With the chill in the air and Halloween very close by, the holiday season has arrived. This is the time of winter breaks and ultimate family time. All this means more relaxed time with your child, and more opportunities for some quality moments of sharing, learning, and (most importantly) laughing together. Let’s take a look at some great ways to liven up the learning process by putting the focus on fun and participation.
- Storytelling and Music
As parents, a lot of us ran out and got all our old favorite books, from our own childhoods, to share with our kids. However, there are some great books coming out now, some that even stretch the definition of storytelling in a new way. Check out the multimedia experience that awaits you and your child with the world of music books. One such book garnering a lot of attention is A Little Spark by Chris Parsons, a new release that combines storytelling, inspirational music, voice acting and beautiful art in a complex and exciting way.
Using music to explore themes like honesty, sharing, self-confidence and teamwork can help deepen the impact of the message. The carefully curated voice talents bring the story to life. You would be surprised how many parents and teachers skip “doing the voices” when it comes to reading stories. Having the characters stand out helps your child connect with them and empathize about their situations. Music also backs up vocabulary words coming in, helping your child to understand and retain them better.
- Dance and Movement
Get shaking! Children have a lot of energy and need productive and healthy ways to release it. Besides taking a walk in the woods or playing in the park, you can get creative with your kids. Try an online child-friendly yoga class, especially on a rainy day. Doing age-appropriate calisthenics can also be a great way to get sweating and to bond with your child.
Another option is dancing, which is a good strenuous activity as well as a coordination builder. A great song can go a long way towards creating interest in a situation. Studies show that music and dancing also improve mood, balance, sensory development, literacy and understanding numbers.
- Craft Time
Break out the safety scissors and glue, it’s time to create! Having a craft box of dedicated supplies and odds and ends is a good practice for avoiding boredom and tantrums. While there are a wealth of options online, you can also check with your child’s teacher for an idea of what level and tools are the most relevant and fitting for the moment.
Combine your outdoor walks by using leaves and pinecones in art. Go over animals and plants by having precut magazine pictures of a variety of things for collages. Or let your child cut them out, the scissor use is great for hand-eye coordination.
- Memory Games
Games like bingo or memory cards can be a helpful way to train your child’s memory and vocabulary. This is also a fun way to tighten up shape, number, and color knowledge. Squares and rectangles may look alike but they do not equal a bingo. This could also be combined with your crafting as you can make the cards or bingo boards yourselves. There are also repetitive games like “I’m going on a picnic…” that rely on repetition and speaking. These are great brain teasers even for adults. As there are no materials needed, these are perfect for those long car trips.
Whatever the activity, the most important thing to remember is that you’re creating positive memories that will last a lifetime. In need of some more fun activity ideas? Head over to Be That Spark’s resource library, which is filled with worksheets, music, dance and fun activities that will keep your little ones busy in a positive way.