Your family, like others, may have set specific dates for “family nights” so everyone can get together and generally have a good time. What if, instead, you and the family decided to have an “education night” where the focus of the afternoon is to learn something new, challenge creativity, and work on fun projects?
This article will share a few different ideas that can combine entertainment with education, which you and your children will absolutely love and, hopefully, take this concept of an “education night” and turn it into a regular event!
1. Create a book (together)!
Koobits has a really neat piece of software that is made for ebook creation. In terms of having fun creating something neat together, what better way than to work together on creating a story and then creating it in this software?
There are a ton of cool features that come with it:
· You can create books, presentations, and also interactive games
· You can use other languages Chinese, Malay, and Tamil
· You can share it with others through e-publishing
What makes it really neat in terms of entertainment and education coming together is that there are collaboration tools so your child could work on a book with their friends if they had the program too!
Imagine sitting down together, as a family, and creating a book that everyone has input on (which would make for one really interesting story).
2. Try a new game
The Atlantic is a great read on playing traditional board and card games with your children, taking a focus on how games can be a great educational tool to help kids understand problem solving, executive function skills, and cognitive engagement.
Games included in this article were:
The wonderful thing about these games is that they inject education through fun gameplay so kids won’t become bored, as if they felt forced to learn, as they would through text books and study.
3. Explore with documentaries
You’d be hard pressed to get a kid to sit down and watch documentaries like you would but it all depends on the topic and how it’s presented. Documentaries are absolutely amazing at educating and they can often be just as (if not more) entertaining than some big blockbuster movie.
A few good family movies you can find in the documentary section worth watching are:
· The Endless Summer
· Accidental Hero
To further add to the fun and education you could introduce a discussion afterward where everyone could share their favorite parts, what they learned, and if it gave them any ideas for future projects or goals. These movie nights can be very fun!
4. Combine creativity with the Web
Have you and your child/children ever sat down together at the computer for more than a few minutes to explore the Web? You might have a few rules as to where they can go but basically they’re still off in their own little world when they’re connected to the Net.
Why not, instead, access a few websites together, ones that encourage creativity? Sites like:
· Digital Vaults
· Memory Book Company
These sites give you quite the selection of creative activities that naturally inspire them to learn new skills and ideas. As one example – WordPress can be a great way to work together on learning how to build a website, write, and encourage creativity through experimenting with coding.
Next time you’re trying to find ideas for a “family night” consider one that’s focused on education rather than eating and going out. Try staying in and watching a documentary, try working on a website, try games of skill, or even creating books. Doing so will inspire your children to make learning a part of their everyday routine and that is a great habit that will help them throughout the rest of their lives.