10 Ways To Turn Everyday Life Into Learning Experiences

Love2Learn Idaho
Published in
6 min readJul 8, 2016

It’s easy to give in to the temptation of allowing our kids to spend countless hours binge-watching a TV series on Netflix, or play for hours on electronics. Yet, with a little creativity and research, we can do a lot to transform our everyday life into fun learning experiences. Backyard exploration, gazing at the sky above and creating origami animals are some of the ways to keep our kids active and their minds working all year long.

Learning should be fun and can happen anywhere, here are some ideas to turn everyday moments into a learning adventure. Just remember that learning and family time should be fun, so pick a couple that interest your family and grow from there.

1. Trips To The Store

Going to the store with kids can sometimes feel like a chaotic 90’s game show of Supermarket Sweep. These trips can easily be turned into teaching experiences by including your kids in shopping tasks. Discuss how you spend smarter at the grocery store by using coupons, shopping sales, or comparing unit prices. Ask them what they think would be the smarter purchase and why. For younger children, ask them to weigh produce and find items on your shopping list. Have them read food labels and talk about different food groups and healthy food choices.

2. Connect In The Kitchen

Cooking with kids can be both fun and educational and will provide them with a way to express their creativity and become confident with their new found skills. Have them read the recipe to you and practice their math expertise by adding fractions and measuring ingredients. Experiment with real-life chemistry by making yeast rise. Assign each of your children a day where they plan, shop for and prepare a healthy economical meal.

3. Star Exploration

The magical night sky is the perfect playground for your child’s imagination. Have your kids research meteor showers, constellations, and planets then spend some time together looking up at the stars above. Locate some constellations or some viewable planets. All summer long, it’ll be easy to spot the International Space Station.

4. Drive Time Is Prime Time

While in the car you have a captive audience, so why not turn off the music and phones and take advantage of the uninterrupted time to talk about goals and interests. Use this time to listen to an audiobook the whole family will enjoy (download audiobooks for free from your local library). Help kids learn places and spaces around them by asking them to draw a map of the area. For older kids have them explain the meaning of different road signs and the rules of the road and prepare them to learn how to drive before they get behind the wheel.

5. Stock Up On Books

We all know reading matters. The challenge sometimes is convincing our kids that reading is not just about textbooks, but that reading can take them on an incredible adventure or teach them more about their passion. Download eBooks or take your kids to the library or thrift store and stock up on books about topics of interest. Share a book or two with your child in a hammock or under a tree. As a family, read a classic and engage in a conversation about the qualities of the characters, who your children can relate to and what they learned from the characters experiences and choices.

6. Encourage Curiosity With Outdoor Exploration

Enjoy whatever nature has to offer! Cloud watch and ask your kids what they see — what shapes, creatures or other things they spy in the sky. Surprise your kids with your cloud knowledge by doing a little refresher course on facts about clouds. Encourage them to find different types of flowers, leaves or rocks and examine and research the different types. Go for a walk, have a scavenger hunt and be sure to bring a magnifying glass, paper, and a small bug cage to help observe, measure, and record what they discover. Check out this bug guide to find out what insect they found. Get creative with your kids and help them make a fairy garden.

7. Create Art

Encourage your child to try new ways to be artistic, whether that be origami or finding items in the backyard and making an art project, just let them be creative. Give dramatic endeavors a try and have your kids and their friends put on a play or create a movie. A collection of free short plays for children and teens can be found here. Capture their favorite memories from the past and bring them to life as a photo collage, album or check out these other creative projects.

8. Grow Something

Learning through gardening can teach children skills and help them understand more about nature in a fun, hands-on way. Start by having them do a little research on what they need to get started and what plants they want to grow. Have them observe and record how weather and insects affect plants. See if they can answer how soil, water, and sunshine interact. Be sure to focus on making it fun and exciting.

9. Get Messy And Try Some Experiments

Science is everywhere, and experiments can be a way to get kids excited about it. Try making a balloon rocket, colored flowers, ice cream in a bag, or make homemade bubble solution and experiment with different bubble-blowing tools such as string, straws, and hangers. If you really want to intrigue your kids, make elephant toothpaste. Don’t want another mess to clean up? Not all experiments are messy. Watch and outline how shadows change throughout the day. Watch a crash course on the sun and shadows here. Or have your kids construct their own set of tangrams, use them to create pictures and jigsaw puzzles.

10. Teach About Money Management

This is a topic a lot of parents avoid but a topic kids will actually use for the rest of their lives, every day! Be on the lookout for teachable moments and times where you can engage your kids in a discussion, and always be willing to answer questions. When kids are asking for items, help them learn the differences between needs, wants, and wishes. When using a credit or debit card, take the opportunity to teach children about how credit cards work. More ways to teach your kids about money can be found here.

What’s important is to help your kids discover that learning can be fun and not limited to the classroom, whether in the backyard or at the grocery store, learning can and should take place. Have fun as a family, have one-on-one time with each of your children and be ready for your kids to teach you a few things.



Love2Learn Idaho

So much to learn. So many options. Created by The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, for limitless learners. Love2LearnIdaho.org