By the grace of Allah, I had a very eventful childhood. Along with good education, It was full of adventures and healthy learning activities. Today I want to share the activities that made my childhood, a joyous ride. Let’s explore together!
I remember spending my childhood in a small city called Sadiqabad, located in South Punjab. Despite the fact, I was the resident of a this city, it never hindered my learning process- in any way. I can still vividly recall the day when my dad bought me Legos from Karachi. Believe me, I have still not found that kind of Legos anywhere even after a lot of searching. They were of finest quality. Those legos helped me to learn a lot. I learnt to make a lot of structures of different cars, trains, houses etc. It was a fun, creative and healthy activity that I could engage myself into, for hours.
The incredible thing about Lego is that it’s not just a toy, it’s more than that. Lego is exceptionally important as it:
- Helps in the development of Fine-Motor skills
- Encourages Teamwork from a very young age
- Promotes and improves creativity
- Develops Mathematical Thinking
- Evolves Problem Solving Skills
- Improves Persistence & Self-Esteem
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Back in my childhood, I was very fond of drawing. My parents turned this hobby of mine onto a creative and useful activity of Map Drawing. I started with free-hand map drawing and eventually learnt to draw maps on World Map. It was an amazing activity. I learnt not only how to draw the maps of different countries but also learnt their whereabouts including their capitals, cultures, location etc.
While many skills have become obsolete in this digital age, map reading & drawing remains a predominant tool for helping children make sense of our world and building children’s spatial reasoning skills.
Dr. Nora Newcombe, a professor at Temple University defines the process of spatial thinking as seeing in the mind’s eye. Spatial skills are the skills through which we learn to picture the locations of objects, their relations to each other, their shapes and the paths they take as they move. Maps enhance spatial thinking by helping children visualize where and how the objects, places, cities, and countries are in relation to one another.
Here are two quick and fun Hands-On Activities that you can try with your kids!
A- Draw a Map Challenge:
Think of the places you and your kid know well. Grab some paper and crayons and work with your child to draw maps of those places. Start with rooms in your house and then try your favorite places such as a local park. Make use of simple shapes to draw and label objects such as furniture or playground swings. Everyday take a walk around the block you live in together, and look for landmarks to include in a neighborhood map. Once you notice that kids get more proficiency, encourage them to create maps of imaginary worlds or of places in their favorite books or movies.
B- Treasure Map:
It’s a very fun activity.
- Hide a special object somewhere in the room.
- Provide a map pointing to its location on the map.
- The person who is playing with you will have to read the map to find the hidden object.
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How can I forget Scrabble! Scrabble has been a favorite board game for young and old alike. This simple yet challenging 2 to 4 player word centric board game consists of a board with some squares and letters. Each player is assigned 7 letters at a time to create words and set them in appropriate slots on the board just like a crossword game.
Apart from increasing intelligence levels, boosting social interaction and needless to say increasing your vocabulary, recent research indicates that Scrabble can actually increase brain power and is a pretty useful tool for Brain Development.
Playing Scrabble changes the way you think. It:
- Enriches the vocabulary
- Tactics & Strategy
- Improves Memory & Focus
- Develops Cognitive Thinking
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Monopoly is one of the best selling board games and I am lucky enough to spend my childhood with this amazing activity. Monopoly is again, not just your everyday game, it's a lot more than that. It teaches you Math and Financial basics. You get to learn about property ownership and loans. You develop negotiation skills.It explains how taxation works, etc. I owe to Monopoly for teaching me all of these aforementioned skills while I only thought I was playing. (but I was learning)
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5. Video Games
Another fun activity from my childhood was playing video games. Mostly I played Mario and sports games.The best thing about gaming is, it enlightens you how to play different sports. You get to learn how different sports are played, how many players do they have, what strategies they follow etc. Video games has a lot of advantages for kids including:
- Learning Problem-Solving skills.
- They inspire Interest in Culture and History
- They help to enhance Social Skills
- They Sparks Creativity
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One of the finest childhood activities any parent can engage their child in is: book reading. Believe me, I used to spend hours and hours digging through Quiz and story books. They not only provided me knowledge but also helped enrich my vocabulary, writing skills, focus and memory.
Time to question yourself!
Are you involving your child in such healthy learning activities or your kid is busy with their playstation or updating their social media accounts?
he irony is being a parent this responsibility falls on us to introduce your kids to such activities. We need to expose them to mind-developing habits and hobbies. We hope the activities mentioned in the blogpost are going to serve as the motivation.
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