Entertain and Educate with These Fun Activities
This article was contributed to LWM by Jenny Wise of Special Home Educator.
That 4-letter word pretty much sums up how most kids (and parents) feel about the outdoors from November until March. It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s dreary. But without ample exercise, social interactions, and unstructured activities, life becomes a bore – another 4-letter word that spells trouble for kids, tweens, and teens. Here are a few ways to use your technological savviness to tackle tedium and beat the winter blues.
Give science a chance. Science has always been an important topic for kids of all ages. But unless you have a degree in chemistry, teaching science may be out of reach. Enter the internet. Within its vast reaches you’ll find everything you need to help your budding biologist or emerging engineer pursue their personal passions. These seven ideas from Earth Science Jr. utilize Legos, magnetic tiles, and inexpensive block games to help teach the fundamentals of architecture and encourage young scientists develop their brains and their fine motor skills.
Move and groove. If you have a smart TV, chances are it came preloaded with the YouTube app. This means you have access to thousands of dance tutorials with more being added online each and every day. Dancing is an enjoyable activity that works like a double agent. Your kids will not only have fun moving and grooving but exercise will refine their mind and body coordination with each pirouette or, for the pop-culture inclined, dab. Before you fire up the tube, make sure your home theater/home entertainment system is up to the task. Do your research before you invest in a home theater system, however. As seen on Family Living Today, these systems can range in price from anywhere from about $169 to $1500 or more.
The early bird sketches the worm. If your kid isn’t the dancing type and you can’t get them interested in science, consider using your computer to find online drawing tutorials to help them master an art they may admire. With the popularity of Marvel and DC comic movies, your son or daughter may wish to learn how to draw comic characters. If they are into Pokémon, an anime drawing session might pique their interest. Drawing has many benefits including improved memory and communication skills along with stress relief and the advancement of a child’s emotional intelligence. A sketchbook and pencils will set you back less than $20.
It’s music to your ears. Children with well-developed auditory senses may enjoy taking music lessons without having to leave the comfort of home. Many local schools around the country offer this option. Before you sign up for an online music class, you will need to help your child figure out which instrument they are most comfortable learning. Beginners may do well with the keyboard while more high-energy tweens and teens might wish to consider the more aggressive actions associated with drumming. If your older teen is already proficient in an instrument, he may even be able to use his skills to teach others. Although most musically-inclined students won’t go on to be the next Mick Jagger, teaching music is a rewarding way to learn the responsibilities of adulthood.
Here’s another 4-letter word that you’ll actually want to read: soon. As in, soon winter will be gone and the kids can burn their energy in the outdoors where they can’t break your grandmother’s fine china. But until then, take advantage of the gifts the internet has given you. Don’t be ashamed to amplify your home entertainment offerings or use YouTube to capture their colored-pencil-loving hearts. After all, the goal is to educate and, when you need a little help, you have unlimited resources right at your fingertips.