Playtime is important for kids. Studies have shown that adequate play time increases learning, concentration, and mental acuity. When allocating play time, why not make a portion of it mental play time? Here's a list of 5 educational activities for kids that can make learning more than a boring chore. Affiliate links in this post, all opinions are my own.
Educational Activities for Kids Don't Have to be Boring
Activities that work children's minds don't have to be the classic, boring ones we all think of. You know what I'm talking about. Remember math activities books? No thank you.
iTunes is a great resource for educational activities for kids. Remember their slogan from way, way back in the day, “There's an app for that”? It's more true than ever before. All you need to do is hit up iTunes and search the education category. There are hundreds of educational apps that you can let your kids play to their heart's content. They have everything from shapes to numbers to memory games and more.
I loved puzzles as a kid. It couldn't be just any puzzle, though. It had to be a super cool puzzle – preferably something with dragons on it. Puzzles are great educational activities for kids because they teach shapes, fine motor skills, and patience. I have personally witnessed my nephew put the same puzzle together over and over and over again when he was child. He couldn't get enough of it. Another bonus is that puzzles are one of those activities that are always age appropriate. You can find a 10 piece puzzle for a toddler and a 500 piece puzzle for an older kid.
You can't beat board games when it comes to getting a kid's mind going. Board games run the gamut from simple games like Chutes and Ladders to more complicated games like Risk. That's what makes them such great educational activities for kids. You can have a blast with the kiddos and exercise their minds in so many different ways. Want to work on those fine motor skills? Bust out Operation. Want to sneak in some math? Monopoly it is. Critical thinking? Risk.
Okay. Don't burn me at the stake yet. I know video games aren't exactly synonymous with learning, but hear me out. Certain games are a great way to exercise a kid's mind. Any game they play will certainly strengthen their mind motor connections. They have to decide in nano seconds which button to push to perform which action based on what their eyes see. Aside from that, video games that require some thought are a great way to get the old gray matter pulsing. Take the Skylanders series, for example. Of course, at its core, it's a good old fashioned action/platformer. Consider this, though. All of those monster the kids have to swap out regularly have certain strengths and weaknesses against certain enemies. And only certain types of characters can open certain areas. So your kid has to do some critical thinking to get the most out of the game.
Good, Old Fashioned Playing
Even straight up physical play is high on the list of educational activities for kids. While your kids aren't going to learn math or reading, they are going to learn interpersonal skills, problem solving, and imaginative play. All of these are SUPER important to their lives later on. They need to know how to get along with people, and playing is a great way to do that.