Here at Yumyum kids we love summer. The long days, the sunshine, the opportunity to get out and about. And whether the kids are at home or at school, summer is a great time to get in some sneaky learning ideas. You know, those ones that are so sneaky the kids don’t actually realise they are learning because they are having so much fun!
While summer is a great time to trial these ideas with the long school holidays, you can actually use them at any time of year to encourage your kids’ love of learning. We wanted to share our favourite sneaky learning ideas with you so that you can enjoy them with your kids too.
10 Sneaky Learning Ideas…
Learning does not have to mean spelling, reading and math tests. There are so many different ways that your kids can learn outside of the classroom…
1: Making Up Their Own Games
Let their imaginations run wild with devising new games to play. Have them make up their own rules, include props, even create a board to play it on. They will then have to teach their friends and family how to play. This is a great lesson in creating cooperative play and following a creative thought process.
2: Take Interesting Outings
Learn about history firsthand by visiting historical sites. Bonus points if there are reenactments, activities to complete or cultural shows to watch. Increase your animal knowledge by hitting the zoo or animal sanctuaries. Up your cultural cred by attending a jazz festival, outdoor musical concerts, or even theatre performances.
3: Learn To Play Chess
If you don't know how to play yourself, there will be plenty of YouTube tutorials to teach you. Then you can learn with your kids. Chess teaches excellent analytical skills. It makes you problem solve, think critically, make discoveries, create a plan (and execute it), and how to adapt that plan when the parameters change.
4: Get On Public Transport
It is all too easy to hop in the car to get to the places you want to go. But why not learn some life skills by riding the bus or the train to get to your destination. It becomes an adventure for the kids when they need to work out their ticket price, assess the map for the correct stop, and the time you need to leave to get there on time.
5: Use The Power Of Music
If you grow bored of singing the right lyrics to a song, make up some new words. You could even devise your own song or rap. Think about the timing, the number of syllables in a line, making it rhyme, creating a storyline within your lyrics, or focusing on a certain theme.
6: Use The Movies
The kids will be delighted that screen time is actually an opportunity to learn. After the movie has ended discuss the plotlines, the characters, what you think their motivations were and why the story turned out the way it did. Perhaps you could develop back story for the movie characters, come up with a prequel or sequel idea, or discuss an alternate ending.
7: Go Orienteering or Geocaching
It’s a learning opportunity and an adventure all in one. You can go old school with a compass and navigate yourself to a set location. Or if you prefer a more modern approach, you can use a GPS enabled device and a geocaching app to discover exciting new destinations.
Find out more about geocaching here…
8: Kids In The Kitchen
It is time to get creating in the kitchen. The kids can follow a set recipe to work on their reading and measurements, then they can double the quantities to work on their math, plus they get to work on the vital skill that is cooking. Let them hunt through the recipe books to find a meal they like the look of, then create a shopping list, make a budget, go shopping for the ingredients and enjoy a delicious creation as a family.
9: Get Them Reading
Reading does not just mean looking at their homework books. Reading comic books, graphic novels, poetry, biographies and fan fiction works on their reading skills in exactly the same way. You can even work on their listening skills by playing Audiobooks.
- Get Building
Those blocks don't have to go in the bin just because your kids are past the toddler stage. Building is valuable for kids of all ages because it works on fine motor skills, creativity, hand eye coordination, critical thinking, problem solving, and spatial awareness. And you don’t only have to build with blocks. Use whatever you have at home - Lego, boxes, pasta, playing cards, toothpicks, craft sticks, or even toilet paper rolls.
If your kids love to learn then they are going to love these sneaky learning ideas. We would love to hear your ideas for getting the kids learning outside of school hours, Let us know your favourites in the comments below!