength to most body muscles.
‘ Life is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing ‘
Play is their primary and first language, lets teach them through the language they best understand then we do not have to worry about comprehension .
Play is sacred for them, it is a sacred moment to learn to explore, to distress, to communicate to get to know self better to develop talent and skills and more. Parents should do their best to give a lot of unstructured and uninterupted play