Let’s be honest, a lot of kids don’t really want to learn in the conventional way. If you sat your kid down in front of a book, it may hold their interest for around 3 seconds, after which time they’d be back to eating crayons, and doing other things that make you wonder, ‘how am I ever going to teach them anything?’ Whilst this can be pretty stressful, most children do have an innate interest and curiosity, and they do want to learn about things. You just have to try to make it as exciting as possible, so that they’re on board.
We’ve put together a list of a few ways that you can make learning an exciting experience for your kids, so that they can go into the world with the right knowledge as adults!
Make it a bonding experience
OK, so you want your kids to read books, and to get into literature as much as they can. The truth is that very few kids will pick up a book of their own accord, but if they see it as a way to hang out with you, then they probably will.
For example, you can read one page out to them (try to do it in a silly and dramatic way, to keep them interested) and then you can get them to read a page out to you. Encouraging them to do it – and masking it as something that isn’t actually learning – is a great way to make it a bonding experience between you and your kids, and before you know it, they will be reading alone.
Turn it into a copying game
If you want to teach your kids about more practical things, then turning it into a copying game is a good idea. Think about the skills that you have, and how you can teach them to your children.
Kids undoubtedly look up to their parents and want to be just like them, so think about how you can use this to teach them some useful skills. For example, if you’re building something, why not give your child a hard hat and some work gloves, to make them feel as though they’re helping you out?
Even if you only teach them one thing, it will strengthen your relationship, and make them want to learn.
Use actual games
Games are a great way for kids to learn new things, and the good thing about this is that kids love playing games, especially those online. Tell your kids that they’re only allowed to spend an hour playing games online a day, but that they can spend an extra 30 minutes playing if they play some cool math games for students.
This way, they’re learning without really knowing it, and although your kids may be a little bit annoyed that you’ve swapped Minecraft for math, at least you both appear to be getting something out of the deal. Games are a great way for kids to learn quickly and easily!
Make it silly
Making play silly, especially if you’re getting involved, is key if you want to get your kids to learn something. Don’t be afraid to get covered in paint, or to jump in a muddy puddle, or to do something a little out of the ordinary.
A lot of the time, kids learn through experimenting, and if you allow them to do this (and encourage them to do it by doing it yourself) then they will learn a lot, without really knowing that they actually are.
Learning will be of no interest to your child whatsoever if they find it really boring, and you don’t want to be that boring parent, either. Encourage learning and playing, and make it silly!
Use the natural world
Getting outdoors is one of the main ways for your kids to learn, and don’t underestimate how much they will pick up just by being outside. If you make learning something that only ever happens in the classroom for your kids, then they will be less interested in finding out what the world around them has to offer.
Again, encouraging silly play is another thing worth doing here, but also make an effort to teach them about the creatures that you can find outside. The more they start to realize about the world around them, the more interesting they will find it, and the more they will learn.
Creativity is another way to ensure that your child learns a lot, and getting out the paints and crayons is a perfect way for them to discover new things. Creativity when we’re young is a really important part of being creative and learning-focused when we’re older, so encouraging your kids to make things with their hands will also push them in the right direction. Some kids enjoy this more than others, but every kid loves making a mess, and it’s another perfect opportunity to bond with your child over making something, and learning together. Buy some art supplies, and see what you can do!
Visit museums and galleries
A lot of parents have the perception that museums and galleries are particularly designed for adults and older kids, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are plenty of places out there that have been put together with children and their learning in mind; you just need to find them!
Type ‘museums’ into Google, alongside your location, and see what other parents say about these places in the reviews. If it can hold your child’s attention for a while, and teach them about new things, then it is certainly worth putting onto your list of new learning activities. Museums aren’t just for older folks!
So, if you want to make learning an exciting experience for your kids, then make sure that you try out some of these things. Learning doesn’t always have to be reading from books, and sometimes, it’s just about figuring out the world around you. You can enable this just by putting your kids in certain situations – like taking them on a nature walk – and seeing what they find.
Good luck! And thanks for reading,
Josh – Contributing Author