Kids today are part of a digital world that drives the way they receive information and interact with the world. If your child is stuck indoors when the rain falls, consider using this time as a teachable moment. Technology can keep them active and participating in new experiences.
Educators have coined the term “e-learning” to describe the new way of learning that involves the internet or other technology-based approaches. Kids now have an infinite number of possibilities to constantly absorb new information, investigate, and expand their creativity. To make the most of technology-based learning, consider the three Cs: compassion, critical thinking, and creativity. Look for games or activities that your kids connect to that incorporate problem-solving, hands-on learning, or imagination.
There is a long list of websites that help young kids interact with different kinds of information and games. The Spruce compiled a list of educational sites that include:
- National Geographic website, which has fun facts and interesting interactive information about animals.
- How Stuff Works breaks down interesting topics and has fun quizzes and games.
- BBC History for Kids helps little ones explore history by going on a journey through time and learning about important people and events.
Technology has also impacted the way kids learn new skills. According to Parents magazine, art and creativity teach kids while helping them develop mentally, emotionally, and socially. Art helps them become better problem solvers and to think critically their whole lives. There is a great opportunity online for children to take lessons in a variety of disciplines:
- Music lessons: Music lessons used to be far less accessible, but kids can now learn to play an instrument from home using a number of online music academies. These schools implement a variety of methods from short video lessons, tutorials, step-by-step instructions, and quizzes.
- Art lessons: The same principle applies to art and drawing lessons. Many art schools operate entirely online and provide students with a structured curriculum of learning important skills that can later be developed and cultivated.
When the weather turns sour and the rain makes it difficult to go outdoors, you can keep your kids active by using technology. For example, there are channels that specialize in dance and offer a library of videos. Having your kids follow on-screen instructions will help them with coordination and attention skills. Hook up your computer to a television and blow up the screen to get a better effect. Make this a family adventure and even set it up in your living room to augment the sensory experience.
There are online videos for every age and interest. Connect to a number of exercise videos and lessons that keep kids moving in a variety of ways:
- Aerobics: Easy-to-follow steps that get kids’ hearts pumping.
- Kids yoga: Yoga lessons with kid-friendly instructions and explanations.
- Dance lessons: Have your kids explore a variety of genres from hip-hop to modern dance.
- Karate and martial arts: Kids can learn basic self-defense methods, as well as a variety of martial arts disciplines.
In order to keep things varied, look for other types of projects that use real-world objects in combination with online or technology-based learning:
- Science experiments that teach important concepts and spark curiosity.
- Using smartphone cameras to teach kids about photography and editing.
- Making movies with camera and simple video-editing software.
- Using online resources for arts and crafts projects and ideas. For example, encourage your children to look online at photos or videos of a community in a foreign country, and then have them build a “tiny town” version of it (more information on how to build one here).
Technology doesn’t mean sitting on the couch and staring blankly at a screen. Technology is an invitation to engage and interact with the world in a different way. Kids can take full advantage of the resources and information at their fingertips to enhance their education and to make the days stuck indoors into journeys filled with joy and learning.
Amanda Henderson is a mom to two wonderful, active boys and a preschool teacher. She enjoys writing in her free time, and recently decided to create Safechildren so that she would have a place to share her thoughts and favorite resources on parenting and child safety. Amanda is also a contributing writer for Jaden’s Voice.
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