Think of homework and you might imagine children reluctantly slumped on a desk. But learning doesn’t have to be confined to desks or even four walls.
No matter if your child is just starting school or they’re approaching exams, active learning could be the ticket to helping them engage with learning whilst enjoying themselves and getting moving.
Although learning has now returned to classrooms, there is still plenty your family can do to exercise both the brain and body at home. Here’s why you should consider encouraging active learning in your house…
A recent study has found that physically active learning has incredible benefits for children. Not only does it boost activity levels and physical health, it also significantly improves concentration and can have amazing academic benefits. Children become better at focusing on their task and managing distractions.
School days can sometimes be quite sedentary, so active learning is a fantastic way to build healthy habits and incorporate more physical activity into your child’s routine. And perhaps also your own!
It also helps improve motivation and inspire a positive approach to learning. You’re sure to hear fewer complaints whilst they are burning energy and having fun.
You know your children best, so if they have a favourite sport, dance or activity, then try adding it into the mix. From active play at an early age to energetic study breaks in their teens, there are plenty of interesting ways you can help support active learning at home:
For younger children-
- Scavenger hunt
Challenge your little ones to go treasure hunting, asking them to fetch different objects as fast as they can. You can do this both indoors and outdoors, and you can use colours, themes, shapes or the alphabet to get their brains ticking.
- Maths games
Learning to count and solve sums can be made much more fun by adding actions. Quite simply, you could encourage your children to answer questions with actions, where 5 + 5 would equal 10 star jumps or twirls. Or try sticking numbers on the wall at different heights so your child can jump up, bend down or reach across to tag the correct answer.
- Active stories
Budding film stars can act out their favourite stories to help them engage with books whilst get active. Or to sharpen up their listening skills, try assigning an action to common words in the story for them to do every time the word is read out.
For older children-
- Active listening
If learning can be done through a podcast, audio book or YouTube video, then listening whilst out on a walk or jog is a great way to combine the activities.
- Standing desk
Boost productivity and improve posture by setting up a standing workstation which your child can use for revision, homework or home learning.
- Stretch breaks
When your child is studying or revising, encourage them to take breaks regularly to get up, stretch, walk or work out. It will help them reboot, destress and avoid being sedentary for long periods of time.
For all ages-
- Fun projects
Hands-on projects can be a great way to help children of any age engage with their work. Rather than sticking to screens or paper, try creative art projects, simple science experiments or learning new skills such as sports, gardening or cooking.
- Active quizzes and games
When children have a set of questions or topics to learn, mix it up by transforming the session into a fun game. For example, if your child likes football, have a penalty shoot-out where they can take a penalty every time they answer correctly.
- Brain breaks
It is a good idea to take short breaks from learning every so often. Encourage your children to take active breaks, perhaps by walking, hula hooping or playing fetch with the dog.
- Walk to school
Walking, cycling or scooting to school is a great way to incorporate more activity into your daily routines. Read more about transforming the school run.
Get Set Leeds is committed to getting the city moving and celebrating all the amazing benefits of physical activity. Active learning is just one way that you can help your family build healthier habits. Visit our Get Active page for more ways to get yourself and your family moving in Leeds.