Sheldon wood for my sheep what a game

Playing and learning: 7 ideas for more fun while learning

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Tobias is busy. For some time he has been sitting in the sandpit, shoveling and digging, piling up a high sand tower and repeatedly fetching water so that the castle holds together well.

Waste of time? Kids nonsense? Not at all, brain and learning researchers would say, because Tobias has experimented, made new experiences, played and learned in the process. He develops his mind through play. Children play around seven hours a day. While toddlers want to take everything in their hands, to squeeze it and learn how it works, play is taking on larger proportions with KiTa and elementary school children: They romp through forests, travel on a broom through their fantasy worlds or build themselves entire shops, tree houses or workshops. This one natural thirst for knowledge and the spirit of discovery should be preserved and encouraged by parents as much as possible - because school far too often does not comply with this play instinct, school content becomes drier over the course of school, and motivation falls by the wayside. Children learn best when they play: they are interested in the things they do. The positive emotions when playing ensure that the experience is anchored in the brain. Take advantage of it!

We have put together 7 creative tips for you, how playing and learning can be wonderfully combined:

Tip 1: The scavenger hunt as an educational game number 1

That brings it: Improve general knowledge, gain great experiences in and with nature

A Treasure huntBeing out in the woods is pure adventure for most children. Now if you have a little quiz make of it, the little ones are guaranteed to learn a lot by playing.

How to create your own scavenger hunt:

Pick a nice route. Depending on the length of the path, they hide at various points small pieces of paper with tasksthat the hunters must solve. There are no limits to your imagination. So you can ask for knowledge like "What kind of tree are you standing under?" Or initiate actions like "Run back and forth with the egg on the spoon 3 times!". When solving the respective puzzle, a hint for the next station is given. Treasure is hidden at the end of the path. It is especially great when you distribute certificates for the teams. Here you will find a certificate template (PDF, 1 page), because the scoyo team also did a little scavenger hunt through Hamburg and learned a lot about the city in the process.

Tip 2: play and learn with DIY juggling balls

That brings it: Playfully promote concentration, stamina and the ability to react

Who will be able to keep the colorful balls in the air the longest? Juggling is guaranteed to increase that ambition Your little one encourages them to trust themselves more and, in the truest sense of the word, to stay on the ball. In addition, juggling trains the ability to react quickly and to concentrate on one thing: “When you juggle, you can't think of anything else. A great hobbyto really clear your head, ”says Christian von Scoyo. Playing and learning work hand in hand here.

What you need:

  • Large helium quality balloons
  • Rice or sand
  • Cling film

That's how it's done: Cut out a relatively large piece of cling film (at least 25x25 cm), shovel 3 handfuls of sand or rice into the middle and shape the film into a small tennis ball. Then cut off the first balloon behind the inflation piece and pull it over the ball. Then slide the next balloon over it so that the cut part of the first balloon is covered. At the end, pull the third balloon over the ball and the colorful DIY juggling balls for young and old are ready.

Tip 3: Get outside - we will discover the meadow

That brings it: Providing space for creativity, promoting artistic skills, expanding knowledge of biology

In the children's magazine ZEIT LEO, little explorers will find plenty of ideas to help Combine playing and learning. You can start in any meadow, on your doorstep, on the outskirts of the city or in a nature reserve. It doesn't matter.

Two ideas from the ZEIT LEO editorial team:

1. Smell it! Rub your fingers on a plant and sniff at it. Does it smell spicy? Or does she smell? With the help of your identification book or the "Flower ID" app from Sunbird, you can identify the biggest stinkers in the meadow. Which plants smell particularly bad for you? Why do some plants stink at all? A strong smell can be a protection: The stinking Pippau, for example, uses its stench to defend itself against animals that want to eat it. He has great success with it: sheep or deer do not touch him. There are also smells that smell to humans and still help the plants to survive. Lavender, for example, contains pungent aromatic substances, so that many animals do not like it.

2. Draw your favorite plant! The best way to see exactly what a plant looks like is to draw it. To do this, choose a plant that you particularly like and draw it in as much detail as possible.

Little meadow knowledge: Before photography was invented, some plant researchers even took painters on their expeditions. They then took pictures of the flowers.

Tip 4: Build your own planetarium

That brings it: Give space for creativity, expand astrology knowledge (improve general knowledge)

Stars always have something fascinating about them, for young and old. Build your own starry sky in the room and learn the constellations in a playful way. This is quite simple!

