Watching TV the other day, I was inspired to use it as a learning experience with my oldest. In discussing our neighborhood, I decided to take my biggest boy for a ride around our neighborhood to learn what’s in it.
We saw places he’d already seen tons of times before but this time addressing what those buildings are for and why we have them.
While this trip was for educational purposes, I also got some errands done during it.
We drove by a mailbox to drop some mail in. While we were there, we saw the post office and talked about how there’s post offices in lots of other towns like ours that work together like a team to send mail from one place to another. We talked about how that’s how the mail gets to our mailbox.
Then we saw the library and checked out some books about buildings and houses.
We saw a police car, two big churches (a “yellow” one made of limestone and a “red” one made of bricks), and the house that he was made in…
We drove by the little kids school (elementary) and talked about when he starts school this fall. Then we drove over to the big kids school (junior/senior high) and discussed the difference between the schools.
That side of town also has a bridge that goes over a road and a bridge that goes over a river so we stopped and talked about why bridges are built and how they make it easier for cars to get around.
We even drove over to the bank (and the magical machine that gives you money when you push the right buttons!) This was fascinating to him. I feel like he’s going to be difficult to explain money to…
But the best part was the stop light. He thought it was very fun how the cars knew what to do (had to explain that it’s actually the people inside and not the cars themselves!) So when we got home, I drew up a mock stop light and went to work tiring him out for a nap!
This was after playing with it. It’s well loved already.
I held my hand over the green spot and started at the front corner of the kitchen island. Then I moved my hand to cover the red spot and yelled, “Green light! Go!”
I took off around the island guiding him behind me. When we made our first lap, I stopped and simultaneously covered the green spot yelling, “Red light! Stop!”
We stopped and he laughed, then I covered the red spot again and yelled, “Green light!” and he took off running again. This time I stayed still.
When he finally tired out, I’d lost track of how many laps he’d run around the kitchen. He napped great though!
I’ve always found learning to be easier for me when it was also fun. This is something I’ve always wanted to do with my own kids. Education doesn’t need to include a monotone teacher discussing algebra equations in a stark white classroom.
Learning can be done with adventure and games. Because when you make it fun, they pay more attention and then retain more information.
What’s the take-away from our learning adventure? Bringing a new aspect into education can change up how kids look at learning and how they learn.
In the end, my big guy even figured out on his own that stop signs mean “stop” because they’re red like the light. Plus now he likes to tell me when I can start driving again when we’re at stop lights.