Guest article by Jenny Wise
Just because the weather is cold or rainy doesn’t mean your kids need to park in front of the television all day long. There’s a lot you can do to keep your kids productively engaged when they can’t go outside and school’s not in session. Here are some of my favorite educational activities for rainy days.
Little kids love science, but by the time they reach middle and high school, science loses its draw. It’s unfortunate, because according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM jobs are growing faster and paying higher than many other careers. One way you can foster a lasting love for the sciences is by getting kids involved in hands-on science experiments early in life. There are many simple experiments you can do at home for cheap, and many are perfectly safe and doable for young kids. Find inspiration for at-home science experiments online, like these instructions for making “lava” or this guide to making a levitating orb.
Learning sign language can improve your children’s spelling and communication skills, build their vocabulary, and refine their small motor skills, even if they don’t have a hearing impairment. Not only that, but hearing kids love sign language because it feels like their own secret code. Give your kids a leg up on language learning by starting them on sign language early. Children pick up signs quickly by watching instructional videos designed just for kids.
Kids don’t always realize that the math problems they practice in school have real-world applications, but you can drive the lessons home by finding ways to practice math in everyday life. Ask your kids to calculate how much the treat they want costs after tax, have them measure ingredients for a baking recipe, or determine how many pavers you’ll need for a new front walk. You can also turn to online resources to expose kids to real-world math applications from telling time through building a budget.
Online Drawing Tutorials
Self-expression is important to kids’ self-esteem, and drawing is one of the earliest ways that kids show their creative spirit. If your little ones love to draw, take their doodles to the next level with online drawing tutorials. There are many resources online for kid-friendly drawing tutorials, like the free videos at Art for Kids Hub or the step-by-step instructions at DrawingCoach.com. Skip lessons designed for adults, as the teaching style is often too dry to keep kids engaged.
Outer space is enormous and complex, and to your kids, it’s a symbol of all the possibility that the world holds. Encourage your budding astronomers to learn more about space by turning them on to National Geographic’s Passport to Space. There, kids can learn about the planets, discover black holes, find instructions for a DIY telescope, get tips on moon photography, and test their growing knowledge with fun quizzes.
Children love to learn. However, if you’re just sitting them down at the kitchen table with a workbook, it won’t seem like they do. Instead of fighting your kids’ preference for play over homework, find ways that they can learn while also having fun. Your kids will still get educational value out of rainy days, and you’ll get through with your patience intact.
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