Almost any activity you do with your child can be an opportunity for him to learn something. Taking your child shopping can help him learn to add amounts or to select healthy food. Cooking with your child can teach him basic chemistry as well as how to be safe when handling sharp or hot items. Look for teaching moments in everyday activities you do with your children as well as planning special activities.
Preparing a loaf of bread or even just pizza dough with your children can be a learning extravaganza. If you use a scale to measure ingredients, your children will need to learn how to tare the scale to set it back to zero. Measuring by volume will teach your children how to measure properly. You may want to prepare two loaves of bread, using different measuring techniques so that they can see how scooping the flour changes the quality of the dough versus pouring spoonfuls of flour into the cup. Scooping flour usually results in more per cup. Kneading the bread will help them see how gluten develops. As you watch the bread rise, you can teach them about yeast.
Chores and Allowance
Give your child a weekly allowance, or better yet, assign her several chores that she needs to complete to get her allowance. The child’s age should determine the chores. For instance, an older child can help with setting the table for dinner or washing the dishes while a younger child can tidy her room or make her bed. The chores help them learn responsibility. Let your children use the allowance for things they want, such as toys or candy. You may want to set up a savings account for them so that they can stash the money away if they wish. Giving an allowance from a young age helps children learn the basics of money management, such as savings, and how to make decisions as a consumer.
Start a small vegetable or flower garden with your children to teach them the basics of botany and biology. Selecting the plants for the garden will help your child learn to make decisions, while caring for the plants as they grow will teach him responsibility. Your child should learn to recognize what insects, such as butterflies and ladybugs, are good for his garden and which ones, such as slugs, are harmful. He’ll also learn how to remove harmful insects without causing damage to the plants. Gardening together will also give you a chance to bond and interact with your child.