Turn off the TV and.......
- Make a nature collage. Collect sticks, feathers, leaves, flowers and other natural materials to make a seasonal collage. This activity encourages you and your children to take a closer look at everyday objects in nature and to appreciate the seasonal changes in our environment.
- Have a scavenger hunt. Give your children a list of objects to look for. For instance, a feather, a purple flower, something that is red. This can be done virtually anywhere!
- Play a board game. Board games are wonderful for spending time together as a family, and include all kinds of opportunities for learning. For instance, rolling two dice requires counting and simple addition; fun maths for young learners.
- Create some outdoor art. Use chalk to decorate your driveway, footpath or walls. Don't forget to include hopscotch!
- Go for a walk. Foster a sense of community by walking through your neighbourhood and saying hi to your neighbours. Collect cuttings from local gardens to grow at your house – plants that are thriving locally are already suited to the local conditions.
- Tidy up. So this doesn't sound like the most fun suggestion but children tend to appreciate a sense of order in their learning environment. Ask them to help sort out their bookshelf or collect similar objects into one area. It will be easier for them to find what they're looking for if it's organised.
- Make a cake. This can be a bit of a messy activity but the results are worth it! This activity also covers a number of learning areas – researching a recipe, writing a shopping list, purchasing the required ingredients from a budget, weighing and measuring ingredients, checking the temperature and timing. If you halve or double the recipe there are even more opportunities for practising maths.
- Make up a silly story. Each member of the family can write alternating lines of a story or poem. This has the potential to be very silly and hilarious!
- Go to the library. Libraries are wonderful resources – aside from books you can find CD's, DVD's, audio books and computer games. Many libraries offer story and craft activities for younger children during the week and for older children during school holidays. Some also include toy libraries which is a low-cost way of accessing a wide variety of puzzles and board games.
- Go to the museum. Many museums have online mailing lists to let you know when new exhibits and workshops are coming up; excellent free and cheap learning opportunities for homeschooling families.
- Visit a friend. Build your community by making time for friendship and shared learning with other homeschooling families.
This article first appeared in Village Ink e-zine.