One of my greatest joys is figuring out how my daughters can learn within their typical environment. Your kids don’t always have to be in a classroom to learn. With how fast our days go by and the little bit of free time we have as parents, it’s essential to take every opportunity to embrace any possibilities of extra learning. Follow along and see if you can try out any of these ideas below!
1. Family Game Time
There are so many new games that have been invented since Connect 4 and Guess Who (which by the way are classics and are worth keeping on the shelf). There is a growing trend of companies designing games which can involve the whole family and sprinkle in some extra skills. You can find games geared toward literally any subject: math, science, history, geography, spelling, strategy, problem solving, creativity, and more making this one of the most fun ways to include some extra learning. The exciting part of family game time is it can occur at any time during the day so feel free to accommodate your schedule. Finding a small block of time can provide some unique bonding time with your children.
2. Learn The Value Of Money
Going to the grocery store or meal planning is like clockwork for most families, but taking the time to involve your child once in a while could have long-lasting benefits. By including our children in planning our meals, they take pride in helping their family, and they also learn about the value of money. The concept of money and its worth can be challenging to comprehend, but by exposing our children at a young age to how it works can really help.
Sitting down and explaining what your family budget might be and how to achieve this, and how you also need to be conscious of the total cost are just a few skills they will learn. Having them look online or walking alongside you at the grocery store and discussing the difference in cost for very similar items will not only provide real world experience but opportunities to understand how quickly a dollar can go.
3. Family Field Trips
Did you know you can sign up for a culture pass at your local library and receive free admission tickets to local museums? Check it out HERE. Taking the family to local attractions is such a fun way to embrace your community while also learning more about it. Colorado Springs and surrounding areas are full of fabulous museums with a variety of topics from NASA to the Money Museum and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center to name a few. Taking time with your family to go explore and be a tourist in your own city can lead down so many fun educational rabbit holes, I bet you’ll even leave having learned something new, too!
4. Write A Letter
This older but classic way to communicate can be such a blast for children. In the age of technology and quickly getting responses, having children take the time to sit down, write out or draw something for a friend or family could be a delightful skill to teach them. The complete process of writing out a letter, addressing it, stamping it, sending it off to deliver and finally the sweetest part of receiving something in return is a priceless endeavor — a skill we don’t want any of these young generations to forget.
It doesn’t just have to be a birthday card. Get creative and have your child write about their newest hobby, the play they are in, their favorite movie or places they have recently visited to name a few ideas! Last year, my oldest daughter told me that she wanted to send a letter to the President at the White House, so we went through the whole process of writing the address and stamping. To our surprise, several months later, my daughter received a signed letter from the President!
5. Form A Book Club
Now this is one of my personal favorites as a total bookworm over here. Gathering with one or more families and forming a book club provides a way to dive deeper into books alongside friends. You can decide to read the book ahead of time or with younger kids, you can read a picture book together and have a craft for after. Supply snacks or everyone can bring their own. You can choose to host at your home or find a local park. There is no wrong way to do it. Gathering together and allowing for conversations among peers is such a fundamental skill for children to learn. This idea can also spark a love for reading, which is always a good thing!
I hope you found these ideas inspiring. Learning can truly occur in so many places, especially outside the classroom. I’d love to see you and your family enjoying one of these ideas, tag me on IG @jones.family.tribe so I can check it out!