5 Simple Items to Make Learning Fun for Children

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Parents and teachers can readily attest to the limited attention span of children. This makes teaching quite a challenge, even for the most seasoned of educators. And depending on a child’s temperament, there may be a need for different techniques and educational implements to get the young ones to stop for a while, pay attention, and learn the basics.

There may not be a single formula to make children eager and interested to learn, but there are some ways to make the process a bit easier. Here are a few simple things that you already own or are easy to find to help make learning more enjoyable.

Socks

These garments are a simple yet creative way to teach children about colors and identifying patterns, and even basic math. Separate the socks into two piles and ask the kids to find the matching pairs, or group the socks based on patterns like dots and stripes. You can even choose an odd number of socks and have a game of Odd Man Out. You can also use socks to teach kids simple chores and the importance keeping things organized.

Customized Wristbands

There are several ways you can use customized silicone wristbands in teaching. You can have them produced in various colors and shades, for example, to illustrate the difference between blue and light blue. You can also have them embossed or debossed with numbers, letters, symbols, and words to aid in letter recognition, spelling, reading, and basic operations like addition and subtraction. By having the text in a different color, it’s also easy to combine concepts, say, asking the kids to pick a blue wristband with an orange number 2 on it.

Silicone wristbands are also proven safe and non-toxic; what’s more, you can even have wristbands coated with natural plant oils to make them mosquito repellent. If you want, you can even have some glitter mixed in with the silicone to make the wristbands more attractive and interesting for children.

Study Cards

With just a little maneuvering in Photoshop or even just an hour of searching on the Internet, you can produce study cards on various topics. From letters and spelling, to general knowledge, to arithmetic — the options are limitless. And you can even use these study cards for activities beyond their original subjects. For example, you can ask children to create a short story using the cards as characters to stoke their creativity. And because they’re easy to carry, you can even use the cards while you’re stuck on traffic, for example, or while having a picnic.

A Tablet or Big-Screen Phone

In the past two years alone, numerous studies have sought to determine whether and how technology causes children (and even adults) to develop shorter attention spans. However, since kids will inevitably have to learn how to use these gadgets anyway, adults may as well use technology to their advantage.

There are various learning apps for almost any subject that can be downloaded for free; some toy manufacturers have also begun to incorporate virtual reality and augmented reality with their products, which enhances the play experience and increases engagement. Even the built-in camera can be used for a few learning activities. For example, while out in the playground, you can ask children to take a photo of something blue or snap a picture of someone who is running.

Gadgets can also be used teach the concepts of responsibility, taking care of their belongings, and waiting for their turn, among others. It’s up to the adults to supervise, enforce a strict timetable, and carefully monitor and moderate usage. Technology isn’t the enemy, as long as you know how to use them properly!

The Real Thing

Go outside for a bit of a science lesson! Pick up leaves in various stages of drying to show the differences in color and texture, and explain the reason why this happens (some plants and trees stop making chlorophyll when the weather gets cold). You can also use fresh flowers — just make sure they aren’t poisonous and/or your child isn’t allergic — to identify their different parts. You can even study earthworms up close! Sure, you can use pictures and videos to teach these things, but touching and interacting with these objects will help children be more engaged.

Learning may be a slow process, but it doesn’t have to be boring or complicated. With the help of these simple objects that you can easily find at home or in the community, you can make learning fun and interesting — you may even learn a thing or two yourself!

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