A lot of parents are concerned about their children taking the IIT/JEE entrance examinations.
And, there is nothing wrong in that, because these days, a large volume of students are taking various tests for admission into colleges across the country.
Given the doors a student from a middle class family can open with such an education, it is no wonder more and more parents use a large chunk of their income to send their kids to good coaching providers.
The question is, is getting into a premium institute all that is needed for a secure career?
As a parent you have to consider the level of competition these days and start training your kids for a specific career from a very young age.
Why do we need hobbies?
Taking up a hobby has always been the best way to nurture a skill that can save your day in the job market.
After-school activities are designed to satisfy the free time and curiosity of kids. They help children to develop cognitively and physically.
Learning by doing is one of the best ways to grasp new knowledge. This is why there are plenty of computer games for kids.
Nowadays, with the advent of ed-tech, children can indulge in playful learning activities that’ll train them in cutting edge technology.
Let’s look at how you can leverage learning through play methods to train your kids in STEM activities for elementary students.
Oops. Did I just say STEM? It’s just a cool acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
STEM learning is awesome because it helps students get better at thinking critically and working in teams, which can be tough for them.
But where can you start with your kids?
The STEM mindset…
There are tons of really simple fun projects for kids to do that will really help them get into the STEM mindset. And if that wasn’t enough… they’re also just super fun!
The catch is, students are already learning STEM topics at school. How do you make them feel that they are having fun while doing learning activities?
When you get your kids to plant flowers in a vase, and then open it up again a few weeks later, they’ll be able to see the roots they’ve grown!
If you tell them to use marbles in their water to see if that helps the roots grow, they’ll learn about density!
Finally, when kids measure the temperature at different points during the day to see if that has any effect on root growth, they’ll be doing a mini-experiment!
They’ll have so much fun doing this, they won’t even realise they’re learning all about plant sciences!
But I’m not a science professor…
I know what you are worrying about, You don’t need to be a science genius in order to help your little ones learn about the world.
The best way to encourage children to become genuinely interested in science is to engage and support their curiosity.
For example, if you notice your child is really drawn to bugs lately, you could start bringing big jars in from the backyard or garden, and letting them see their bug collection grow.
You can even make up fun facts about the different bugs you have seen together!
If you come across a science activity that doesn’t seem authentic, or doesn’t teach important skills, don’t worry!
As long as you are helping your child by engaging with them and supporting their interests, they will be learning valuable skills even when they think they’re just playing around.
My kid is out of my league…!
Well I get your point, Haha, don’t worry! It’s totally normal if you feel like your kid is smarter than you.
The thing is, kids these days are growing up so much faster than we did. It’s almost like they’re little adults.
I mean, my eight-year-old can cook and balance the family budget and knows how to get into college and everything.
And my seven-year-old has a job at the local library cataloguing books. What have I ever done that’s as impressive as that?
But it’s OK, because we’re growing up too—we can learn new things about science just by playing with our kids!
Be curious yourself...
You can help your kids be curious and learn actively, only when you have tasted the drive of curiosity yourself.
Go out and start exploring about the things your kid can take up as fun learning activities which might be missed out by the schools.
After all, the whole idea is to find out those toys and STEM projects which can add value to your child’s education
Get yourself involved in such projects and have a flair for fun STEM activities, so that your kid feels that you are the perfect team mate for doing such projects.
How about some online STEM learning activities?
There are thousands of toy making STEM projects for kids available online.
Many of them only require items that you can buy from your local toy store to get them running and a microcontroller if you want it to be more fun.
Online STEM activities are the best resources out there for providing your kids with hands-on playful learning.
They can serve as excellent inspiration for your kids’ learning activities, as well as a way for them to impress their teachers and classmates and boost their confidence.
All this considered, the best learning activities will be those that engage your child’s imagination while also teaching them something new.
You want to find a balance between active learning and passive learning. Active learning is best when you are learning a skill, or when you are teaching a skill to someone else.
This can help the brain consolidate the information into long term memory.
But, passive learning can build up only the conceptual side of one’s knowledge.
Understanding the difference between active learning and passive learning allows you to choose great toys for your children that also are useful in their education.