Being indoors during winter is no fun for kids. You may find your kids lying around the house complaining of being bored or watching the same TV shows over and over. If you’re like most parents, you want your kids to use their brains and learn something while they’re stuck inside. Fortunately, there are ways to use their screen time to maximum effect and engage their growing brains.
1. Teach how to Apply Maths
One good way to get kids learning is to show them how what they learn is applicable to their daily lives. Math is a subject that kids, especially older ones, often think is useless in their lives. You can reinforce the use of math by showing kids how to apply math in everyday life. Showing kids how to double or triple a recipe by adding fractions is a good way to start. You could also show them how you budget for groceries or how to figure out the cost of a meal per person. Kids who are old enough to understand percentages can calculate the cost of an item that has been marked down in a store or website by a certain percentage.
If you have an older child who is interested in a certain career, have him or her research how math would be used in that field. While some careers don’t use much math at all, almost everyone has to know at least some degree of math for their jobs, even if they don’t think about it very often. For example, journalists are more interested in words than numbers, but they might need to calculate tax rate increases, wage and salary changes, or population decreases or expansion for stories.
2. Teach them New Language
Another fun way to expand your children’s minds is to teach them a new language. There are lots of apps for kids and adults to learn a new language, and before you know it, they’ll be ready for your next overseas family vacation. Learning another language makes kids more creative and better able to solve problems, and it can help them improve test scores in many subjects. Another great thing about these apps is that you can learn right along with them, and you’ll have a language buddy with whom to practice your conversation skills.
Have your kids ever dreamed of making a glass of lava? No? You can blow their little minds with some experiments from EarthScienceJr, a website offering lots of ways parents can teach kids about the world around them. Science lends itself to many fun lessons, and it’s an important subject in which kids can excel.
3. Have a Dance party
Stream YouTube to your TV, and you can have a dance party with your kids. There are lots of kids dance videos to choose from, and they can rock out in the living room. Dancing is good exercise, it’s a mood booster, and it helps develop balance and coordination. You can join them or keep them busy while you take care of the laundry.
4. YouTube drawing videos
Your little Picasso can better his or her drawing abilities with YouTube drawing videos. There are step-by-step videos that teach kids (and adults) how to draw their favorite cartoon characters, and following along will make them feel like budding artists. You may have to stop and start these regularly to let the little ones catch up. Most of the videos will say to what age they cater, so be mindful of your child’s level.
Kids may not like the idea of integrating school lessons to the home or their game-playing, but learning is everywhere. Even the games they play at home serve as development tools for their growing brains. Leading them to the right kind of play is a way to ensure that they will be successful in any subject they choose to study.
Jenny Wise created SpecialHomeEducator.com as a forum for sharing her adventures in homeschooling and connecting with other homeschooling families.