Make Learning Fun with We Love to Learn Stations
As parents, we’re sailing in uncharted waters right now, with the social distancing, stay at home requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many parents are teaching their children academics at home for the first time. All parents are likely getting complaints from their children that they want to play with friends or go do something they aren’t allowed to do because of social distancing. I’m hearing parents say they’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.
Whether you’re a homeschool family or an emergency distance learning family, having some fresh ideas for making learning fun can help change your children’s attitudes about being stuck at home!
The first idea I want to share will help your children enjoy learning more with the “We Love to Learn Stations”.
We Love to Learn Stations
In the dead of winter here in Minnesota, we often have to stay at home because of the weather, our days get long, and kids can become bored. That’s why I typically added a learning station’s day on Fridays to give us all a change of pace.
This pandemic with the stay at home requirement is the perfect time for you all to try a Learning station day! It only takes a little time to prepare for it, and your kids will LOVE it! Basically, you’ll set up learning stations throughout your house, and your children will rotate to the various learning stations doing whatever you’ve set up there. (Teams of two work great, but if you don’t have enough children for teams, you’ll need to participate or set up stations that can be done by one child at a time.) You can even use some of the learning resources that you already have, either from your school teacher or your curriculum.
All you need to do is prepare your learning stations, usually the night before. Then start your We Love To Learn Stations Day with explaining the different stations to your children. Set the timer and begin! (Approximately 15-20 minutes per station)
Prepare the Learning Stations
1. Language arts station (you can have more than one language arts station if you wish or just choose one of these)
- Phonics game for the pre-readers or early readers (Memory, Go Fish, puzzles or see options in my recommended page.)
- Grammar game using Mad Libs
- Write a short creative story alone or with your partner using some story starter ideas if needed. (share your story with family afterward)
- Audio books with audible.com for listening comprehension (free books available to children during the pandemic!)
- Spelling game – Make your own using a manila folder! Game instructions.
2. Reading station
- Have a basket with library books or topical encyclopedias (Usborne has some great ones) and at this station, they read or look at pictures for 15-20 minutes.
- Or you can have your child read from the book they’ve been reading already.
3. Math station
- Play math games together (see my recommended page for ideas on games) – you can use regular board games or dice.
- If your child likes speed games, do a few speed math worksheets where they time themselves and see how many they can get done in 10 minutes. They can do this twice and see if they can beat their first try. Drill worksheets available HERE.
4. Science station
- Find a fun science experiment on Pinterest or from Science Kids.com and set it up for them to try.
- Set up a Science project for your children to make. (find ideas at Science Kids.com)
5. Geography or History station
- Have a globe or map out. Give your children each a list of places that they need to find on the map and write the longitude and latitude. Or have separate maps for each child and they can mark the places you’ve listed.
- Play “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego”? This is a fun game that teaches geography, world cultures and history for children ages 8-12!
- Set up a project for your children to work on related to the time period they’re studying in history. (e.g. build a teepee if studying American Indians)
- Set up a CD player or have a link ready for your child to listen to a piece of classical music and provide a link or print up a short biography about the composer for them to read while they listen.
- Set out musical instruments for your children to play with (if you have older children, they could practice their music lesson for this station).
- Provide resources for your child to make a drum or a guitar using a box, etc.
- Set up an art project for the children to work on.
- Have pictures of various artist’s work with information about each piece.
- Set up paints with information about how to mix primary colors to make secondary colors and let them have fun mixing and painting. Here’s a video to help you teach these concepts!
- Choose a memory verse for all the children to learn and post it on the wall. Have them say it together three times and then write it on a note card. Then have them use one of the following games to practice:
- Write each word of the verse on a separate index card and mix the cards up – have your child unscramble the words to make the verse. (Include the verse address on a card, i.e. ‘Galatians 5:22-23’.)
- Use a dry erase board and write out the verse. Read the verse through together a few times, then erase one word. Read the verse again saying the right word for the erased word. Take turns erasing words, saying the right words for each erased word as you recite the verse. Eventually you should have nothing on the board and be saying the verse from memory.
- Play Sword Drill with SALVATION verses. (For children who can read well and know their Bible a bit. You’ll need to help with this one) Using the list below, have each child hold a closed Bible above his or her head. Dad or Mom calls out the first reference twice and then says, “Swords ready…Go!” and the children try to be the first one to find and read the verse out loud. (If you have an only child, make the clock the thing to beat.) You may challenge your children to figure out what the common theme of all the verses is. You may also give a prize to the winner, if you wish, but everyone gets the benefit of knowing his or her way around the Bible better and of hearing God’s Word. “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” Romans 10:17.
- Key Word: Salvation
- Exodus 15:2
- I Samuel 2:1
- Psalm 27:1
- Luke 2:30
- Acts 4:12
- Romans 1:16
- Ephesians 1:13
- Ephesians 6:17
- Psalm 18:2
- Isaiah 12:2
*These memory games and the Bible game were taken from Growing the Fruit of the Spirit, a wonderful family Bible study guide for children of all ages, available on my store page or on Amazon.
8. Create your own station to help your children learn about something they are currently studying in their school lessons!