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The Secrets of Easy Learning Through Play

Christine, wife, mother, homemaker for over 40 years, has an NVQ3 in Childcare & Education, a diploma in Naturopathic Nutrition and TEFL.

Learning through play

Learning through play

Discover How Learning Can Be Easy And Fun For Kids

What do you want your child to learn?

Does it sometimes feel frustrating when you try to teach them even the basic life-skills not to mention academic and more complicated things. What support resources are there available for today's parents, who often have to be teacher as well as carer, advisor, mentor and nurse-to name a few. Over the years I have found how effective it is when learning happens with kids in play. Even learning the basic things are so much more readily achieved and enjoyed. Children are quick to tell you when they are bored, but these learning lessons are so much fun for everyone, they will be kids play! Take a look for example, at the section below about fun things to do with children, where you will find 14 ideas that are credit crunch friendly. This practical parenting site will give you the parenting advice, support resources and parenting skills to help you achieve the "happy family" you have always wanted.

How Different Types Of Play Will Stimulate Your Child

Do you want to inspire and stimulate your child and help them to discover this wonderful world by using all of their senses?

Although you may have received valid parenting advice that a child needs to learn to sit still for certain lengths of time, depending on their age, their learning development is much more forthcoming when they use their bodies as well as their minds. Nowadays those who need extra sensory stimulation can visit sensory play areas, where the kids play in a room that is filled with all sorts of vibrant things that can be felt, smelt, seen, heard and even tasted.

Musical Instruments

When I do music and songs with groups of young children, just seeing a variety of instruments normally entices them into the circle, once they know that they can bang, shake and tap as well as sing. In fact, they are able to play simple instruments before they can sing. The singing itself will often tell a story or relay a message and give the feeling of just more play!


When it comes to story-time, the children can be encouraged wherever possible, to participate by crawling like the bear or pretending to sleep like the person in the story. They certainly remember the story much better if they are "Goldilocks"! When their own bodies are the visual aids, they can all join in and you hardly need any support resources. It also encourages lots of passion and excitement about the story, for they have the opportunity to develop more of their senses through the imaginative play. How many of us adults have forgotten our emotions and numbed our senses through all the years of having to "be seen and not heard" or "sit still and listen" for much of the time. A good parent will do what they can to keep their child alive and vibrant and able to enjoy every part of being themselves. Lots of action also helps to keep the children's attention, especially helpful for kids with adhd.

The Feely Bag

When young children learn about shapes and numbers, a feely bag with different familiar objects in it causes much curiosity, that usually makes them want to see for themselves what it is, how many sides it has, what it is called. Taking turns with the bag not only teaches them social interaction, but also keeps up the suspense of the activity.

Activities Enhance Children's Development

How they develop-

  • role play- learning to talk about their feelings and experiences
  • sensory play- learning about the world by using all their senses, with play dough, water play, gardening etc.
  • board and puzzle games- developing social skills such as taking turns, asking questions, working together, solving problems
  • games and outdoor play that develop motor-skills, co-ordination and concentration
Developing fine motor skills with playdough

Developing fine motor skills with playdough

Learning Opportunities

Discover how every experience of life can be one!

How many of us have counted the stairs each evening as we climbed them with a toddler at bedtime or counted the sheep in the field? What a great learning opportunity! I found that I was doing this so often at one stage, that when it did become time to stop, (because after all, a ten year old is not really interested in counting the sheep in the field anymore) it was hard to do so as I had been doing it for so long.

How to teach your child to dress himself

Could you use a parenting guide on "How to teach your child to dress himself"? Try playing pairs and ask him if he can find and put on two matching socks and trousers of the same colour, or sing a rhyme whilst you both dress together (don't worry if you can't sing in tune) such as: "this is the way we dress ourselves, dress ourselves, dress ourselves, this is the way we dress ourselves, all on a Monday morning." (to the tune of "here we go round the mulberry bush") This rhyme can be adapted for whichever activity you are doing, such as "this is the way we brush our teeth" or "this is the way we wash our face."

Kids In Play?

Obviously you can't always have kids in play and be thinking of fun ideas to get the job done, but it can become one of those parenting skills that will come more naturally each time you choose to adopt such a light-hearted method, rather than resorting to anger and frustration. If the latter method threatens to rear it's ugly head, it might be time to give yourself a minute or two to calm down first and think logically. What it really comes down to is making the most of the many learning opportunities that raising children present, as they discover the wonder of the world in which they live.

Combining Tasks

It might not be your parenting style to allow your child to help around the home, but it could be that in preventing them, you are depriving them of learning opportunities that could become valuable life-skills. As they do their bit (appropriate for their age) it can free you up to have some quality time with your child. It could also become another opportunity in itself of doing something together. You are far more likely to have a willing child if the invitation is "let's all help to clear away." If you are a typical parent who has little spare time and energy just to play with your child, try combining it with the essential learning times and discover that teaching them things isn't something for the professional practitioner alone, but a part of your practical parenting that can be fun. By combining the two, when appropriate, you will find these times become something to look forward to, rather than hard work.

Practical Parenting And Pocket Money

What do you think about Pocket Money?

Some parents believe that by expecting their child to earn their pocket money, they learn the value of things and also the virtue of hard work. Others feel that they want to show generosity to their child and let them have it unconditionally. Which method is best?

