The Single Most-Effective Child Learning Activity

Finding a great child learning activity always creates some debate among teachers and parents, specifically finding successful ways to improve children's learning skills. Is it taking part in a bigger variety of activities? Playing with specific educational toys? Following structured learning programs? Here's what I've personally done to see dramatic improvements in children's general learning skills…

Whenever parents are faced with trying to improve their child's learning skills, they invariably see electronics, new gadgets, latest technology and huge cost. But that's not really what's needed to see results.

Let's look at some of the criteria a good child learning activity must meet:

  1. It must be quick and easy to do,

  2. cheap,

  3. able to occupy children for a reasonable time AND

  4. must definitely help to improve reading and learning skills, concentration, general knowledge, observation, ability to selectively collect information and ability to focus on detail.

Unfortunately there are not many activities that can do all of this… but there is one. I call it the...

Amazing Newspaper Activity

Here's how it works:

Give your child any newspaper or interesting magazine. It doesn't have to be a recent one.

Step 1

Now, here's the first learning step for improving visual-perceptual skills. This is particularly effective for teaching colors, counting, forms, concentration and lots more. Now, ask your child the following about the newspaper

  • Name all the colors on, say, page 3

  • How many rectangles do you see on page 5?

  • What is the main headline?

  • How many pages in the paper?

  • On page 3, write down 5 words starting with a "d"

  • Copy the words in any advertisement

  • Write down the names and surnames of any 3 people mentioned in the paper

  • On what page is, say, the weather summary?

Step 2

The second learning step is for improving your child's sensory-motor functions… stimulating tactile, visual-auditory, and proprioception skills - in short, for improving brain functioning.

  • Get your child to tear the newspaper apart with hands AND feet

  • Open a newspaper, lay it on the floor and encourage your child to walk on the centre fold and around the edges of the paper

  • With a pair of scissors ask him or her to cut out certain pictures or photos

  • Let them redraw certain photos or line specific articles with colour markers

  • Fold and crumple the pages

Learning activities are usually really effective if it simultaneously encourages the development of more than one new skill. Not only does this learning activity achieve this goal, but it also encourages and improves skills children use daily.

One of the other major benefits is that it works for all kids… preschoolers and older.

So, rather than going into further debates about clever ways to improve kids' learning skills, first try this child learning activity. Regardless of how easy it may seem, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the terrific learning results it gets.

Other child learning activities

OK, lets' say you're also looking for a few more child learning activities. What are the ones you can also consider?

Here are a few more in no particular priority order:

The stacking shapes pegboard is one of our favorites for improving basic shape understanding, colors, and fine motor development Story Cubes is a pocket-sized stimulator for loads of imaginative play... a highly popular learning toy No Stress Chess not only teaches kids how each of the chess pieces moves, but also give the chance to play once the basics are mastered
The geometric sorting board is another favorite educational toy for babies and toddlers THe award-winning Rush Hour game is a very popular learning game for 8 year olds and up The highly popular Snap Circuit 300 builds 300 projects thereby teaching kids the basics and workings of electronic circuits and components