When your child steps foot outside of the classroom at the end of the school day, learning doesn’t stop. Children are constantly receiving an informal education from their environment, and from what parents teach them at home. Learning through experiences outside of the classroom helps children build bridges between theory and reality. By allowing children to be curious and explore the world around them in different ways, we provide the opportunity to engage their “natural learner” within.
Here are some simple ways you can help your child learn after school and outside of the classroom:
Play family-style games.
Young children often learn best through play experiences. Games such as Uno are great learning opportunities that can be played together as a family. Playing Uno reinforces numbers and colors, and teaches young kids some important skills such as pattern recognition and the relationship between numbers and objects. Older kids will also benefit from lessons in logic, reasoning and strategy.
Bingo is another fun option for a family game night. Bingo sharpens a child’s listening and memory skills, and aids in the ability to visualize shapes and objects and match them on a card. These skills will help children improve their reading and math abilities.
Board games such as Scrabble are great for advancing a child’s spelling, vocabulary, and literacy skills. For older kids, it also teaches math skills as they learn how to add up the points and strategize to create the words that will earn them the most points.
Exercising is a great way to teach your child about the importance of keeping your body healthy. Whether you decide to go rock-climbing or play a game of basketball, exercising is a great way to emphasize the importance of staying physically active. Exercising through sports like soccer and softball are also a great way to build teamwork skills and teach lessons about adhering to rules.
Exercising doesn’t have to be too strenuous. It can be as peaceful as doing yoga, which teaches mindfulness, or as simple as walking the dog together as a family, which teaches responsibility.
Take your child with you to run errands.
Taking your child out with you, whether it’s to the grocery store or the dry cleaner, is a great opportunity for your child to spend one-on-one time with you. As they take in the world around them and see how you react to different situations, they learn valuable lessons from these real world experiences. Children often learn by imitation, so this is a great way for you to role model appropriate behaviors and establish certain values that you want your children to learn.
Learning after school at Parker-Chase
At Parker-Chase Preschool, our after school program is a great way to keep kids learning after normal school hours. Designed for school-aged children, our after school program is designed to foster peer connections, friendships, alliances, and responsibility. Offering a comfortable group atmosphere and creative learning environment, the program features weekly thematic units integrated into the schedule. After students complete their homework during the scheduled homework/study time period, they are free to play with any of the craft supplies, puzzles, board games, or manipulative toys that our classrooms are well-stocked with. We encourage our students to use their imaginations and engage in creative play that makes learning fun for everyone!