The deep, dark winter months can be difficult for children. They are stuck in the middle of the school year with the holiday season break behind them and summer vacation in the seemingly distant future. Not only are they in the drudges of their academic year, but the harsh winter weather also takes away a lot of their outdoor playtime and enjoyment. After a while, the shorter days and lack of sunshine can lower their vitamin D levels, which can make your kids feel fatigued, listless, and even depressed.
One way to help your kids beat the winter blues is to encourage them to spend their free times with fun and educational activities both off and online. There are plenty of things to do that are available in the home that help them exercise both their minds and their bodies. Not only will they be entertained throughout the winter season, but they will also pick up useful skills that give them an academic edge over the kids spending their free time zoned out in front of the television.
Here are some fun and easy ideas for online educational activities.
Interactive, Everyday Math and Science
Nowadays, kids’ learning is all about engaging students and encouraging them to take ownership of their education. For instance, digital learning portfolios like FreshGrade now connect teachers, parents, and students so everyone involved is informed about the child’s progress and he or she can be more proactive when it comes to logging their work, documenting their progress, or even giving self-assessments. Build upon this work by encouraging activities where your child gets to experience interactive, everyday math and science applications.
Cooking with your children is a great way to engage with them and easily introduce simple mathematics into an everyday situation. Start by counting, weighing and measuring ingredients together and then move on to more complex reasoning problems e.g. we have made 2 litres of custard, how many 150ml Sinchies can we fill? The Sinchies website has loads of wonderful, simple recipes to get you started cooking with the kids, and stocking up the freezer!
Helping your children learn real-world math applications makes it easier for them to recall the processes when it comes to their education. Playing with Legos, constructing a maze, and creating patterns and shapes with magnets are all entertaining and educational activities that helps them practice precision, reason, and other mathematical principles that can help pique their interest in a STEM education.
Exercise Videos for Kids
If your kids have tons of pent up energy just waiting to be released, it can be pretty frustrating to see poor weather conditions get in their way. Luckily, the internet holds a plethora of fun and entertaining exercise videos — some are even specifically made to hold a child’s attention. From aerobics to yoga, there is something for every child’s interest. Not only will your kids burn off some of that seemingly endless energy (seriously, where do they get it?!), but these videos and tutorials can help teach them how to follow instructions while releasing the feel-good neurochemicals endorphins. Happier, healthier children… what more can you ask for?
Online Drawing Tutorials
If your child has an artistic side, help them refine their skills by introducing them to kid-friendly online drawing tutorials. Your child can learn how to craft new and exciting images while honing their listening and instruction following skills. You can find both instructional videos and written step-by-step tutorials that help your child grow as an artist on their own time. Or, if they are the independent type, sit them down with a jumbo box of crayons and a coloring book and let their imagination do the work. Whichever you choose is beneficial for your kid– an arts education helps develop motor skills, promotes creativity, increases problem solving, and more.
The winter months can be tough for a kid. They are stuck indoors most of the day while schoolwork gets a bit stale. Help shake things up by introducing them to fun and educational activities that motivate them and help improve vital skills. Interactive math and science help teach your children in a real world application for better recall in school. The internet is a great resource for free and kid-friendly exercise videos that help them burn off excess energy. Finally, encourage your child to tap into their creative side with online drawing tutorials or at home art time.
Article by Jenny Wise, Special Home Educator
Image via Pixabay