Educational Ways to Make Remote Learning at Home Fun
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Educational Ways to Make Remote Learning at Home Fun

Online learning at home can be fun with a few interactive activities and a little help from Circle Parental Controls.

When your kids are learning at home, try out these memorable ways to make school fun again.

This year has been unlike any other. With our kids doing remote and online learning from home, parents now have taken on double duty as teachers. That’s taken some adjusting for everyone. Parents are juggling a lot of responsibilities, and it can be hard to feel inspired to find creative ways to keep learning fun.

But don’t worry, you can do this. By incorporating a mix of IRL activities, educational apps, and encouraging your kids to indulge in some old fashioned creativity, learning at home can turn into something your kids look forward to.

Make Learning Memorable with Activities

Looking back at your days in elementary and primary school, who were the teachers you remember most? Probably the ones who were willing to think outside the box and do something a little whacky to make a dull subject memorable. Now that you’re the teacher at home (at least some of the time), you have the opportunity to be that fun teacher for your kids. Every subject can come to life with a few educational games, activities, and interactive apps.

Plan an educational treasure hunt

For younger kiddos, try out a sensory-heavy treasure hunt. Make a colorful rubric that lists items they could find both inside and outside that require using their sense of smell, sight, or sound. If your kids aren’t reading-age yet to check items off as they go, have them bring you each item as they find it and tell them their next one to seek out. Here’s an example list.

Find something that:

  • Smells good
  • Smells bad
  • Is bumpy
  • Is soft
  • Has many colors
  • Is wet
  • Makes noise

At the end, have your kids recall the items they found one at a time and color a picture of each to keep or hang up on the fridge. In the process of one treasure hunt, you’ve just engaged your kids’ memory skills and creative abilities as well as their senses of smell, sight, and sound.

Make your own science trivia game

Science can actually seem really cool to kids when it’s interactive. Creating a dialogue around what they’re learning will help them retain the information, plus, it won’t feel like “school.”

Have more than one kid? Get them working together to create a science trivia game to teach each other. Just one kid? Then hop in there and get to brainstorming alongside your little student. Each person can come up with 10 science-related questions and 10 answers, then place those on notecards with the question on one side and answer on the other.

Each person takes their turn to ask a question to the other. And there are 3 rounds so that there’s time to learn the answers if the information is completely new. Repetition always helps with retention. Whoever gets the most questions right wins.

Create a recycled art “Creation Station”

Before you go throwing that egg carton or paper towel roll into the recycling bin, take a moment to reconsider and think, “What could my kids turn this into?” You don’t need to have the answer. Their creative brains will handle that part. All you have to do is set those items aside at their “Creation Station” and watch as their minds wander.

In the process of giving them their very own creative hub, take the opportunity to teach them about why recycling is important. While they’re making cool art, they could also be learning about making a positive impact on the environment. Explain which items to be on the lookout for when hunting for usable materials for their Creation Station. And one day, when they spot those same items in the cafeteria or their classroom, they’ll know those items should go in the recycling, not the trash.

Here’s a list of common items most recycling centers accept that you and your kids can set aside for the Creation Station or recycle in the future. However, you will want to check with your local center.

  • Aluminum cans
  • Cardboard
  • Electronic equipment
  • Glass (particularly bottles and jars)
  • Magazines
  • Metal
  • Newspaper
  • Paper
  • Plastic Bags
  • Plastic bottles
  • Steel cans
  • Writing/copy paper
  • Yard waste (leaves, grass)

Mix In Online Learning Games, Websites, and Apps

If your kids are going to be on screens, why not at least make some of that time educational? In this list, you’ll find a range of subject-specific games, apps, and websites to keep your kids’ minds engaged while they’re having fun.

Less is more when it comes to the amount of screen time considered healthy for kids’ development. It’s recommended to limit screen time to less than one hour per day before age 5. So, most of the apps we’re including here are for kids age 5 and up.

Create a recycled art “Creation Station”

Before you go throwing that egg carton or paper towel roll into the recycling bin, take a moment to reconsider and think, “What could my kids turn this into?” You don’t need to have the answer. Their creative brains will handle that part. All you have to do is set those items aside at their “Creation Station” and watch as their minds wander.

Educational websites

Can’t make it to the actual Zoo? Learn some fun, obscure facts about animals at the San Diego Zoo without ever leaving your living room.

Teach Your Monster to Read is a teacher-tested and kid-approved game that walks new readers through the fundamentals of phonics. The site, designed for laptops and desktops, is free. There’s also a paid app version that works on iPhones, iPads, Android mobile devices and Kindle tablets.

Starfall is a nonprofit website for kids learning to read or kids who need some extra reading help. Their activities and games are designed for pre-K through 3rd grade and encourage exploration, play, and positive reinforcement.

Mathseeds teaches kids ages 3-9 the core math and problem solving skills they need to be successful at school through interactive animations and games. It’s available on laptop/desktop or tablets.

Duolingo is both an app and a website that’s designed to help kids learn new languages through personalized, reward-driven games. Kids can earn virtual coins, unlock new levels, and watch as their fluency score rises.

Apps and games

TinyTap boasts a variety of learning games for a variety of ages. You select your child’s age range and the subject or skill sets you’d like for them to work on, and viola—choose from over 150,000 games that might fit. The part we love the most: within the app, there’s a dashboard for you to see how your kids’ are doing compared to other kids their age.

ABC mouse is a mix of education games, books, and puzzles for math, reading, science, and art. As your kids complete each lesson, they’re guided to the next one and incentivized by a Tickets and Rewards System within each lesson/game.

Thinkrolls: Kings & Queens is a story-based puzzle app that encourages critical thinking in kids ages 5 and up. Without any reading required, the games’ levels get progressively harder, and kids work their way through chapters in each story before moving on to the next.

Hopscotch – Programming for Kids is an app where preteens can learn to code their own games, art, stories, and more and then publish them for other kids in the community to try out and even edit.

Barefoot World Atlas will get your kids back into the world of travel, safely and in 3D. They can take an interactive adventure to new states or countries, and learn about those destinations through quizzes and animations.

If you’re looking for more ways to help keep your kids engaged in learning while they’re at home, check out our recent blog on the best STEM/STEAM apps, And remember, if you need help keeping your kids from wandering into other areas of the Internet they’re not supposed to be visiting during educational screen time, Circle’s Filter feature is here to help.

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