Heading to the library, a museum, or an art gallery are all great places to take your kids to soak up some knowledge, but you can only read so many books and look at the same exhibits so many times. Kids can also learn a lot online with games, videos, and endless other resources but they probably don’t want to see the world solely through a computer screen. Children are able to learn about the world in almost everything they do, so try some of these activities with your kids to show them new ways to learn, stimulate new interests, and have a ton of fun hanging out together as a family.
Hiking, Beachcombing, and Spelunking
Getting outdoors with your kids is an excellent way to get some fresh air and exercise but there is plenty to be learned out there as well. Explore the forest during a hike and talk about what kind of flowers, trees, and animals are native to your region. Collecting shells on the beach or examining the tide pools for sea life is a pretty fun way to learn about marine biology. Spelunking is definitely the most interesting activity to discover caves, rock formations, and learn about geology.
Wilderness Survival, Tracking, and Camping
Surviving in nature can teach children so much about the environment as well as about themselves. Learning how to track animals in the woods can teach children about wildlife and it will also develop their investigative skills. Camping outdoors encourages them to respect nature, be mindful of their impact on the environment, and to enjoy life unplugged from technology and society.
Landscape and Wildlife Photography
Taking up photography is easier now than it ever has been before. If you don’t want to invest in a new camera, today’s smartphones, like the one you have in your pocket, are capable of taking stunning photos. Learning about photography can help children to develop a critical eye for detail and gain an overall understanding of composition. Photographing scenery and wildlife may also improve their appreciation of nature.
Biking, Swimming, Skating, and Sports
Being active with your kids teaches them a lot more than you might think. Not only is it important for them to understand the value of regular exercise but allowing them to learn new skills such as riding a bike, swimming, or ice skating will encouraging them to trust themselves and give them confidence in trying new things. Signing them up for a team sport also provides an opportunity for socialization and lets them learn to work with others in a team environment.
4-H is a nonprofit organization that helps to teach kids about leadership, responsibility, independence, and compassion. It allows kids to learn about science, agriculture, health, and civic engagement through hands-on activities. Joining a 4-H club can provide your child with a profound connection to the community while allowing them to gain invaluable experiences and critical life skills.
Gardening with your kids is not only a fantastic way to make your yard look gorgeous, it will also teach them about the life cycle of plants, their relationships with humans, animals, and insects, and how to care for a living organism. If you don’t have the space to do it in your yard, you can even create a small indoor garden inside your house near a sunny window.
Cooking and Baking
Spending time in the kitchen is one of the best ways for kids to learn about nutrition, healthy food choices, and how to make delicious meals. It can also be a fun way to learn about math by cutting recipes in half, using fractions, and converting numbers between different units of measurement. Getting a batch of cookies out of the lesson may also be a pretty tasty bonus.
Crafts and Construction
Craft time is a favorite of so many kids because they can get creative, get messy, and just have fun. Allowing kids to explore different ideas, come up with their own unique masterpieces, and just glue random stuff together stimulates their imagination and encourages inventive thought. For inexpensive craft and construction supplies check out your local dollar stores.
Science Experiments and Inventions
Hands-on learning is not only one of the most effective ways to provide educational experiences, it’s also one of the most fun. There are countless books, websites, and videos that provide easy to follow instructions for endless DIY science project ideas. Plenty of projects only require a few materials and little supervision, others are much bigger projects that can be fun for the whole family.
Volunteering and Community Events
Volunteering around your city provides children with socialization, connections to their community, and a sense of social responsibility. It can encourage compassion and will also help them to be more comfortable interacting with a diverse range of people from every age group. Attending community events is another fun way to show your kids what’s happening in your area outside of just your home life and personal circle of friends.
Creating a Small Business
Creating a small business with your kids may be one of the best ways to teach them about responsibly, creativity, and innovation. As an unschooler, they are already learning to think outside the box so introducing them to entrepreneurialism is the perfect way to show them that a living can be earned outside of simply being hired at a job. Some ideas to start with could include making and selling products such as soaps, baked goods, or greeting cards. Service based ideas could include tutoring, pet sitting, and lawn care.
These are only a handful of the ideas you can do with your children to teach them about the world, show them what’s out there, and let them figure out their own way to fit within it. By trying new things they’ll develop interests they never knew they had. This may encourage them to pursue new passions, explore different ideas, and want to gain knowledge in topics they previously didn’t even know about. One of the best things about unschooling is that when the world is your classroom, you’re much freer to get out there and explore it.