There are literally tons of games and activities to play with a child in order to make learning fun. One thing to always keep in mind when it comes to early learning is that the more fun, the deeper the learning.
We’ve put together a list of eight of our favourite learning activities that are fun to play, for both child and adult, and that centre around comprehensive learning.
1 – Make a puppet show
This game is great for engaging the senses and using the child’s creativity. Create a puppet theatre by using an old cardboard box and cutting a window out of one side. Work with your child to create puppets to use as part of their show, which can be made from recycled goods like other cardboard boxes or even old socks.
The process of creating and decorating the puppets and the puppet theatre is excellent for the child’s creativity, and even for encouraging recycling.
2 – Make slime
Playing with slime is excellent for the sensory system of the child, especially for desensitizing tactile defensive children. The process of making the slime itself is a great science lesson and good for teaching children about measuring as well as solid- and liquid forms. The best way to make it at home is using corn starch and water, adding in some food colouring for flair.
3 – Make a cereal box house
This is a great game for the child’s creativity and to encourage them to hone their fine motor skills.
Top and tail the end of an opened cereal box and turn it inside out. Get your child to cut out windows and doors and have fun decorating their house with whatever bits and bobs like old material or pictures in old magazines that they can find. The house can be used time and again for active, imaginary play.
4 – Rhyme and repetition
Reading nursery rhymes and getting the child to play different parts in the story each time, is a fantastic way of cultivating their love of reading all while enhancing their power of retention and memory.
Read the same book and encourage the child to read or recite different characters each time, using different voices. Be sure to include actions too!
5 – Create their own story
Allowing the child to let their imagination and creativity run wild with this activity is extremely beneficial, not to mention loads of fun for the adult too.
Allow the child to create their own story, listen attentively and always play along. Ask “and then what happened?” to encourage them to go into more detail where necessary. This activity is great for helping children improve their language skills as well as their public speaking abilities.
6 – Memory game
This game can be played at varying levels with children even before they can speak or read.
Create your own set of memory game cards from recycled goodies or use a store-bought game to help children learn to match and remember. This is fun for the whole family.
7 – The balloon alphabet game
A great activity for children who can already read or who at least know their letters of the alphabet.
Blow up 26 balloons and write one letter of the alphabet on each. Start with the letter ‘A’ and try and keep the balloons in the air as you go along. It’s good for the child’s fitness levels as well as their hand-eye coordination trying to keep one, two or even 26 balloons in the air at once.
8 – Dig up soil
There is nothing like getting outside and learning some lessons from Mother Nature. This geology-inspired activity simply involves digging in different parts of your garden and studying the soil. Encourage the child to look at the texture of it and ask them to identify any other distinguishing factors of the different soil types. The activity is excellent for cultivating a conversation about Earth and science.