10 Fort Building Tips to Make Learning Fun for Kids
Posted August 23, 2017 by Fort Magic
Hooray, learning! Said no kid ever. But, consider this: Think about the last time you wanted to know something, really know something. Perhaps you scoured the Internet. Or, maybe you talked with a multitude of friends and family. Your search may have led you to experiment with ideas at home. Or, get the kids involved in figuring it out. The quest for knowledge is exciting and drives people to action. And, the same holds true for our kids. The crazy part? It feels more like an adventure than learning. Plus, as a parent, you create the atmosphere which fosters this attitude. And, Fort Magic helps you do so. Let’s talk about 10 fort-tastic tips to make learning fun for kids. One: Answer “What’s the Point?” Many times kids turn their noses up at learning because it does not make sense. Why do they need to learn math? What difference will science make in their lives? Relate various subjects to everyday experiences to turn kids thinking around. Seeing that math is used to create concoctions in the kitchen gets rave reviews. Knowing science helps construct a fort brings new life to this subject. Understanding reading helps people interpret street signs and restaurant menus makes it relevant. Two: Make it Personal Taking relevancy a step further, introduce learning opportunities on a personal level. Know your child and his or her learning style. For instance, audio learners do well with verbal instructions and encouragement. Kinesthetic learners respond better to hands-on options. Also, children's interests play a significant role in shaping their attitude toward learning. Feature hobbies and passions in the learning process. For instance, if trucks make your boy’s heart zoom, let him build a truck fort and fill it with books on the subject or related games such as Rush Hour. Three: Experiment With … Everything Experiments boost fun for everyone. So, build them into everyday play. Ask plenty of questions to get kids processing what they see. Supply a blank journal or graphic organizer to give them a place to write observations. Check it out: — Cafe or kitchen forts become labs for experimenting with recipe ingredients. — Science lab forts with white coats and goggles are perfect for exploring buoyancy or the reaction of baking soda and vinegar. — Art studio forts feature color mixing and art medium experimentation. Four: Work as a Team A group of friends or family make learning more fun. And, when sticky issues arise, a team helps encourage and problem solve. In fact, science offers evidence that cooperative learning boosts critical thinking and communication skills as well as increases retention. Inviting friends for fort building parties or engaging in family time activities creates a natural team. Sports, board games, fort building contests and even educational activities build a sense of camaraderie. And, the learning evolves naturally. Five: Get Their Hands in It Kids love to get their hands dirty. And, they love to touch everything! The combination of the two breeds an ideal learning experience. Hands-on opportunities engage attention and the tactile stimulation increases learning. Fort building offers this type of experience. Adding sand or water tables hidden inside any fort design amps up the impact. For young children, create a tactile experience by using varying textures as fort walls or filling the interior with touchable objects. Six: Ready, Set, Action! Movement awakens the body and engages the brain. In fact, memory and retention strengthen through exercise. Science backs the fact that physical exercise boosts brain growth and cognitive performance. An afternoon of fort building gets kids moving with minimal prompting. Sports themed forts complete with Olympic competitions or obstacle courses raise the activity level. And, the natural bent of kids to run makes learning come alive. Seven: Incorporate Technology Often experts call for turning off technology. And, with good reason, limiting screens is wise. However, structured times to explore educational apps boosts learning and engagement. And, certainly kids find them fun. Check out Family Education’s 21 Free Educational Apps for Kids for good recommendations. Then, use a personally designed fort as a technology retreat. Parental controls or spending time with your child online keeps them safe and teaches lessons beyond those the app does. Eight: Play Away Play is fun, but does it promote learning? While as adults we lose the vision, the seemingly frivolous play of children offers tremendous benefits. Creativity, imagination, problem-solving, cooperation, communication skills and more birth from free play experiences. Make space for children to play. Nine: Celebrate! When an educational milestone is reached or a hard fought lesson is learned, throw a party. Balloon-filled forts surprise unsuspecting children. Creating snacks and fort decor around a science lesson or math theme gets kids excited. Ten: Make it Part of the Day Keeping a Fort Magic kit and supplies for other imaginative activities on hand enables kids to dive in daily. Allowing opportunities for creativity to run rampant without limits (except safety, of course) draws kids toward learning. With these daily opportunities, learning and fun become the norm. And, a child’s natural curiosity and bent toward discovery are encouraged. How do you use fort building to help your kids learn? Share your ideas below!