By the end of the week, most of us parents feel like we've lost our minds. And while I'm not proud to admit that I love giving my kids distractions, if it means my child is not screaming or crying while I'm in the bread aisle at Publix, I'll pretty much give her anything to keep the peace.
Thankfully, not all distractions have to be bad. In fact, most of them can be fun and even educational. In school, the most fun and exciting projects are always the ones you remember the most.
When I was in eighth grade, I had a teacher who loved to come up with science activities for us to learn physics concepts, like gravity, velocity, and force. One of the best experiences we had was traveling to Busch Gardens in Orlando, as a way for us to study rollercoasters and how they related to physics. And while I may not be a scientist now, I aced that class easily, because the concepts were fun and easy to remember.
Let’s take that same concept and apply it to our children’s learning and education. Fun activities can help take the pressure off in school situations. In a time when stress is at an all-time high for young kids, it’s time we take playtime seriously.
Solutions for Fun, Educational Activities
The good news is that fun games, arts and crafts, and other activities can help children develop important skills they will need in the future.
In a recently published article, faculty members in universities across the United States and Great Britain found that surgeons are seeing more incoming students without the same level of fine motor skills as previous classes. With potentially avoidable complications from surgeries (as high as 50%), these universities are starting to consider fine motor skills as part of the application process for medical school.
This suggests that childhood physical activities, arts and crafts, and learning games - not just video games and tablets - are important in the development of both physical and mental capabilities.
Regular physical activity can help kids focus better in school, which is why number one on the list for fun learning activities is: physical fitness.
Among the top choices for physical activities are:
- Martial Arts
Team sports, like soccer, basketball, and baseball, are a fun way for kids to develop math skills, hand-eye coordination, and teamwork, while individual physical activities like tennis, martial arts, and dance can teach a child critical thinking, self-discipline, and character.
One of my favorite TED talks is about a young dancer whose parents thought she had educational challenges, but in reality, she really needed to get up and get moving. Why, you ask?
I especially identified with this video because my little sister struggled in school before she found dance. In fact, while she was in an arts program, her grades were never better! And today, she is a professional dancer in New York.
Perfect for preschoolers, The Preschool Box combines all the fun of DIY, coloring, crafts, alphabet activities, and shapes to help toddlers learn spelling and reading. 3-year-olds are sure to love this fun little box of goodies (especially the pompoms)!
Playing around with fun activities is a great way for young children to participate and learn from science experiments.