5 effective tools to make learning fun and interactive
Every child enjoys learning. Learning essentially involves a new experience and our brains are wired to like everything new. However, somewhere in the monotony of formal education, children start associating “learning” with “chore”. When anything becomes work, it stops being fun.
And that is a challenge for parents as well as teachers – to keep learning fun for children, to not let it become a chore, to not let the “fun” part of learning die. But this may not be as easy as it sounds. Sure, it is easier when children are young. But as they grow, the amount of compulsory learning grows and it becomes that much more difficult to keep it fun and interesting.
So here are a few tips to help parents sneak in some learning in their children’s playtime. ( This may sound familiar to the mommies who are experts at sneaking in the healthy vegetables in the tasty stuff)
Stories are a great medium to engage children. And stories are found abound. Stories are a great way to introduce any new topic. If you are teaching solar system, the story of Galileo becomes a great starting point. If you are teaching about evolution – tell them about Darwin. Let the stories unravel the topic. Let the child wear the thinking hat.. and when they do that they become active participants, they want to know more. They will want to listen what happened next!
We seldom limit stories as a means to teach languages. But stories can act as a medium to teach almost any subject under the sun! Just wear your thinking hat and imagine the possibilities..
In the age of virtual games, playing old school board games may sound out of fashion. But board games win hands down at enabling longer attention span and concentration. Board games needs not be overtly academic to be educative. Board games are simple, fun and yet, effective. Pick a theme based board game and voila, you can do so much more. Other than teaching academic subjects, playing board games teaches children life skills like social communication, team play, strategy and patience. More importantly, they teach one big life lesson – Never Give Up!
A big part of education is reviewing and revision. But teachers (and parents) can get much more creative with this aspect. Why do we need the same old boring test papers? Convert the fill in the blanks into a crossword puzzle. Throw in a number puzzle in maths paper. Add a word search activity to revise continents or the names of planets.
We remember only 10% of what we read, but 80% of what we do. Doing involves all senses to be active and in fact DIY activities work great with otherwise super active children who do not have the patience to just listen. Plus, most DIY projects do not feel like studies. Choose DIY projects that are age appropriate, so that the child can do most of the work by herself. Also, let the child present the project to friends and family which will help them revise the concepts applied for the project.
Treasure Hunts/Group tasks
Most of the formal learning is limited to an individual. Children are expect to learn a concept and remember it. Peers are mostly pitted as competitors. But in real life, most tasks require coordination and cooperation. Playing theme based group games can be a great way to teach communication skills. Pick an age appropriate theme or topic and see how play time translates into learning time. Group tasks like treasure hunts are a great way to engage kids, making class very interactive and at the same time very informative.
Because Learning is Fun!