Whether it’s learning a subject or a skill – and whether you’re a child or an adult – true learning only takes place when you have a genuine interest in what you’re learning.
At NTUC First Campus’ My First Skool, we’ve found that the best way to nurture this interest is by making learning fun. When children develop a joy for learning, they become more enthusiastic about participating and trying new things – making them better learners!
Interested in how you can make learning fun for your child? Read on for five helpful tips, with examples of how we apply these in our fun-filled learning environments (which you can apply at home too).
#1 – Engage young minds through roleplaying
Children love activities that are engaging, active and hands-on – like roleplaying. What’s more, the fun and interactive nature of roleplaying activities leads to increased retention – so children remember more of what they learn.
We recommend turning some playtime at home into roleplaying sessions. These are a lot of fun for your child, and a fantastic form of family bonding. Act out different scenarios at various areas of your home and let your child’s imagination take everyone on some truly fascinating adventures!
If you’d like some ideas on how roleplaying can be carried out, check out our creatively designed dramatic learning corners.
Here, children act out roles assigned to them (for example, a doctor, cashier, customer, police officer, etc.). These sessions help children to develop their social skills, communication, teamwork, and creativity – while also learning how things work. For example, when they’re astronauts in a space shuttle, children learn about gravity as they imagine themselves floating weightlessly around the shuttle!
#2 – Let’s play outdoors!
According to a study by the American Academy of Paediatrics, outdoor play is an essential part of children’s playtime as it encourages them to explore the world around them.
Wondering what outdoor adventures you can take your child on? How about planning a trip to Chinatown or Wisma Geylang Serai? You can use these outings to introduce local cultures and traditions.
You could also have a fun day exploring nature at Zhenghua Nature Park, where you can watch birds and teach your child about the amazing diversity of trees, plants and wildlife in the park and the surrounding nature reserve. The hidden surprises in these spots will surely delight both children and parents alike.
At our centres, we take our children on walks through nearby community gardens, playgrounds and parks. Even better, selected My First Skool centres have outdoor play areas where children can ride on scooters and engage in water play – experiences that build valuable motor skills, teamwork and resilience in developing minds.
#3 – Explore your child’s interests
What is your child naturally inclined towards? Do they love arts, science, numbers, nature, building things, or something else? Give your child the freedom to gravitate towards what they love, then nurture their passion from a young age by making learning fun and rewarding.
To nurture your child’s passions and their love for learning, get to know their interests and strengths. If your child doesn’t yet have particular interests, you can explore various activities together to discover what they’re naturally drawn to. Be sure to encourage them as they practise this activity, learn and get better!
At My First Skool, we help children to discover their interests and strengths through our holistic curriculum, which encompasses a wide variety of subjects and activities. Our teachers reinforce the positive feelings children have while learning, so children form positive associations between learning and having fun.
#4 – Incorporate games into learning
Gamification may be taking the world by storm in recent years, but the concept of incorporating games into learning isn’t new – this is how we’ve always kept children engaged as they learn. For example, our early childhood educators often use parking lot numbers and the classic “snakes and ladders” game to teach addition and subtraction.
Meanwhile, Chinese is taught using board games, fingerplay and songs (among other methods) – activities that always bring a smile to children’s faces! (Even those who only speak English at home.)
Try incorporating fun games into your child’s activities at home (or outdoors) too. Mix up the games to keep learning fresh, fun and exciting.
#5 – Unleash your little artist!
Step into an arts and crafts session with a class full of children, and you’ll see little ones delightfully experimenting with various paints, colours, and materials – or even happily creating works of art with their fingers!
This is a time when your child’s imagination can run free. During these sessions, there’s no “right” or “wrong” way of doing things, so children generally express their thoughts and emotions more openly – even those who haven’t learnt to fully express themselves with words.
Here’s a fun idea to encourage your budding little artist. Complete drawings or paintings together with your child, then stick your masterpieces onto the fridge, or frame them up and put them on the wall for everyone to admire!
Joy in Learning Matters at NTUC First Campus' My First Skool
Here at NTUC First Campus’ My First Skool, we believe that developing a joy in learning, matters. When children are having fun, they are naturally more engaged and want to learn more, and this helps them to learn better. And once they develop a genuine love for learning, they’ll approach learning – in school and everywhere else – with an enthusiastic, positive mindset.
Let your child experience the joy of learning by enrolling them at NTUC First Campus’ My First Skool. Registrations for the 2021 and 2022 are now open.