In our study group we’ve taken a few weeks to do some observation – trying to see our children through new eyes. We’ve also talked about our reasons WHY we home-school. Now we are taking those things we’ve noted and we’re thinking about some environments that will inspire each individual child. When we say “environment” we mean any place or opportunity to nurture the many interests and talents that make up “us!”
Environments always work best when we consult the “experts” – our children themselves!
Here are a few of our ideas:
Visit a library – which is exactly what we did today. You don’t have to stick to the one in your hometown. When was the last time you visited a new library? There are some fantastic ones that are close to home!
Plan a storytelling festival
Plan an Easter party
Spend a day at Grandma’s house
Buy a Yo-yo
Make an obstacle course
A talent show
Play Post Office
Make fairy houses
Make pet rocks
Teach a Manga art class
Trip to a puppy barn or “Rent a Puppy”
Set up a beauty shop for the family
Own a cheetah farm (cute, cute cute!)
Teach a running class
Internship at pet store or pet grooming shop
Paint a landscape
One mom asked about some ideas for her two-year-old to engage in when the older kids need her assistance. (Machiel, this is for you!) The little ones like to be involved in everything else that is going on. Make sure you set up these spaces in the room where the fun is happening so they will feel like one of the “big kids.”
- Small tent with little camping items like a flashlight, canteen, compass, blanket and snacks
- Cooking station with chocolate chips, dried fruit, peanut, almond or sun butter, small bowl (hmmm, maybe a big one), measuring spoons, marshmallows, sunflower seeds, honey etc.
- Small hammer with golf tees and Styrofoam sheets for pounding “nails” (golf tees) into the “wood” (Styrofoam) Take a look at the picture below to see how you can get the whole family engaged in a phenomenal activity! Golf tees just might be the next “sliced bread!” (Another great library exhibit!)
- Boat making station (different sizes of sticks – keep it SIMPLE) and a small tub of water to float them in.
- Sink or float station with lots of items to try (dishpan with water) Be prepared to find your favorite brush at the bottom if they really get into it.
- Play dough or “gak” (Make it yourself) Older kids could make this with the little ones and then tuck it away for another day’s play.
- Old mirrors make great places for kids to build. (use small blocks, animals, beads, cars, trucks…) Everything looks better on a mirror!
- Dishpan filled with half an inch of wheat in the bottom with lots of little cars, trucks, and work vehicles to “make roads.” It cleans up easily and most of the mess stays in the dishpan.
- Magnetic station (A magnetic wall, such as your refrigerator, works good)
- Sticker Station
- Wooden marble run