Archive November 2012

Indoor Activities to Kick the Wintertime Blues

Considering it is late November the weather has been pretty nice in the Kansas City area, and we have still been able to enjoy our outdoor activities.  With December coming the temperature is beginning to drop, and we will have to start spending our time inside. Let your imagination run, and don’t spend all winter watching TV and playing video games!

Reading books are always a fun way to learn and dream, but there is also so much more you can do with a book! Encourage your children to act out a book with some of their friends by making theirr own puppets and putting on a puppet show! Also, let your kids make up a new ending to the book or change parts of it to make it their own! When children create their own things they take pride in their work and are proud of it!

You can also make your own movie! Let your kids make up a screenplay and tape it for them! They are now the writers and the actors!  Let them make props out of recyclable goods and teach them a lesson on the importance of reduce, reuse, recycle!  You now also have a memory recorded, and you can show it to them when they are older!

If you want help around the house but are having a hard time getting your kids to help, make a game out of the chores!  Also, give them incentives!  For example, when picking up things in the living room or play room reward the child with the least amount of items in that room.  Prizes can include a piece of candy or a sticker on their chore chart.  Also, when it’s time to make meals have the kids help in the kitchen! Kids love to cook but make sure you make them clean up their own mess; this is teaching them good habits for the future!

Something else that can be fun and inexpensive is crafting! First you need to make the initial investment by purchasing a few crafting necessities such as crayons, markers, and glue.  Everything after that can be free! Use things around your house to make the Christmas tree ornaments or Christmas cards to send to Grandma and Grandpa! Make sure you keep a clean and organized art cabinet or bucket though. This will save you some stress when your kids go to craft.

Last, let your kids know how lucky they are for being able to play! Many people don’t have the privileges they might have.  Have your kid write a letter to a soldier or a sick child.  Have them write what they feel and what they are thankful for in their life.  This is a trait that will help your child have compassion and a giving heart! There are many organizations you can go through to get more information about pen pals and writing letters!

Now start doing some activities that will be fun and exciting to chase those wintertime blues away! Also, always remember to let your kids think of new things to do, too! They have amazing imaginations and will think of fun hands-on activities!

The New Wave of Learning

Learning is something that some children have a very hard time doing.  Sitting in a class room all day may not be the most stimulating setting for a child.  Children love to see how things work; they want to know every last detail.  Ever wonder why they ask so many questions?

What is the best way to teach then? Something we at TLE like to call experiential learning.  It is our guiding educational philosophy in EarthWorks and Exchange City.  We believe that students learn best from experiences though immersion and role-playing.  Every student that comes through our doors adopts a new ‘job’ for the day, either being a citizen in Exchange City or a scientist in EarthWorks.

They learn by working together on figuring out problems that they come across during their time here, just like in real life.  They have to make their own decisions based off what they have learned and the outcomes are real.  Experiential learning has natural consequences and provides outcomes that are real and purposeful.

Not only is this a great way for children to learn but it also ensures that they make memories here.  We want them to always remember what their job was in Exchange City or what habitat they were in at EarthWorks.  These engaging and exciting experiences unfold over time and make connections with prior and future learning.

The last thing we want is for kids to walk out and feel like they haven’t learned anything or that they didn’t have fun.  Their time here is nothing like the average day at school, it’s exciting and new!