When your child steps outside of the classroom, their learning doesn’t stop there. Another great place for your child to learn? Your home. Simple day-to-day tasks and activities offer opportunities for them to expand their world. You can enjoy the time spent together while making sure they also make steps towards their future. Here are five tips that will entertain and educate your child while you’re both at home. No classroom needed!
1. Give them a Task of the Day
Make mundane chores feel special for your kids. Start their day off with a daily task, such as folding laundry, arranging sandwiches for lunch, making sure the living room pillows are tidy, or that all the beds in the house are made. Before they start their task, communicate why they are being asked to do it. Give them a reward when they’ve completed their special task. They will enjoy helping you out and will understand their efforts were appreciated.
2. Make reading a habit
It’s never too early to get your child interested in reading. A regular reading habit helps your child enrich their vocabulary and improves their communication. Show your child the importance of reading by doing so yourself regularly. Create an atmosphere of reading by filling your home with newspapers and books. If your child is too young to read on their own, make family storytime a daily 20-minute activity. Choose different themes and read out loud to them with gusto.
3. Cook and bake together
Transform your kitchen into a haven for math and science. It’s the most delicious and nutritious way to sneak some serious knowledge in. Have your child measure out ingredients (or measure them out yourself if they are too young), explain to them what happens when you boil water, mix a sauce or bake a cake in the oven. Make a pizza together for a fun, interactive task: let them roll out the dough, place the pre-cut veggies on the pizza and watch it come to life in the oven.
4. Play games with words
Make learning fun with word games. They not only entertain your child but challenge their minds. Scrabble and Boggle are family favorites that everyone can play together around the dining room table. Hangman and I Spy are great for learning new words to add to their vocabulary. If you want to teach your child a foreign language, Bingo is a great option. You can create your Bingo sheet using paper, a ruler and some colorful markers. Flashcards are another great language learning tool you can create together.
5. Get creative with crafts
Arts and crafts can be messy, but they sure are fun. They also give your child time to let their imagination run wild. One of the best (and easiest) projects to do at home is salt dough figures. Make your dough using just flour, water and salt. It’s safe for your child and made from ingredients you already have on hand. Help your child create flowers, people or animals. Coloring them can be done with watercolor once they come out of the oven or by mixing some food coloring into the dough.