Children and Pocket Money

14 Fun Things To Do With Children

Credit crunch friendly things to do

Fun ideas for you and the kids that give everyone a rest from the computer games and TV. Sometimes they just don't want to play that board game and you can't afford to take them all to the cinema again. Yet it's such a lovely day, what can you do?

  1. Visit your local library and take out several books to inspire with new ideas such as cookery, insects, history of your area etc. that could be made into an activity. Holiday times can also be opportunities for everyone to read some different fiction books. If you have younger children, you might be able to time your visit to join in a story time, if your library provides this.
  2. Give everyone a container, put your old clothes on and have an afternoon in the country to pick some blackberries (late Summer). Ideal for the end of the Summer holidays when you have tried everything else. Then, you can make some yummy jam. Delicious! Save jam jars beforehand. Take a jar round to an elderly neighbour as an opportunity to visit them with your child. A good cookery book can provide many fun things to do with blackberries.
  3. Get On Your Bikes (great things when bored) and take off with a picnic to explore places you never get to see in the car. Check the bikes are roadworthy beforehand and teach them how to sort out the simple things themselves. Get them to help plan the route using a simple map.
  4. Make an outing of the weekly grocery shop by going somewhere different. Get them involved in planning and buying the next day's picnic as a bit of a project, talking beforehand about what they might include to make it a balanced meal. Get the children to help find and then pack items and reward everyone with a nice drink in the nearest cafe afterwards.
  5. Investigate and participate in local events, making use of vouchers in local papers.
  6. Explore local beauty spots where you could find many fun things to do with children, such as a sandy beach for swimming and sand sculpturing, a forest to build a den, or a mountain to climb to discover who has the most endurance!
  7. Make play-dough and let the kids play (save for rainy days). A library book could provide ideas of fun things to do with play-dough.
  8. Make shakers out of yoghurt pots and dried beans, or drum-kits out of old bowls or tubs covered with sturdy material such as towelling (to dampen) or simply turn upside-down, put on some music and sing along with your favourite songs. Get them started on learning a musical instrument. Not sure? Look at Learn how to express yourself drumming which tells you all about drumming and is suitable for all ages.
  9. An Autumn walk collecting leaves and later pressing and rubbing them. There are many fun things to do in the different seasons, but Autumn is a great opportunity to create some impressive artwork.
  10. Make decorations together or cards and gifts.
  11. Scrap modelling. There are many fun things to do with empty yoghurt pots, cereal boxes etc. which you should start collecting before the holidays.
  12. Practice performing a show, bake cookies and invite friends or family around to enjoy it. A small entrance fee could even be charged and given on to a local charity which the children could choose and find out about themselves.
  13. Set up a table in the front garden/garage and sell unwanted toys, clothes and bric-a-brac. Bake cookies and sell as well as an extra attraction. Any money made could be put towards the next outing. A good opportunity for them to give their rooms a big tidy and sort out! Doing such things when bored can be a great incentive when there is a reward at the end!
  14. Go clothes shopping at another town, including a break at half time, maybe promising lunch out to inspire good behaviour (use up any collected vouchers).

© 2009 Christine Hulme

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Leaving Feedback Is Kidz Play - Your comments here are welcome!

Enda McLarnon from Belfast, Ireland on December 05, 2014:

I say we should allow kids to be kids just like I was when I was younger. If I wanted some extra money I found ways of doing that including washing cars and selling firewood

Lorelei Cohen on June 24, 2014:

I am a firm believer that play is the ultimate way to learn. Anything enjoyable makes it easier to learn.

Shelly Sellers from Midwest U.S.A. on May 23, 2013:

I loved taking my son up to the library for their story time and checking out books for my son.

VSP on January 21, 2011:

Deserving of the blessing. Thanks for the lensroll have done the same for you.

Christine Hulme (author) from SE Kent, England on October 21, 2010:

@KarenTBTEN: Than you for the blessing!

KarenTBTEN on October 20, 2010:

A lot of good ideas here! Blessed by a SquidAngel.

anonymous on October 09, 2010:

Well, you have given me some great ideas. Thank you!

Indigo Janson from UK on September 15, 2010:

Your grandchild is going to have a lot of fun with you as a grandmother! Play is so important for a child's development, in fact at any age we can continue to learn through play (seriously!) but those early years are of course essential to healthy development. You came up with some great activities to chase boredom away too.

tandemonimom lm on April 20, 2009:

All great ideas!

anonymous on March 06, 2009:

Reminds me of the saying "You're not bored, you're boring. Go make yourself interesting!" So, thank you for being interesting:)

Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on February 26, 2009:

Thank you for joining the Unit Studies: Fun, Creative Hands-On Leaning Group.

Lee Hansen from Vermont on February 10, 2009:

The 14 things are all part of my lifetime, both as a child and as a parent. Lensrolled to Pastiche Family Portal as a parent resource.

tdove on February 06, 2009:

Thanks for joining G Rated Lense Factory!

a-ha-design on February 04, 2009:

I so like the lens, especially the 14 things to do when they are bored tips. Interesting!

5* :)

anonymous on February 02, 2009:

Thank you so much for joining my WELCOME PARENTS - THE PARENT PLACE group as well as for submitting this most welcome addition to our growing list of lenses. It is such a joy to have talented individuals like yourself become a member of my group! :) Again, a very heartfelt thank you! :) 5*'s for sure.

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