When it’s holiday time and you’re caring for the kids while their mums and dads are busy at work, it can be taxing on any nanny to try to dream up new and exciting ideas to engage them. They need entertainment, but of course you don’t want to let them loose on the iPads just yet.
You can’t take them out for ice cream all the time, so how about getting them to learn something and have fun while doing it? Here are 7 fun ways your charges can learn under your watchful eye these summer holidays!
Blind them with science
Not literally, of course. Depending on the ages of the children, you can choose science kits that suit their needs. You can order crystal growing, geodes, science volcanoes and even slime on Amazon - choose next day delivery and your kids will have a great time learning about science in a hands-on way.
Take them to see music or the arts
Learning isn’t all about studying from books or memorizing facts. One of the best ways to get your charges to learn something is to bring them to a cultural event like a jazz concert, dance performance, or even an art exhibition. Ask them questions to engage them with the material such as what instruments are being used, the styles of art you’re viewing, and so on. If you want to make it more academic, encourage them to write a short report after the show!
Play a game of chess
While this surely won’t work on younger children, elementary-aged kids can learn the basics of this classic game. It teaches strategy and how to think critically, something that is wonderful for young minds. Try downloading and printing some simple chess puzzles to help your charges grasp the basic moves of the game.
Design your own game
Kids of any age will adore this idea, though arguably, younger ones will need you to work with them. Older ones can busy themselves dreaming up ideas in their rooms and presenting them to you during teatime. Let them design their own board games and then, the real fun begins when you get to play them together. It allows them to explore their creativity while coming up with logical rules to devise the game.
Cook dinner together for Mum and Dad
Cooking is such a fun way for kids to learn! Even little ones can get in on the fun. It’s also very scientific, especially if you’re baking. You can teach them how to measure and have them follow the recipes, not to mention proper kitchen safety. Plus, you’ll have help getting food on the table and that will make everyone happy; for picky kids, encouraging cooking their own food is a great way to ensure that they eat what they make.
Create a mini-book club
Reading is a learning activity that never goes out of style. But instead of commanding your charges to go and read for a spell, take them to the library and have them select a book to read. Read it too and assign a reasonable number of pages to cover in a designated time frame, then discuss it together.
And finally, one of our favourite ways to sneak some learning in with the fun is to have the kids create art. Allow them to try to imitate Mum and Dad’s painting over the mantel or devise their own artful cover for a favourite book or DVD. If you can’t handle mess from paint, allow them to design it digitally.
With these fun learning ideas to use over the holiday, kids won’t even notice they’re learning; that’s the best way to make it stick!
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