Many children struggle to keep up in school. However, the situation worsened during the pandemic, causing millions of children to fall behind academically. For example, students were set back by one to five months in math and around one and a half months in reading.
While being a bit behind may seem oddly normal in the aftermath of the pandemic, that doesn’t mean it isn’t concerning. Students who fall behind academically between the 4th and 8th grades often don’t catch up completely. Overall, only 1-in-3 of the students who fell behind end up college-ready by the time they’re finishing high school.
Fortunately, there is something parents can do. In many cases, taking some classes in education is a smart move. It lets you home your skills and knowledge, creating pathways to improve your child’s access to growth opportunities.
After that, it’s all about using an engaging approach. By embracing the power of play, Ashton, ID, parents can help their children learn outside of the classroom while keeping the experience fun. If you’re wondering how, Playground Professionals shares what you need to know.
Outside Play to Enhance Learning
Outdoor play is critical for healthy childhood development. It instills a joy of physical activity, increasing the odds that children will remain active as they grow up. Plus, it combats childhood obesity.
However, the benefits can go well beyond the physical. Outdoor play often improves hand-eye coordination, which can lead to a stronger academic performance. Spending time in nature can also increase attention spans, enhance memory, and boost executive function, which can help students learn with greater ease.
If your student is struggling with a subject, make sure to incorporate outdoor play into their day. Even recreational activities can make a difference. However, you can also choose games that relate to the topic they’re struggling to grasp.
For example, gardening can be a great way to discuss science, plant biology, and food systems. Nature hikes are another solid choice for learning about the environment
Point-based ball toss games can assist with math skills. The same goes for crafting birdhouses, particularly when it comes to common measurements and fractions. Building and racing soapbox cars or small wooden racers can boost math capabilities while introducing physics. Mentos geysers are another great option for covering physics while bringing chemistry into the equation.
All of those activities balance fun with learning. Plus, they can take place outdoors, ensuring your child can spend time in nature while boosting their capabilities.
Fun Indoor Activities to Promote Learning
While outdoor play is usually best if you want to help your child learn, having some indoor activities at the ready is also wise. That way, they have an option for days when the weather isn’t ideal.
If your child is struggling with math, consider introducing a musical instrument. They’ll be introduced to mathematical concepts through time signatures, progressions, and beats per minute as they learn to play. This can make math feel more comfortable and natural.
Scavenger hunts can also be a great way to promote learning. You could create one for the alphabet for younger children, encouraging them to find items with names that correspond to various letters. You can also use a similar approach for colors or shapes.
With older children, you can adapt the scavenger hunt as needed. Suppose they’re struggling with a foreign language. In that case, you could provide them with a list of items in that secondary language, challenging them to find them within the home (and potentially providing a small reward when they do).
Ultimately, there are many ways to introduce learning while ensuring the experience is fun. Let your imagination run wild, allowing you to choose options that work best for your child.