The reality is, children are constantly learning, no matter what they’re doing. Of course, their most ‘traditional’ learning will happen at school, but that’s not where learning is restricted to. Fun learning can happen anywhere. Take a look below for some our ideas on how you can create a fun learning environment for your child/children!
How Do I Create Fun For My Child?
– Exploit interests / Feed curiosity
– Allow child-led, open ended discovery with few rules
– Allow silliness / Story telling / Jokes
– Connect with music / Dancing / Bubbles
– Take time to offer “surprise” treats
– Explore the arts together
– Encourage social engagement
– Share your favourite memories from your childhood
– Involve them in plans anticipating big events like birthdays & Christmas
– Pet animals
– Connect with nature
– Seeing life through the eyes of a child
– Balancing the need to achieve with time off
– Should kids be bored?
– Encouraging creative confidence
– Making time to reward & relax
– Parties / Gifts / Social events
– Congratulating achievement
- 1) What Kind of Toys and Games Can Help My Children Learn in a Fun Way?
- 2) How to Make Reading Fun for Kids
- Have books dangling from the ceiling
- Have an array of bookmarks in different designs to choose from
- Have a headlight with a torch – so reading in the dark
- Have lots of soft toys to read out loud to
- Have a bean bag or inflatable chair to sit on (something different from their usual seating)
1) What Kind of Toys and Games Can Help My Children Learn in a Fun Way?
It tends to vary depending on the age of your child, but luckily we have a useful age category on our website which helps you determine the toys, games and books that are most suitable.
For Babies and Toddlers
For this age group there is a lot of fun to be had doing simple tasks. In this age category you’ll find lots of simple toys with bright, bold colours and simple functions. You want your baby or toddler to gain confidence and have fun whilst practising simple functions such as hand movements, hand-eye-coordination, shape / colour recognition, and even their motor skills.
Preschool (ages 3 to 5)
In this age group you’ll start seeing a lot more use of letters, numbers, shapes and animals. At this age children have a basic understanding of numbers, letters and shapes and are constantly developing their knowledge and use of these concepts. It’s great to use fun activities, toys and books to make them feel excited and enthusiastic about numbers and letters, and to help them feel proud of their knowledge. Having fun with numbers and letters also preps them for school too, where these things become a focus. If you can start teaching your child how fun words and numbers can be, then school is a more exciting prospect for them.
Ages 5 to 7
Ages 5 to 7 are when most children start to feel comfortable and confident in school and their school routine. They’ve passed the nursery stage, and school time moves away from the ‘getting to know you’ playtime, and instead starts to focus more on ‘traditional’ learning techniques and curriculum education. At this age it’s likely your child is becoming interested in certain topics and concepts, and they may come home with lots of curious questions.
Toys for this age group should encourage children to see school subjects in a fun way. You’ll notice toys for this age group will encourage curiosity and will engage children with intrigue and puzzles. Intellectual puzzles are relatively new to children of this age, and they’ll find this element of learning extremely fun and challenging. This age group are also very proud to learn new things and find lots of fun in ‘showing off’ their knowledge – so encourage this and have fun with it! Creating experiments, solving mysteries, experimenting with science, producing crafted items – are all educational but extremely enjoyable too.
For many children, it is when they reach 7 (or older) that they may start to experience insecurities about their intelligence – which is something you’ll want to think about when playing and learning. By having fun toys and practising fun learning at home, you can help develop your child’s education and development in a safe and low-pressure environment. Taking their education beyond what their school offers, using fun toys, will help encourage them in any of the subjects they feel a little unstable in. Fun learning at this age is also a great opportunity to increase their passions and interest in the topics they love at school – by expanding their knowledge in a fun and exciting way. A lot of the toys in this category help to do exactly this, and you’ll see your child’s confidence boost.
2) How to Make Reading Fun for Kids
Whilst some children will adore reading from that very first bedtime story, others are more reluctant readers and need a little help seeing it as fun or entertaining. Luckily, there are so many things you can do to help reading become something your children love and associate with fun. Here, we’ve put together some ideas that can help make reading fun, and help make storytime something they look forward to.
Tip 1: Don’t Be Afraid to Get Silly
If you have any embarrassment about reading aloud, it’s time to leave your embarrassment and ego at the door. Children just don’t care, and all they need to have fun (most of the time!) is to see you having fun too. The easiest and quickest tip on this list, is to simply start being silly when it comes to storytime. Make silly character voices and even make funny faces for different characters. When your children see you enjoying reading, they’ll start to enjoy it too.
Tip 2: See it From a Child’s Eyes
Remember, that even though we as adults know all the plot twists and characters in most classic children’s books, your children don’t! They’re reading all of this for the first time, and if you can approach reading with fresh excitement – so will they. Imagine you’ve never read ‘James and the Giant Peach’ and think of how wondrous that concept is, and how amazing the idea would be. Treat it with amazement and curiosity – and encourage them to as well. Experiencing those feelings together can be a real turning point for children, and really relax them into enjoying reading once more.
Tip 3: Pick the Right Books
It sounds obvious, but picking books your child will love, is a key step to helping them enjoy reading. We know at school they may not have much control over reading – but at home they do and so it’s important to find books they love. Look for topics that make them curious, ask questions and laugh. Those are all key signs of enjoyment and excitement.
Tip 4: Create a ‘Reading Den’
If you create a new area of their bedroom or playroom, just for reading – it immediately makes the activity more exciting and more interesting for your child. Try and make the reading den as fun as possible, and make it a real feature. Here are some ideas:
Tip 5: Visit the Library
If you’ve never taken a day trip to the library before, it’s time to find out where your local one is! Children love the library and it’s a fantastic place to get them excited about books and reading. Let them explore the shelves, and encourage them to make their own choices too.