Post by an Engaged Home contributing writer. Edited and approved by Nathana.
There is no great substitute for hands-on experience. We can take a tour of the Grand Canyon online, but it will never take our breath away like seeing it in person. Moreover, opportunities to let our kids learn outside the box are enriching and memorable. Here are some activities you can do with your little ones during the evenings and weekends to boost their brains and have fun in the process.
Baking incorporates science and reading instructions/reading comprehension. Unlike cooking where recipes can easily be adapted, baking is very precise and teaches children the skill of precision when closely following a recipe. It teaches kids to be more detail oriented, a very important skill for many jobs and situations in life. Plus you get to have fun decorating which is good for creativity. If all goes well, getting to taste test or eat the results make it extra enjoyable. 😉 You can also encourage character building by having your children think of someone they would like to deliver the goodies to, like an elderly person or neighbor.
There are plenty of simple recipes online you can start with, and once you’ve mastered those you can move onto slightly trickier ones. Baking gives children practical kitchen skills–measuring, weighing, setting timers, and adjusting the temperature on the oven. You can’t beat a fun, productive hobby that most children will enjoy.
Science is an incredibly interesting subject that encourages experimentation and hands-on activities. You can buy science kits for kids to help with doing experiments at home. They’re created in a way which is engaging and fun while still allowing kids to learn and develop new skills.
Astronomy is also a fascinating subject to teach to kids, and it can tie in with history, literature, mythology, and even religion. There are a huge range of activities you can do as your children learn about earth science. You can practice recycling, visit conservation centers, hike a volcano, etc. The possibilities are endless.
Growing things from scratch takes patience, care, and dedication–great skills for children to learn. It also helps to educate them about their food and where it comes from. In a world of convenience where we can be very detached from this knowledge. Gardening teaches children that if you put the effort in now you will be rewarded with a great crop later. Plus, you can incorporate science into this, and after you have grown some vegetables–like zucchini–you can do some baking with your own, home-grown food!
Also, safely teaching kids the vanishing art of canning and freezing fruits and vegetables gives them skills few people have that can save money and promote healthy eating.
Camping teaches kids some fantastic skills. They can learn how to put up a tent, how to build and light a fire, how to forage for food, and so much more. Getting them away from their screens and back to nature is a fulfilling experience for children to have; plus it can help to keep them fit and active. Camping is cheap and makes for a fun family vacation during the warmer months. Just pack up the car and head off to your nearest camp site!
What are your favorite skill-building activities to do with your kids?