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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Guest Post--Fun Educational Ideas

Fun Ways to Engage in Early Education

Young children have a lot of energy and it’s no surprise that they can run circles around us (even with much shorter legs). Over time, you may begin to worry about your ability to keep them on track when it comes to fun and educational activities that will prep their minds to start schooling. After all, you can only do paper sack puppets and macaroni paintings so many times and then they get bored. There are always educational programs to watch, like Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer, but do you really want their first experience with education to come from the television? So what can you do remain active when it comes to their education?

Actually, there are all kinds of ways to keep their minds engaged with activities that you can also participate in. You’ve probably already heard of Mommy and Me classes, but did you know that most local community centers offer a variety of family-style courses geared for kids? Depending on the season, you can often find fun outdoor activities like nature walks and sports, artsy-craftsy fare like painting and ceramics, and even trips to local museums or zoos (usually at a discounted rate). This can also be a good way for you to meet other moms and get a little adult conversation or discuss ideas about child-rearing. At the very least, you’ll get out of the house for awhile. If you find that your interest is not piqued by these offerings, or they’re not available in your area, take it upon yourself to find a local kid’s club or simply arrange your own outings (museums often have tours, classes, or events for kids and offer family discount days).

If your child is one of the many who is painfully shy or unabashedly rambunctious (both of which can be difficult to deal with in public), you may want to stick closer to home. So try looking online. There are a wealth of resources available for parents who want to engage in educational activities with their kids. Young kids can start with color, letter, and number games (as well as phonics) in the games section of Fisher-Price, while those already at the pre-school level can find games and activities at Funschool. If you’re more interested in crafts and games that don’t occur in front of the screen, check out the printable activities and lesson plans at First School or the crafts and games offered by Crayola.

Whatever your child’s disposition, interests, or learning level, there are resources both in the community and online to help you make their education fun, so don’t feel like you have to go it alone. Searching for alternative methods can not only ease the pressure on you to constantly entertain them, it can also offer them a whole world of educational activities that you might never have come up with on your own. And giving them the best opportunity to expand their minds is the most important part of parenting.

Alexis Montgomery is a content writer for Online Degree, where you can browse through various online degree programs to find a college that suits your needs.

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