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Published on May 6th, 2016 | by gareth

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Make Learning Fun with These 4 Free Tools

As a parent, you are the biggest advocate for your child’s education. But, learning isn’t limited to the classroom. In fact, children learn and develop a multitude of skills, such as cognitive skills (math and problem solving), physical abilities (like balancing blocks or running in a game of tag), new vocabulary (words necessary to play restaurant, or make believe), social skills (by interacting with other children) and literacy skills (such as writing out the menu to play restaurant) through play.

It’s this ability to grasp educational skills subconsciously, rather than with practice worksheets or assigned lessons, that parents can utilize at home to keep kids engaged in the activities that help them grow, and ultimately, become a student of life. It could be in a simple domino game or through an elaborate electronic game designed to educate. In either respect, there are a variety of tools and resources out there to make learning fun for kids.

Customizable Puzzles

One way that is sure to keep your kid engaged in the activity of your choosing, is to customize it to them. Busy Teacher offers customizable puzzles where you can input your words and clues based specifically on topics that interest your child. For instance, if your child likes baseball, you can use words from the game to create a puzzle. Word puzzles are a great tool to challenge your child’s problem solving and literacy skills while making the task at hand fun and interactive.

Online Arcades

There are a variety of educational gaming websites out there, such as FunBrain, that host an array of games, all with different educational values. Kids can work on math skills while guiding a bee on a variety of number finding missions or collect digital treasure while learning to spell and problem solve. There are hundreds of animated games kids can choose based on their interests and learning objectives.

Outdoor Fun

Create a game of nature hunt bingo to engage kids in problem solving and image recognition. You can customize the activity based on age and the skill level of your children. For example, for toddlers use colors and have them identify items in the park that match those colors. For preschoolers, use photos or silhouettes of objects to practice shape/object identification and for school-aged children, use words to practice reading skills. The excitement of a scavenger hunt will keep kids excited about the activity but regardless of the age-specific skill being taught, all participants will get to practice problem solving, motor skills and social skills.

Printables

Every day can bring a new learning adventure with the help of printable activities. Pinterest is the mecca for finding an array of learning activities by theme. For example, July is national ice cream month. One search on Pinterest can offer an entire month of activities using ice cream as the theme. If you don’t have time to get lost in the plethora of Pinterest ideas, Making Learning Fun has compiled a pretty comprehensive list of themes and printable and activities to go with them. You can find anything from sight words to mathematics and more in their array of themed activities.


About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”.He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show.He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.



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