Why stick with one activity when you can combine two!
Mixing common activities is a fun and intriguing concept for kids.
I like to call it ‘Activity Blending.’
‘Taking one typical activity and interlacing it with an entirely different activity. ‘
My thought process when combining activities is based on observations of the child’s current abilities.
Can they handle these two tasks simultaneously?
Will they appreciate two different activities merging as one?
Sometimes this is found through trial and error, and I may sometimes get ‘that look’ from the student. So, we find a way to adapt or change the blended activity to better suit their skill and capabilities.
Being a home-based private tutor, I have to utilise the child’s current environment, which usually means to improvise and get creative. See below (1)
From the picture below (2), the child’s balance beams have been turned into a walkway above the crocodile infested waters. Each step is a new word to unlock and another step to get to the safety of the mountains (the sofa).
My focus is about how can I engage the child more into the activity. In what ways can I spark the child’s imagination or shift the normal patterns of routine. How can I involve the child with mundane things they already have, and turn them towards the purpose of learning.
One of the children’s favourites is Phonics Smash (bowling) (3). Kids can get active and choose a ball or car to knock down their sounds. In the video below, the child used his electric firetruck!
This worked out great, and I could send his card/s back to him via the truck!
So as you can see we have been able to ‘Blend’ the active nature of bowling with Phonics learning.
(4) Using a small white board we were able to design our own elevator blending game. Combining some drawing skills of the child, and added sensory nature of the tiles. It was a much broader experience than blending the tiles by themselves. See the video below (3).
3 Benefits of Blended Activities
(1) New stimulation for your child’s brain!
Blending activities sparks new curiosity for children, and further encourages their learning.
eg. Instead of pointing to letters to decode words. Roll up some playdoh balls for the child to squish as they blend the word. A great way to add sensory stimulation to what may seem a boring process!
(2) Blending two activities can also be a great way to save time!
eg. Taking your kid to the park but want to do flashcard practice after? Play hide and seek with some of your child’s phonics cards or vocab cards. Trust me, the child will hardly feel like its a task if it’s fun!
(3) Turn a static activity into an active one!
“Physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness are good for children’s and young people’s brain development and function as well as their intellect.” – University of Exeter (click to read article)
eg. Does your child have Sight-words to memorise? Lay some hoops in a line and place a card in each hoop. The child hops and reads the word as they pass through. Increase the difficulty by extending the gap between hoops, or take the hoop pathway over an obstacle or under an obstacle.
As a child educator and a parent myself. We have to find more ways to engage our children in learning in a fun and enjoyable way. If you have some ideas welcome to comment below this blog or send me an email. Happy learning folks!
Check out some more ideas below in the slideshow!
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– Mr J