5 Classic Outdoor Summer Games for Kids

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Children” by martinedehart is licensed under CC by 2.0

Some games are evergreen – they haven’t lost their charm or element of fun even though we played them way back in our own childhood! Come summer, and it’s the perfect opportunity to introduce them to your kids (that is, if they are not familiar with most of them already). Here you go.

Hide and Seek: First and foremost on the list. Leads to a whole lot of giggles, develops problem-solving skills and helps kids learn all about the importance of teamwork.
Hopscotch: All you need is a solid floor and a piece of chalk. Hopping on one foot is fun, helps younger children learn how to maintain balance and improves hand-eye coordination.
Marbles: Drawing a circle in the sand and trying to knock each other’s marbles out of it – it’s as simple as that. Helps to develop fine motor skills, counting ability and hand-eye coordination. (Not suitable for toddlers though).
Tag: One child assumes the responsibility of becoming the all-important ‘it’ and chases the other kids around, trying to make them ‘it’. Helps keep them physically active and fit.
Simon Says: The ‘Simon’ of the group issues instructions to the others (for example, ‘stick out your tongue’) and they are required to follow it only when preceded by ‘Simon says’.

A hint of nostalgia, anyone?

The Periodic Table Battleship Game

Most of us have played Battleship at home at some point in our lives – the opposing player has a fleet of ships that you need to destroy, with you calling ‘shots’ at your opponent’s ships. A homeschooling mom of four kids, Karyn Tripp, who has been a teacher to her children since more than seven years came up with an ingenious idea – she converted the periodic table into a Battleship game of sorts. Here’s how she went about it.

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Image courtesy: Bored Panda

Four identical copies of the periodic table were printed out and the rows labeled in an alphabetical order. Gluing each of the four to hard re-foldable cardboards or file folders, the tables took on a laptop-type of form which could be opened and pinned together at the top while playing in order to create ‘barriers’. The rules are simple: Players play by calling out coordinates, after circling rows of two, three, four and five elements to mark the positions of their ‘ships’. Whoever finds the elements first, circles it and wins the game.

“I came up with the idea because we play Battleship a lot at our house. I was studying chemistry with my kids and we were trying to think of a fun way to memorize the elements. So it just came to me!” says Karyn.

Who could’ve imagined something as exciting as Battleship and as dry as the periodic table could go so well together?

Easter Month Activity Ideas for Kids

The festive Easter fever still hasn’t died down and there are remnants of the occasion which keep popping up at home here and there – just last night I found half a decorated egg shell under the coffee table in the living room. For those of you whose kids are still reveling in the Easter holiday spirit, here are a couple of fun activity ideas for the remaining part of the month.
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Basket” by PublicDomainPictures is licensed under CC by 2.0

• Design a different colored Easter egg for each day of the month.
• Help make simple recipes for snacks. For instance, simple mini meals like tomato and cucumber sandwiches along with lemonade.
• Learn how to draw an Easter bunny. Once you’re good at it, draw it neatly on a large-sized chart paper and put it up in your room or on the door at the entrance.
• Play fun games like Easter bingo together with the entire family. Simply print out a template of the game from any of the free resources available online.
• Watch a couple of fun Easter movies like It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown or Bugs Bunny’s Easter Funnies and have a good laugh.

So long, till next year!

Homework vs. Homeschooling

There are several reasons why parents are increasingly turning to homeschooling when it comes to educating their kids. One, those who wish their kids to be imparted a rigorous education need to more often than not turn to private schools instead of public schools, an option that is not monetarily feasible in a majority of the cases. Two, homeschooling allows a child to blossom as per his strengths and weaknesses – curricula can be tweaked at will depending on the child’s proficiencies in a certain area, and everything is not just about learning by rote. Three (and this is becoming a big issue with parents and students worldwide today), the increasing burden of homework on kids is considered to be more detrimental than beneficial for their overall development.

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Board” by geralt is licensed under CC by 2.0

Experts believe that instead of sitting indoors for hours on end, poring over worksheets and math problems and what-not, children will be better equipped to tackle situations if they spend the same time outdoors in a sport, or even reading stories of their choice. Those who advocate the fact that homeschooled kids are not socially well-equipped, well, that simply doesn’t hold true in this case. Children, who spend the first half or so of their day being homeschooled in the curriculum best suited to them, then spend their early evenings with peers running and playing games are in no way lesser academically than traditionally schooled kids burdened with a humongous amount of homework on a daily basis. After all, have a look at these numbers; don’t they speak for themselves?



'Contagious' Personality Traits in Kids

Behind the parents stands the school, and behind the teacher the home. True, definitely. But surprisingly, children even as young as preschool tend to get influenced by their peer group to a great extent. A recent study carried out by the Michigan State University and published in the prestigious Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has established what we have assumed all along – it is not just genes that do their bit in shaping a child’s personality; the environment and people around them have a considerable effect on how they turn out to be as individuals too.
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Play” by johnhain is licensed under CC by 2.0

Jennifer Watling Neal, co-investigator of the study and associate professor of psychology put it like this: “Our finding, that personality traits are ‘contagious’ among children, flies in the face of common assumptions that personality is ingrained and can’t be changed. This is important because some personality traits can help children succeed in life, while others can hold them back.”

So while parents like us might try our best to inculcate the values of, say, patience in our preschoolers, don’t be taken aback if your little one turns out to be exactly the opposite. It’s probably just their 3-or-4-year-old peers unknowingly acting as change agents and being impatient around them :)

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brionnasimpson

Author:brionnasimpson
I am an assistant teacher and my aim is to curate unique learning tips and techniques customized towards kids.

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