Activities for kids that can be fun and educational.
You want teach them new things that will flurry their growth, knowledge, and skills.
Getting kids interested in art usually isn’t too difficult. But when you start adding an educational element, it can quickly leech the fun out of the equation by turning artsy and crafty pursuits into boring lectures. However, there are ways that you can roll art, education, and fun into one activity. Here are just a few suggestions that you might want to consider for a rainy Saturday afternoon.
- Greeting cards for charity. If your kids are already fond of creating greeting cards to send to family and friends for the holidays or other events, there’s no reason they can’t take their card-making to the next level by bundling stacks of hand-painted cards to sell in church, at a booth in front of the house, or via other venues as a way to raise money for a charity of their choice. Social awareness is a form of education that you are largely responsible for teaching your child, and this is a good way to have fun with the process of turning your kids into responsible and compassionate citizens.
- 3D puzzles. You might be surprised by the wide range of 3D puzzles on the market, with options that allow you build a globe, complete with labeled maps, create dinosaur skeletons, or erect famous architecture like the Reims Cathedral in your living room. In some cases you’ll find paper models or wooden sets, as opposed to cardboard puzzles, but the concept is the same. By having children work on these projects you’ll not only help them to hone fine motor skills and develop spatial awareness and problem-solving skills, but you can also give them lessons in geography, history, and architecture, just for example.
- Erector sets. Like puzzles, erector sets are great for working on motor skills and spatial awareness. But they also allow for a level of creativity that doesn’t exist when pre-planned outcomes are part of the package. Letting kids plan their own creations with a variety of pieces at their disposal can increase their capacity to learn on their own, as well as their confidence when it comes to academic experimentation.
- Painting the masters. Whether you’re a fan of Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ or his numerous floral still life paintings, you prefer the pointillism featured in Seurat’s ‘A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of la Grande Jatte’ or you find Kandinsky’s abstractions riveting, you can transform the way your children see the world by exposing them to the masters early on. That said, an afternoon spent starting at paintings in a museum can be a real bore for the kids. Instead, print out copies of the paintings you love and have your kids use them as studies, copying what they see as a way to practice technique or using them as inspiration for their own creative works. If all else fails, lay down a drop cloth and emulate Jackson Pollock. The kids will find splatter painting fun and you can take the opportunity to explain abstract expressionism.
- Pottery. If you’ve taken the kids to studios like PaintYourOwnPottery.com, then you may be ready to take the next step by purchasing some clay and other supplies and letting kids form their own pieces at home. With clay designed to bake in a standard oven, home projects are a cinch. And while this is both fun and artsy, you might wonder just how educational it actually is. In truth, this relies somewhat on you, and there are options to add an educational element. For example, you might have kids try to mimic ceramic styles from antiquity with projects that center on Grecian urns or even sculptures like Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’. Although the latter is bronze, many statues start out as clay sculptures before they are transferred to another medium.