Fun Learning

Is it possible to always have fun while we're learning? 
How can we get them excited about exploring the world and all the wonders it has to offer?
No, I don't think it is always possible to make every task fun. Sometimes things need to be practised to be learnt, like handwriting, playing sports, playing an instrument, or riding a bike. And because that practice can be repetitive, then it might not be that much fun. But we can do things to make the learning a little more zazzy. We all learn more when we are having fun so it's important to try to find ways.
It's a lot easier when the children are younger to make learning fun, but as they get older that can be a bit more challenging. 
We have to find ways to make learning, at whatever age, as much fun as it can be.
  • Give them ownership of their learning - when starting a topic, create a mind-map together of all the things you want to find out about
  • Build excitement by showing that you feel excited about the task
  • Learn together
  • Use visual media - its always good to watch a documentary together and then discuss it
  • Find hands-on ways as much as possible by making and doing

The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS) gives guidance on the learning and development stages for children from birth to five years old.

There are seven areas of learning for this framework. Personal, Social and Emotional Development - Physical Development -Communication and language - Literacy - Mathematics - Understanding the World - Expressive Arts and Design. If you want to find out more then click the link for '4 children-Parents guide'  

Preschool
  • Songs and Rhymes are very important for language development. For babies sing some nursery rhymes or make up some rhymes while pointing to or stroking their hands, feet cheeks etc. As they get older, songs and rhymes are important to encourage repetition, rhythm and rhyme. This sets them up for learning to read
  • Exploring water and sand. So important for finding out about the world and to learn how to experiment. All good scientist started by just playing with and exploring different things that they could change and manipulate.
  • Using texture and sensory trays help with finding out about the world around them. It develops using all of our senses. When out on trips talk about what they can see, smell, hear and feel. 
  • Painting and mark making develops fine motor skills which are needed as they get older for writing 
  • Imaginative play develops imagination. This can be in the form of small world toys or home corners. Home corners allow them to become someone else and act out a part.
Lot's of ways to have fun in the pre-school years
Primary and Beyond
  • Science experiments always good fun and there is a lot you can do without getting any dangerous or expensive equipment. 
  • Quizzes and Games. If you want to find out if they have understood a concept or some information they have been learning about, then why not make up a quiz game? Or get them to make up a quiz game and ask other members of the family some questions. 
  • Hot Seating.  This is an excellent way of exploring characters in a story you have been working on. They (or you) become the character and the other person asks questions. For younger children this works very well with familiar stories and fairy tales. It can lead to a deeper understanding of a characters motives (like the big bad wolf). It could also lead to writing out a familiar story from a different characters point of view. 
  • Field Trips. An educational day out is always a good thing. Not only will they learn about the given topic, they will also had an opportunity to learn about geography, navigation, following Sat-Nav, distance different environments and so much more. Use your phone, or let them use your phone to take photos, record sounds and make notes. Take a drawing pad and pencil/notebook or clipboard and paper. Apart from the normal visits to zoos, museums etc - field trips can be about collecting data for graphs about the local area (or a contrasting area).
  • Imaginative play. Pretending to be someone else should not stop because you are getting older. Ask them to write a script and act it out on film. Be a newspaper reporter and film them giving some information from a news desk. Be a weather man. Act out a scene from a play.
  • Using Power Point (or Google Slides). They can learn how to create fantastic presentations, make a printable book for their topic work, learn how to animate the objects on the screen, learn how to create their own clip-art using  shapes, learn how to change their Power Point presentation into a film. Not only is it good for all of the things, it takes the pressure off of reluctant writers and enables them to create fantastic work for their topic.
I will be adding more ideas soon for Research, Animations, creating websites, gardening and DIY, designing and making models, making raps and songs to help remember facts, painting, making own clip-art, playing computer games and why they are important as a learning tool, learning coding and more.
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