Parenting

10 Ways to Trick Your Kids Into Learning

family playing board games

They already spend eight hours every day at school, so when your child comes home from a long day of class, the last thing they want to do is get back into learning mode. Luckily, there are some stealthy, subtle tricks you can pull out to fool your kids into learning at home.

Whether it's after school, on a weekend, or during a long vacation, you can still have your kids learn. Only in some much more clever ways. So throw these teaching moments on your to-do list, moms, because your kids will love them and they'll be getting a lesson all in one.

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1. Go grocery shopping. Dictate to them your grocery list and have them put it in alphabetical order or categorize by type of food. Maybe you want them to learn what a dairy product is or what goes in the produce section. For older kids, combine the two styles together: first have them group by category, then alphabetize.

2. Cook together. Cooking or baking with your child is one of the easiest and best ways to teach them chemistry at home. Mixing a liquid with a solid (flour and water) will show them how substances dissolve and work. Apply those school teachings at home to show them that what they're learning really does have real world examples.

3. Bring in the games. Some of the best family moments are spent around the coffee table, squabbling over Monopoly properties. This is how bonds are formed. Start a family game night, but give your child some extra responsibility. Make them the banker or the card dealer if you're playing something like Uno to ramp up their counting skills.

mom and daughter baking together

4. Utilize the refrigerator magnets. Instead of asking them what they want for dinner or for a snack, have them spell it out using the letter magnets on the fridge. That'll get them thinking about not only food, but also their spelling skills.

5. Switch up the counts. Better yet, when playing a board game where you roll dice and move around the board, institute a new way of counting. If, for example, your child rolls a 6 on their first turn, they'll move to the sixth space. But when they roll a 4 on their next one, have them pick up where they left off. So, as they move along the board, count: 7, 8, 9, 10. This way, it'll work on their memory skills and counting higher than 6.

6. Start a family book club. Telling your child to read won't be the same if they're the only one doing it. Let them know that you'll also be reading the same book and that, at the end of the week, you'll get together and chat. Don't make it a formal lecture and discussion, but incorporate some snacks and fun themed drinks.

7. Insist on thank-you cards. Whether it's Christmas, their birthday, or any other holiday, make thank-you cards mandatory. This way, they'll keep up the tradition when they're older, and they'll have to work on their writing every time they receive a gift.

8. Work on it step-by-step. If you're on the way to school, walking through the grocery store, or they're helping you with dinner, ask them to explain something step-by-step. For example, if they say they want to go to the park, have them explain how a swing works. Or if they want a certain food for dinner, ask them how you make it.

9. Get planting. Start a family herb garden! No need to get fancy here -- a small window display is enough. But this way, your child can see the magic of planting, watering, and then the sprouting of a new plant. Then, once you actually have the herbs, go over which go better with what type of dish. This will not only get them to working and nurturing a plant, but will teach them biology (drop some knowledge on photosynthesis here).

10. Perform at-home science experiments. Show off the milk fireworks trick (all you need is milk, food coloring, and soap), and then talk about how it happened. Once again, have them walk you through the steps and chat about how in the world those fireworks exploded.

How do you get your child to learn at home?

 

Images ©iStock.com/Alina555; ©iStock.com/Eva-Katalin 

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