In the age of the Internet and smartphones, learning should be a piece of cake. Still, many children have considerable difficulties learning. Although the exact culprits for this are unknown, a mixture of too much screen time, brain fog, and media oversaturation is probably the likely cause.
To offset some of the negative effects technology has on your children, let’s consider some hands-on activities.
How Kids Learn the Best
“Kids learn the best when they are given a chance to interact with the environment,” says Ana Mayer, senior editor at SupremeDissertations. What children of the 21st-century lack are exposure to the outside world and enough chances to interact with the objects around them. No wonder children have issues memorizing or understanding simple concepts surrounding them – there is no app that can substitute for what your backyard has to offer.
Why Hands-On is the Best for Children
Hands-on learning is the best approach to teaching children about the world around them. The smartphone screen does show breathtaking pictures, and headphones can stream HD sound, but the tactile and motoric functions are put aside when interacting on the screen. For this reason, it is usually suggested that children are given hands-on activities – this is the way that children have been learning for thousands of years, after all.
Top Hands-On Learning Activities for Children
But which hands-on activities are the best for your children, you may ask? Well, not all activities are created equal, and not all of them are suited for children of all ages. For this reason, we will focus on pre-school kids and toddlers and offer you top DIY learning activities for kids:
Gardening is one of the best DIY activities out there. Activities in the garden combine the visual, auditory, and motor functions of your children to ensure proper brain development and a healthy, flexible body. Let children have a small corner in your garden all for themselves. This will also give them an opportunity to try out different kinds of plants, smell, touch them, and if the plants happen to survive, different shapes and colors of their flowers as well.
Clay modeling is not suited for very young children. However, as soon as you are sure your kids will not accidentally (ahem, ahem) swallow pieces of clay, you should let them go at it and try to make their own clay figurines. This will give children a chance to experience different clay textures and improve their fine motor skills. It will also give them a chance to see how they can reshape objects and help them memorize shapes and reconstruct them.
Story Drawing and Painting
Story drawing and painting are some of the children’s favorite activities. Ask yourself: “Who could write my research paper” and hire the same people to write stories with your kids as protagonists in them. Then use those lazy summer afternoons to read the stories to them. Each child should then choose their favorite scene and draw it. Coloring may not be the best option for kids under four but should be fine with supervision for everybody older.
Woodworking is a bit more demanding. Far from a chisel, woodworking can also mean putting leftover pieces of wood together to recreate some shapes. Show children how different shapes can resemble animals and plants and let them experiment on their own. Woodworking can help children plan their activities, understand step-by-step instructions better and learn about how complex shapes are in reality made of simpler shapes.
Chalk Obstacle Course
Chalk obstacle courses are a great activity you can do on your driveway. Simply take chalk in different colors and let children draw their own courses. You will be amazed by how quickly children will come up with very imaginative courses that never would have occurred to you. If the kids know how to ride a bike or a tricycle as well, you should let them trace the course on them – all the more fun. These activities improve children’s motor skills and help the development of their 3d-space coordination.
A pretend camp in your backyard is a great opportunity to learn multiple things at once. Besides learning how to erect a tent and build a pretend bonfire, children can also learn about how to roll out and up their sleeping bags, how to walk with a backpack on their shoulders, and can even learn a little about the weather and the stars. There are many benefits to staying outdoors. Bugs, flowers, and trees are all welcome as well.
Learning is such an essential part of our lives. We learn from the day we are born until the day we die. For this reason, it is necessary to give children a good start and help them stay away from the screen for at least a while in the day. Gardening, painting, woodworking, you name it, children will enjoy it.