1) Memory Work Obstacle Course
My children beg for obstacle courses. They are so simple to create, and make learning anything fun! You can use household items that you already have set up. Laundry baskets, appliance boxes, stuffed animals, unmatched socks, or anything can be used in the fun. Run along the side of the couch, jump over the stuffed animals, crawl under the table, then answer one history question correctly. Whoever gets the most in 5 minutes wins. You can do this with letters, colors, math problems, or spelling words. The subjects are limitless! Get those busy bodies moving and their energy out while completing your school work. (Other ideas for memory work HERE!)
2) Jumping Math
I have never met a child who didn’t like to jump on the bed! Allow the children to take a turn answering math problems. If they answer correctly, they are allowed to jump the same number of times as the answer. They are also allowed to answer in jumps. When you have finished the math lesson for the day, free jump for extra fun!
3) 10 Minute Tidy Game
This one combines fun with a clean house AND we are learning life skills. What more could a outmatched mama want? Set your timer for 10 minutes. You need something that makes a noise when you are finished, so everyone will want to try to beat the clock. A timer on your phone or the stove will do. Instruct everyone to sort the mess of one room into piles. In our bedroom, we will usually have a clothes pile, a toy pile, a trash pile, a blanket pile, and a pile of what needs to be taken into another part of the house. Once the timer starts, everyone rushes to beat the timer while getting the entire mess sorted. We have accomplished some major mess cleanup using this game. You children will beg you to play. Win, win WIN situation. 😉
4) Worksheet Workout
We use worksheets in our homeschool. They are a great way to track progress and to compile a portfolio to look back on through the years. We don’t live and die by them, but we use them as a tool. Since sitting at the table all. day. long. is not a very fun method of learning for active kids, we have come up with a few “worksheet workouts” that keep table work fun, active, and involved!
For example, answer a question then bounce on the ball 10 times. Run back to the table and let’s finish our science sheet or sentence as fast as we can! Or answer the math problem by doing jumping jacks for the answer. Have your younger sibling count, and then write the answer and do it again! Your children will be begging to do their table work every day!
5) Building Forts
Building blanket forts is so easy and so very entertaining! These would keep my children busy all day if I would let them. Allow your children to use any blanket or pillow, except those on mommy and daddy’s bed (no one wants to hunt those at bedtime! 😉 ) and let them go to town. My husband is the expert tent builder in our house, so if he can be involved, we end up with forts that span through entire rooms.
The mental work of planning a tent, combined with the physical work of actually getting it to stand up and stay will keep even your busiest child engaged for awhile.
6) Shoot it Spelling
I hated spelling as a kid. I am still a terrible speller (forgive me if you noticed 😉 ). I want better for my children because a lack of correct spelling can make you seem less intelligent than you are. Enter: shoot-it spelling! When we practice our spelling words, we try to make it as fun as possible. We write outside with sidewalk chalk, on a big easel, on pretty construction paper, or will cool colored pens. We have written them in shaving cream or in the sand too. Thinking outside of the box can make spelling seem like a game.
Our most favorite way to do spelling is shoot-it spelling. We write our spelling word on a strip of lined paper. If it is correct, we get to crumple it up and SHOOT into a bin! We usually don’t allow throwing in the house, so this is big stuff. We have used a trash bin, a cooking pot, and a hoop made out of string. Whoever makes the most baskets by the end of our spelling time, wins!
7) Roll it Writing
Sometimes writing can be hard. It isn’t always easy to get your creative juices flowing when you have had other assignments to do in a day. Roll it writing is our silly method for making writing a sentence a breeze. We use rolling dice like these that can be dry erased. You can write silly characters on one (like cow, crocodile, or brother) and write actions on the other (like jump, run, or dance). Your child then has to create a sentence or a story (depending on their writing abilities) based on the character and action they roll. You can add a third die for setting, and the sky is the limit with possibilities. We have the most fun when everyone participates in choosing what our topics will be for the day. Bonus points for including spelling words in your story!
8) Mommy Says
We use “Mommy says” to practice our obedience and attentiveness skills. It’s like the traditional Simon says game, but it is played with Mommy or Daddy instead. If ever we forget to give our attention when our parents are speaking, it is time for a long game of Mommy says. Mommy can include different tasks which must be completed, like reading a book or cleaning a room, or Mommy can make it silly and fun. For example: run to touch the bathroom doorknob, run to your bedroom, sit on your bed, crawl to the laundry room, spin around three times, and come say, “Yes mam!” when you are finished. It is a fun reminder that we need to be respectful by giving our attention and obeying all right commands.
9) Hunt for your Homework
Okay, so all of it is “homework” when you homeschool. But the alliteration totally makes it cooler 😉 Hunt for your homework is a super fun game to play either before you start your school work, or as you are doing it. Sometimes I will hide our read aloud and make the children find it based on riddle like clues I give. For example, It is where your favorite blanky sleeps, or it is somewhere that would make a dentist smile. It is a fun way to burn some energy before we do something that involves sitting still.
Other times I make them hunt for their homework while they are doing it. Cut their math into 10 pieces and tape them to the wall throughout the house. Have the children race to see who can find their 7 math squares, answer them correctly, and bring them back to me. Obviously, this one won’t make the portfolio (unless we tape it together well 😉 ) but it will make lovely memories of school time fun, and gets us through tough subjects without tears or complaining.
What are your favorite active learning activities for your children?
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