Whether they opt for stickers, shells, rocks, coins or Moshi Monsters, starting a collection is a good way to teach children a number of important skills. Parents shouldn’t push children towards collecting a particular thing, as the important part is to nurture the enthusiasm for what they enjoy. Starting a collection can help to:
- Develop organisational skills – Whether grouping together species of fluffy animals, finding the right players to complete a team in a sticker book or arranging coins by the denomination, collecting can encourage an enjoyment of categorising and counting while exercising ability to see distinctions too.
- Learn more about responsibility – Children often become interested in the idea of collection around the age of 5, and can often spend hours arranging their collection, learning more about how to add to it and a giving it a great deal of care and attention.
- Build social skills – If your child finds a friend who shares a similar collecting passion, this can encourage interaction through trades or comparisons. It can act as a great icebreaker for children to develop friendships.
- Learn about budgeting – If children are expected to pay for their collectibles – be it stickers, figurines, trading cards or coins – it can teach them about the need to make decisions about how much they want to spend, what they can afford and how to save if they have their eye on a particularly special addition.
Check out this Moshi Monsters Official Collectable Figures Guide for a fun and relevant way to introduce your child to collecting.
While you might be unsure about the idea of introducing your child to a sewing machine, some parents give their children the opportunity to try it from the age of 4, under supervision. By 8 years old, those who have been shown what to do can sew without supervision! You’ll know best when your child is capable of using the machine on their own, so supervise until they’re ready and watch where they put their fingers.
Let them know that that sewing quickly isn’t better sewing, so encourage them to take their time. Here are some other things to consider when letting your kids sew:
- Give them the choice – Part of the fun of is choosing, so let them pick everything from the fabric to the thread colour. That being said, remember that some fabric can be much more complicated to work with.
- Let children make what they want – They may find something they particularly like making, and choose to make it over and over again. Their confidence will build as they work within their comfort zone, and it will be satisfying to see their skills develop.
- Have fun! – Their sewing might be crooked and buttons will be loose, but if they can do it themselves they will get to experience all the pride and satisfaction that comes from completing a project. Plus, the more that they have fun the more likely they are to keep sewing.
This can cover a broad range of things, from Airfix models and Meccano; to building things from junk or clay; to painting fantasy figurines; or developing an interest in model trains. Whatever you child choses to construct, there are many educational benefits for doing so.
- Developing dexterity – During their early years, using building blocks develops fine motors skills. Some of the more intricate models can take this to the next level – be it painting the shield of a medieval knight or gluing together a model plane.
- Builds cognitive skills – If tackling a complex build, children will need to take into consideration planning, design, problem solving and logical thinking.
- Encourages an interest in history and science – Whether building a model of a classic car, rocket or WWII tank, this will encourage kids to research the history or meaning behind their model. For moving models, it could also encourage an interest in engineering or the physics of how things work.
Try spending an afternoon making this Crusader Castle – suitable for kids.
Regardless of background, age or interests; a good melody is something that every child can understand and enjoy. Along with an appreciation for music, encouraging your child to learn an instrument can provide many benefits, such as:
- Boosting brain power – Research has shown on many occasions that there is a correlation between higher academic achievements with children that are exposed to music, as it stimulates the parts of the brain related to reading, math and emotional development. It has also shown that participating in music from an early age can improve memory and learning ability.
- Improves social skills – Children who become involved in a musical group will learn how to relate to other, work in a team and appreciate the rewards that come from working together. It will also encourage the development of leadership skills and discipline.
- Teaches patience and discipline – Kids might be used to instant gratification these days, but the process of learning an instrument takes time and dedication. Practicing alone or as part of a band requires discipline to stick to lessons inside and outside of school.
- Fosters creativity – Above anything, playing and enjoying music is a creative pursuit that is good for the mind, body and soul.
While not every child is destined for a life on the stage, enjoying drama doesn’t have to have an ultimate goal of superstardom. In fact, a drama class can benefit children in many other ways that can help in other aspects of their life.
- Builds confidence – After a few weeks in a drama group even the shyest children are able to build up their self-esteem, to a point where they are confident enough to take a full and active part in a drama session.
- Develops language and communication skills – Participating in pretend play, learning songs or playing drama games encourages children to express themselves verbally. Facial expressions and body language will also help to make them more effective communicators.
- Enhances emotional intelligence – Encouraging children to ‘act out’ emotions within the safe and supportive environment of a drama group will allow children the opportunity to better understand their emotions. It can also help them develop empathy for others.
- Develops creativity – Improvisation and pretend play encourages creative thinking, and the ability to view things in new ways and from different perspectives.
Share you fun ideas for indoor activities in the comments box below.
If you missed part 1 of our list of activities for a rainy day, you can take a look here