Learning begins at home. Whether it’s good behavior and proper manners or basic life skills like dressing up with minimum assistance, parents have a significant role to play in their children’s education. This is especially true when it comes to schooling. Indeed, there are a lot of classroom lessons that you can teach using simple objects you can find lying around at home. Here are some examples to get you started.
Teach your kids the alphabet and basic words with the help of magnetic and colorful letters. Repurpose old cookie sheets into magnetic boards and have a spelling competition or draw the letters on the trays and ask you children to stick the magnet onto its partner. If you have a set of number magnets, you can use them to teach your kids to count as well as some simple math operations. If don’t already have these magnets at home, you can easily purchase them online for $10 or more, depending on how many letters and numbers are there in the set.
But don’t stop at just words and numbers. You can also use magnets to teach about colors and shapes and, if you have older kids, the concept of magnetism itself.
Have you accumulated a number of silicone wristbands from various events you’ve attended over the years? They’re easy to repurpose as learning materials, like teaching about colors and their different shades. You can also combine concepts such as colors and shapes; for example, you can ask your child to give you the yellow wristband with a black circle. You just have to be a little creative, based on the designs and colors of the wristbands you have.
If you don’t have a lot of these wristbands at home, you can have customized silicone wristbands made for very affordable prices. This way, you can also personalize the wristbands to be able to teach more lessons. Later on, when your kids are of school age, you can let them wear their preferred bracelets as a unique incentive to go to class. You can even have silicone wristbands coated with natural oils to repel mosquitoes, giving the young ones some extra protection while they’re away from home.
Socks are great for teaching about colors, patterns, sizes, and simple arithmetic. You can play games like Find the Partner, Odd Man Out, or Touch the Color. Once finished with the game, you can use the socks to teach about simple chores, like returning things to their proper place. And of course, you should definitely teach your kids how to dress themselves up once they’re old enough — starting with putting on their socks!
Spoons and Forks
Just like socks, you can use spoons and forks to teach your children about numbers, matching patterns, and the concept of big and small. You can ask them to count how many spoons and forks are there, how many spoon-and-fork pairs they can make, or how tines there are in total. If you have colored plastic spoons and forks, you can up the ante by asking your kids to match spoons and forks of the same color.
As with socks, once you are finished with the activities, you can use these utensils to teach the importance of keeping things organized. You can even switch up the organization scheme from time to time to help teach your kids the value of paying attention to details and listening to instructions.
Coins can be used to teach a number of mathematical concepts. Prepare small plastic cups labeled with a number and ask your child to place the corresponding amount of coins. It doesn’t matter if they combines pennies and dimes at first — the actual value of the coins can come later when they’re older and can already grasp the idea of addition and subtraction.
When it all comes down to it, you can turn almost any common object into an educational implement with a little creativity and imagination. Remember: learning isn’t and shouldn’t be confined in the classroom. What’s more, you can also turn a simple learning session into an opportunity to bond and create happy moments with your children, which are also important parts of their education.