Ask any kid if they’d rather play a game or do a homework assignment, and you’ll get an almost universal response. Kids aren’t always as inspired to learn their ABCs or numbers as their parents are. When kids are engaged in learning however, their interest can be a powerful tool in how well they learn.
Keeping kids engaged with learning is important to help them learn, but they need a little help to keep them interested.
Make a Reading Fortress
Reading is a critical skill and the basis for all learning. Even when a child has gone off to college, they’ll still be depending on their ability to read to understand their college textbooks. A child that is passionate about reading will spend more time practicing that skill—and a reading nook can be a key part to this success.
A small cozy tent, corner stacked with beanbag chairs, or a fun fort style platform make for amazing reading locations. When a fun hideaway is combined with books, it makes both the perfect place to read, and the perfect place to encourage learning.
Sandbox Style Play is Critical
It might seem like your kid is just goofing off when playing with blocks, art supplies, or even educational games like Minecraft. Open ended play items however, help build vital critical thinking skills. When kids play in an imaginative way, it encourages them to practice independent thinking.
A lot of tools key to learning are used in open ended play. When acting out a scenario with other kids, communication is important. They need to be able to describe what they want to happen in order for the play to continue. This may help build vocabulary, cooperation, and communication skills.
How does one make the tallest tower in the world without it falling over? What will they stand on when the tower is taller than they are? Basic problem-solving skills and critical thinking are used in novel ways during open ended play.
Engage with Kids
The most important tool in helping kids enjoy learning is your own attitude. Whether you are a teacher, a caretaker, or a parent, your own interest can help inspire theirs. If a child isn’t interesting in learning math, making a game out of it can help keep interest alive.
Kids often respond best when their authority figures are interested too. An active hand shows interest and can help inspire kids to do more.
Providing a child with books may not help them become interested if you don’t spend time reading with them. Sandbox style play is fun by yourself for a while, but really needs another person to truly take off. Presence is one of the most important things you can do to help spark a love for learning.
Learning is important for growth, whether you are 1 or 100 years old. The ability to enjoy learning is a gift you can give your child that will be useful to them their whole lives. Whether you foster that love through playing games or providing a lavish selection of books, keeping that love alive is one of the most wonderful gifts you can give a child.