Grown-Ups, Don’t leave home without a home-made ‘Activity Pack’
Grown-ups and children of all ages enjoy outings and vacations so be prepared for these real-life learning experiences. Be prepared to make such events enjoyable and memorable. Also, be prepared if an unexpected situation arises. For example, if travelling, be prepared for the journey. We do not know what may happen along the way – transport delays or raining for days – be prepared with some activities. As challenging and demanding as caring for children is, it can make life easier all round.
I am certainly not advocating purchasing commercial activity books to ‘busy’ your children. Materials for your Activity Pack should include anything that adds to or enhances the planned experiences and caters for your child’s interests and developmental level. However, do not hesitate to raise your expectations about what your child may be capable of understanding or discussing. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Following are some suggestions to prepare for a fun and valuable learning experience, fill in time and enhance cooperative, family learning:
o have ready time-tables (train, bus etc.) to learn to read and understand;
o organise maps, compass, GPS for the family to learn to use;
o books and district information;
o fiction material to share;
o make some place name cards; look out for signs along the way, match the name places on cards – use cards later for sentence making about the journey;
o once at your destination, draw on the setting to provide ideas.
In your Activity Pack you may have: camera, coloured pencils, pens, paper, tape, scissors, glue sticks, calculator, ruler, file folder, clipboard, snacks, rewards and motivators, tissues, coins for parking/entry, timer/stopwatch, dice, estimation jar to be filled and refilled, puzzles, crosswords and books.
Intergenerational learning is a tremendously valuable opportunity for all ages to gain hands-on experience in new situations. Adults, you will be amazed at how much you can learn from the younger generation!
Jan Couper M.Ed.; M.Env