If you’re a kid, nothing squashes an afternoon of outdoor fun like poor weather. That doesn’t mean downtime needs to be spent in front of the television, although you might consider encouraging your kids to spend a little time in front of a screen. No, not for computer games or immersing in social media. Rather, to use it as an educational tool to stimulate their minds, keep them moving, and (in a fun way) prepare them for the future. Here a few ideas so your kids can stay amused—and you can keep your sanity—despite poor weather.
Learn to Play an Instrument
Along with the fun factor, there are copious benefits that come with learning to play an instrument. These include improving academic skills, developing physical skills, gaining a greater understanding of discipline and patience, boosting self-esteem, and acquiring knowledge of other cultures. When considering what instrument your children should play, make sure they are genuinely interested in it and have the patience and temperament to maintain lessons and practice. If they become dedicated enough after online tutorials, research the best model—be it a saxophone or a clarinet—for their age and skill level.
Sharpen Science Skills
With the promising future of STEM, experts believe that the sooner kids become associated with science, the better. Why? Because even conducting a simple science experiment has the power to help establish a curiosity that can lead to greater things. Science helps kids develop life skills while influencing their future on both a personal and career level. It takes nothing more than a quick Internet search to find step-by-step guides for some really cool science fun.
Adopt Healthy Habits With Exercise
Approximately one in three American kids are overweight or obese, which begs the question: How are your kids staying active? While school activities are helpful, there are several online YouTube videos that can help stimulate movement in children without feeling like a “workout,” whether that means dancing, aerobics, or yoga. Make it more fun by setting up an environment within your home that makes it easy for them to move around without compromising your furniture.
Boost Brain With a Foreign Language
Along with being at the forefront for acquiring a better job, learning a second (or third-plus) language can benefit your children in many ways, including having a better handle at grammar and reducing dementia in the future by four-plus years. There are several free online resources that can inspire your children before enrolling them in something more serious (and costly), so start there and see what sparks. You never know what international doors can open for them by exploring another country in their living room.
Increase Awareness With Art
Art is a great outlet for people of all ages because it’s been proven to stimulate the brain, aid in education, develop self-esteem, and help kids gain the tools necessary for comprehending life experience. Add in communication and problem-solving skills, and you’ve got yourself a great activity—online or otherwise.
When not under your direction, it’s important to keep tabs on how your kids are spending their time online. Case in point, surveys reveal that the majority of parents are unaware of what their children are doing online. Don’t just place your kids in front of a screen and hope for the best. Make sure you’re regularly checking in with them and asking for feedback on what they’ve learned so you can feel confident in knowing that they’re on the right path.
Jenny Wise created Special Home Educator as a forum for sharing her adventures in homeschooling and connecting with other homeschooling families.
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