Scavenger hunts are loved by children of all ages. They’re outside in the fresh air, can move around and make exciting discoveries. You can use this as an opportunity to learn – and promote your child’s general knowledge with the next scavenger hunt.
Planning it is easy: creat the route, distribute hints and think of a task or question for each stop. For example, you can ask about facts about the world of plants (“What is the tree that you’re standing under called?”) or ask them to pick a specific number of flowers. This will keep the young treasure hunters busy till the very end while they have loads of fun and learn a lot.
Bonus Tip: A scavenger hunt doesn’t only have to offer the chance to learn general knowledge. You can also give maths questions or cut out letters to be put in the correct order. There are so many possibilities!
Math can also be fun! Instead of cramming dry, boring numbers, you can introduce numbers, figures, geometry and small maths tasks in their everyday routine. This will make maths suddenly tangible – and your child will learn how useful maths can be in everyday life.
For example, you can count stairs in a staircase together. Ingredients can be weighed when cooking, an apple can be sliced in to equally sized pieces and change can be calculated when purchasing things. Even word problems dealing with everyday situations are a possibility: “I take one plate and then two more out of the cupboard. How many plates do I have?”
Bonus Tip: Give your child a little pocket money early on. This is how they can get a feel for numbers and the value of things while also learning to differentiate between coins and bills.
Juggling is a great opportunity to playfully learn. It’s fun, challenging and awakens ambition. Your child will increase their capacity for concentration while simultaneously improving their hand-eye coordination.
In addition, juggling really isn’t that difficult. Start with one ball. Your child will throw it in the air and try to catch it. At some point, a second ball comes into play, and your child learns to keep two balls in the air simultaneously. With a bit of practice, it will even be possible to juggle three balls at once.
And by the way: You can craft your own juggling balls! Just wrap grains of rice in a piece of cling film. Then cut off the top half of a balloon and put the bottom half over the rice/cling film ball. Finally, pull the cut top half of the balloon over the ball, and you’re finished!
Clay offers innumerable ways to playfully challenge your child. For example, you can arrange a specific number of lumps of clay to represent each number – and then your child must form the actual numbers out of the lumps (1 lump of clay = 1, 2 lumps of clay = 2, etc.). Or you can draw letters on paper and your child has to then create them with clay according to your templates.
If the alphabet is still quite new for your child, you should go through the letters one after the other with them. This is how you can gently promote their learning on a step-by-step basis.
And by the way: Letters can also be learned in everyday situations. Whether at the breakfast table or on an advert you see while taking a walk: be on the lookout for letters. Which letters can your child discover and decipher?
Whether seeing, hearing or touching: the perception of the world around us is extremely important for us humans. We need our senses to orient ourselves in the world and to differentiate between the important and the unimportant. Children especially can have considerable problems with correct perception. But here’s the good news: you can even promote the development of this perception playfully.
Make a game out of it: which sounds can your child filter out of general noise? Can they hear a barking dog on a noisy street, for example? Can they hear a bird even though there’s loud music in the park? What is in the background of a picture, and what is in the foreground? What facial expression does a person in a photo have? Are they happy, angry or sad?
And by the way: Perception can be developed on holiday, too. Compare the sound of languages, the appearances of people or the country’s flora and trees.
It’s a long path. From the first word to the mastery of a complete vocabulary, it demands patience and time. Television, computers and smartphones slow down this learning process – because instead of speaking, your child is silent and merely consumes.
Whoever wants to promote the development of their children’s vocabulary and communication can try the following game: let you child comment on everyday situations. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing at the moment – your child can pretend to be a TV moderator and describe everything with their own words! From going shopping to getting dressed to driving in a car – this is how your child can practice speaking and learn to trust their own communicative abilities.
Important: Speak with your child as often as possible, and your child’s communication will noticeably improve.
Are you ready for the Olympics? Host your own version of the Olympic games at home and challenge your child’s dexterity and motor skills. Who will win the one-legged hop, the long jump or the daredevil bobby car race?
Let the kids crawl under chairs, jump over obstacles, and climb and exercise all around. This will promote the development of motor skills in a playful way, and the children will learn to coordinate and master their own bodies.
Bonus Tip: Reflexes and reaction times can be wonderfully trained with a reaction ball. Because of its special shape, it flies unpredictably through the air – which makes catching it more difficult and improves your child’s reflexes.
There are many opportunities to playfully learn. Whether you’re working on your child’s cognitive, emotional or creative development or their motor skills – you can selectively train all of them with fun and playtime.
Two things are particularly important when doing this: 1) Don’t pressure your child, and 2) always give your child ample room to play freely. Free play is important so your child can let their fantasies run free. This trains responsibility of self and when playing with others while also training their thinking skills. We wish you and your children lots of fun playing and learning!