Please welcome Guest Contributor, Maloy Burman.
Are your kids getting bored just staying in the house all day? Do you want your children to take a break from being on their gadgets every waking moment? Would you like to know what other activities there are that will keep them entertained and learning at the same time?
From taking robotic classes, online mathematics and English language sessions, or seasonal STEM camps, there are plenty of fun yet productive activities that kids can do.
Play and Learn
Learning can be made more compelling when there’s a good dose of fun mixed in. Robotics can be more enjoyable when kids see how it relates to their daily lives. STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – will be so much more exciting when taken with other like-minded kids and presided over by a seasoned STEM instructor.
Other educational subjects can be more pleasurable when kids can see or experience topics discussed in real life. Taking field trips to a bread factory, for example, can show them the value of mathematics, science, or robotics. Going to the park can teach them about Biology or improve their English language and communication skills. You can even make good use of your beach club membership and make swimming in the pool or strolling on the beach a teachable moment.
There are plenty of scientific studies showing the correlation between classroom fun and authentic learning. According to educational psychologists, kids learn and retain more information when learning is associated with strong positive feelings. That is why when you want to ensure that your child absorbs as much information as possible, make sure that he or she is also enjoying the activity.
Here are some examples and suggestions on what activities your child can participate in to have fun and be productive at the same time:
Robots usually capture children’s imaginations in many ways. They are the stuff that exhilarating movies, pretend play or sweet dreams are made of. What could be better for kids than actually learning how to create robots?
Robotics may sound intimidating to some parents and kids, but with educators and even toy companies have found a way to make it enjoyable and interesting for children today. Not only do they get to learn about programming or design concepts, but they can also get to make their own robots.
2. STEM Classes
Aside from robotics, there are also plenty of STEM classes that your kids might enjoy. These subjects include learning about the basic concepts of coding, programming, and other technology-related topics.
If your child is into games, then why not enroll him or her in a games development class?
Here, kids are taught the complete game development cycle followed by a series of guided projects. There’s also a mobile development course for kids where youngsters are introduced to the core concepts of the mobile app development cycle. They will then be guided to design their own mobile application that can be installed on both Android and iOS programs.
Other kiddie classes that your child can take are about Arduino, scratch coding, and Python levels 1 and 2.
3. Seasonal STEM Camps
STEM subjects can also be experienced through seasonal STEM camps. Whether it is spring, summer, winter, or the midterm break, these camps allow children to continue learning even on school breaks. These gatherings provide more in-depth instruction coupled with intensive hands-on experiences.
Additionally, aside from honing their knowledge about STEM topics, children also develop communication and social skills. Working with other kids can teach them cooperation and teamwork, as well as other positive values that they will need as they grow. These camps not only help sharpen children’s IQ but also their EQ.
4. Field Trip
When kids grow tired of classroom setups, it is also a good idea to let them experience learning out of it.
There are universities, museums, or other private companies that offer field trips and educational jaunts to kids. These are also wonderful opportunities for your child to learn outside school premises. It may also show them how the concepts they learned in school are used in real-life applications.
For example, a trip to the locomotive museum may impart more knowledge about the roles that math or science play in making trains work. A trip to an indoor tropical rainforest, for instance, can also teach kids about ecosystems and botany. Even a trip to the local bakery can teach kids about measurements, volume, and chemical reactions.
5. Visiting Leisure Spots
Leisure spots can also be used as educational venues. There’s a wealth of information that kids can learn while having fun in theme parks, kiddie activity centers, or even at the movies. Going to a beach resort, for example, can be fused with lessons on buoyancy, forces and motion, and the environment.
While this will require you to take a more active part compared to having subject-matter experts or teachers teaching them these topics in school, this activity can also strengthen your relationship with your child.
Balance is Key
Whether children learn inside or outside the classroom, the key is to achieve a balance. All work and no play can lead them to become disinterested easily. On the other hand, all play and no work might also lead them to a sedentary lifestyle and lost learning opportunities.
Your role as a parent is crucial. It is important that you involve your child in choosing classes or subjects to enroll them in.
Forcing them to learn something that they are not naturally interested in or inclined toward may only lead to resistance. It is best that they enjoy the topics so they absorb and retain the knowledge they learn. You should also try your best to be available and provide the guidance and support they need, especially during the formative years.
The Neuroscience of Joyful Education. https://www.psychologytoday.com/files/attachments/4141/the-neuroscience-joyful-education-judy-willis-md.pdf
Scientific Evidence Confirms learning must be Fun. https://advancemarbella.com/en/scientific-evidence-confirms-learning-must-be-fun/#:~:text=Recent%20research%20supports%20the%20beneficial,associated%20with%20strong%20positive%20emotion.
Maloy Burman is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Premier Genie FZ LLC. He is responsible for driving Premier Genie into a leadership position in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education space in Asia, Middle East and Africa and building solid brand value. Premier Genie is currently running 5 centers in Dubai and 5 centers in India with a goal to multiply that over the next 5 years.