Creative homeschool ideas for making learning fun

by Mary Ann on May 2, 2010

Treasure Hunt Your House to Create a Magical Learning Space

Let’s continue to look at what you already have in your home that can get your Spark Station started. When I am coaching a parent who is reluctant to start until they have the perfect spark Station or the perfect stuff to go in it I give them an assignment. I tell them to go into every room of their home (except their children’s bedrooms) and look around. I tell them to have a pad and paper with them or a box. I ask them to make a list of everything in each room that could be inspirational and fun for a child. Then I tell them to get a Closet and put those things in it.

So I am going to take you on a tour of my home in the next few blogs and let’s see what we can find. I am going to start in the kitchen because of all the rooms in the home it usually has the most to offer.

  1. A box of corn starch. Corn starch models the behavior of quicksand and it is so much fun to play with. We take 5-10 boxes to our family reunion every year and the corn starch table is always a BIG hit with both kids and adults. When you mix the cornstarch with water you want it to have the consistency of honey. One box of cornstarch takes approximately 1 to 2 cups of water. You will have to work a bit to get the consistency just right. Children love to play with cornstarch. They will often play with it until practically nothing is left. This is fun for an 18 month old and an 18 year old.
  2. Vinegar and soda, they cause an eruption when mixed together.
  3. Rice. This is great fun for small children. Pour rice in a tub and supply a few spoons and cups. Rice can be colored to add to the fun. Put a sheet underneath for easier clean up because it doesn’t all stay in the tub.
  4. Assorted macaroni, peas, dried beans and lentils. These are great for making pictures either right on a table top and then scooped back into a jar or bag…or glued onto stiff paper.
  5. Instant pudding. Do your kids like to finger paint. Well this is a non-staining and yummy way to do that, right on the counter or table top.
  6. Styrofoam or paper cups and plates
  7. Pop corn. Add a book about Squanto or the Pilgrims. A good idea to add in November.
  8. Here is what I found to add to my junk box: straws, plastic lids in assorted sizes, metal canning rings, wire, rubber bands, old keys, plastic forks, spoon, cork, and twist ties.
  9. Save some empty boxes and cans until you have enough for a store. Add some play money, maybe a till and voila, math for a few weeks play.

10.  Recipes – Every now and then put a recipe in The Spark Station with a main ingredient like a can of pumpkin or a bag of chocolate chips. Someone may want to cook. A fun project is to purchase some small recipe boxes and cards; possibly a colorful pencil. Put them in a tub with pages and cards of your families special recipes, especially those your kids love. Let them make their own recipe box if they want to. Then periodically let one choose a card and be in charge of dinner.

In the next few blogs I am going to show you how to use these items in your Spark Station to delight and inspire your children to LOVE learning.

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