Fun learning games for your child

6 fun ideas to help your child learn

Children learn best through fun play and activities that they can link back to their own lives.Here are just a few learning games to inspire you when teaching your child:

  • Shopping detectives
  • Letters and numbers with modelling clay
  • Make watching TV educational
  • Treasure hunts
  • Cook your dinner
  • Children's birthday parties


Shopping detectives - kids love I-Spy

When you feel your child is ready to begin learning letters, introduce one letter at a time in a casual home setting, keeping it to less than five minutes. As soon as your child seems to have even a basic ability to identify the letter you introduced, make a game of going to a nearby shop to play 'Shopping Detectives' and find that letter on various packages.

As 'detectives' you need to quietly sneak through the aisles, peeking around corners and shushing each other when you get too loud. Each time you find a package with the letter, you can mark it down or mark the occasion with a proud "ah-hah!"

Through this game your child will:

  • Develop skills in recognising letter shapes and connecting them to the letter sound
  • Develop their understanding that letters make up words
  • Develop their skills in sounding out different letters
  • Develop reading skills.

Letters and numbers with modelling clay - kids love dirty hands

Rather than using animal shape modelling clay cutters, invest in some plastic letter and number-shaped cutters. Even toddlers can cut the letters and numbers themselves and have you 'guess' what they are, or you can create the letters and numbers and your child can name them. Then consider reintroducing the animal shapes so your child can first cut a letter and then cut out the shape of an animal that starts with the same letter. Or, you can cut out a number and your child can cut out the corresponding number of animal shapes or legs. Nearly every activity children engage in can be somehow tied to an educational or developmental idea, with a little creative effort on your part.

Through this game your child will:

  • Develop fine motor skills
  • Develop their sense of letter shape
  • Recognise numbers and letters
  • Explore different numbers (see if they can make the biggest number)
  • Compare number amount
  • Develop spelling skills.

Make watching TV educational - the kids will be in front of the screen anyway

While your kids are watching television, regardless of the show, ask them engaging questions such as:

  • What do you think will happen next?
  • How do you think that character feels after that? How would you feel?
  • I see the number of the day is 3. What comes after 3? Can you find that many toys and put them all in a pile?

In doing so, you’ll transform the fun activity of watching television, for example, into an educational experience where your child is practicing skills such as prediction, compassion, understanding, and counting when your child thinks that all he’s doing is watching television.

Through this game your child will:

  • Develop questioning skills
  • Develop prediction skills
  • Develop number skills
  • Learn about history and the world.

Treasure hunts - kids love looking as much as finding

You could do number hunts around the house. You can print out number cards and hide them around the house or outside. Children have to either follow clues or just hunt for the number treasure. To make it more exciting you could hide a treat with the number!
When children have collected all the numbers they have to order them. To make it more difficult you could use dots instead of numbers so they practice their counting skills.

For older children it could be fun to do a poetry hunt where the clues to the items hidden are written in rhymes or poems (by the kids for each other or by you).

Through this game your child will:

  • Develop their understanding and familiarity of number shapes
  • Develop their ability to order numbers
  • Develop their counting skills.

Cook your dinner - kids eat more veg when they cook it

Cooking is a fun activity to do with children: they love the mess and the satisfaction of eating something they made themselves. You could get your child to measure out the ingredients (a little bit of maths) and maybe start to make their own special recipe book with all their favourite recipes. 

Through this your child will:

  • Develop knowledge and understanding of measurement
  • Develop social skills
  • Develop fine motor skills
  • Develop their cooking skills
  • Develop counting skills
  • Develop writing skills.

Children's birthday parties - are a learning experience too

Birthday parties can be an effective way for children to interact and play in an out-of-school context. Different kids' entertainers can provide educational benefits in a fun way without children realising they are learning for example, the mad scientist and themed costume parties. You can also get them involved in the planning and using their Maths and English skills while baking a birthday cake or coming up with kids birthday party ideas.

Through this your child will:

  • Develop social skills
  • Engage in play based learning
  • Develop sharing skills.



Click to read more on how children learn

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