What you need:

  • flashlight
  • Paper muffin molds
  • Needle and pen
  • Elastic band
  • templates

That's how it's done:Choose beautiful constellations from the Internet and draw them on the muffin tins with a pen. You can now pierce the small circles with the needle. If you pull the holey shape over the flashlight and hold the whole thing with a rubber band, you can see the stars shine on the ceiling. Fantastically beautiful!

Tip 5: learn playfully with the children's carving knife

That brings it: Providing space for creativity, gathering experience with nature, promoting manual skills

scoyo managing director Daniel Bialecki recommends a special carving knife for children to combine playing and learning. "Collecting bark, carving a boat, sticking in at the top and off to the water - a great experience of nature that is often neglected in the strictly timed everyday school life," says the education expert. He thinks that time, which children can fill themselves, is extremely important so that they can have theirs Live out creativity and discover talents in the process. In general, he is of the opinion that you don't have to give children a lot of help in order for them to learn through play: "The best prop is the one that is there," says the father of three.

Astrid Schulte's carving workshop is an ideal companion for little carving beginners. For a child-friendly carving knife with a rounded blade, there is a book with many illustrated carving instructions as well as rules and techniques for the safe use of the carving knife.

In an extra part, the youngsters can learn a lot about nature and, above all, the right wood for carving.

Tip 6: make musical instruments

That brings it: Providing space for creativity, training manual skills, improving musical skills

Music helps children learn. This is the result of numerous studies. "Elementary school students who play instruments in small groups have a better word memory and thus it is easier for them to transfer to secondary schools, "said musicologist Gunter Kreutz in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Even better than" just "learning to play an instrument is to make the instruments yourself. Our editor Ronja has one great instructions ready:

How to build a rattle together:

  • First drill four holes in a fork of a branch.
  • Then paint about ten crown caps as you like.
  • Drill a hole in the middle of the bottle cap and thread it on two wires.
  • Pull the wires through the holes in the branch fork and fasten them.
  • Now it's time to look up: z. B. decorate the rattles with braided ribbons.

Tip 7: Learn through play - with apps and online programs

That brings it: Acquire media skills, playfully learn for school, improve general knowledge

children prefer to learn with digital media. That was the result of our survey. So why not take advantage of this great interest and install apps on the tablet that introduce your child to a wide variety of topics in a playful way (what you should be aware of)?

3 good learning apps:

Also thePrimary school learning world from scoyo Can be used on the go: The school material for the subjects German, English and math is packaged in age-appropriate stories, motivational elements ensure that extra portion of fun while learning. All content is tailored to the curricula of the federal states, grade level and type of school of the child. Price: from 14.99 euros per month

Try scoyo for free and without obligation:

More app tips from Sven Trautwein:

The family man and blogger ( is certain: "With the right app that is right for the king, it is possible to ensure that fun and learning are not neglected. "He presents a few worthwhile apps exclusively for us:

  • Inventioneers - Little Inventors (4th-6th grade): With this app, children can develop their creativity by building their own inventions, which they can demonstrate or share with friends or parents. Price: 1.99 euros; Download it from the App Store
  • North Pole - animal worlds for children (up to 5 years): This time Fox and Sheep kidnap us to the North Pole. Each scene offers countless animations that children want to discover. And then you can make yourself really comfortable and enjoy the fact that you don't have to be outside in the cold, dashing wind. Price: 2.99 euros; Download it from the App Store

Extra tip: Travel educates!

That brings it: Broadening horizons, promoting knowledge of biology, history or geography, learning languages

Traveling means vacation first and foremost. At the same time, however, children can also learn a great deal - and often in a different way than you think. Regardless of whether you drive to a historic city together and stroll through the ancient alleys of Rome or Athens, take a week's language holiday in Malta or stop off at an organic farm: children absorb the new impressions and broaden their horizons, learn new languages ​​and cultures know and maybe even discover a new talent.

Franz decided to go fishing in the spring break: "The best thing was that I was able to fish all day. That's not possible because of the school. I caught a lot of trout - and now I know how to clean them properly. The girls all screamed "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" at the end. The best thing was that we were always outside - and that there were lots of animals in the yard: pigs, dogs, cats and lambs. Unfortunately there is one Lammchen died, that was sick, you could see that the whole time and the farmer's wife already had that feeling. Everyone cried a little, but that's probably how it is. "

scoyo managing director Daniel Bialecki thinks it is important Children in vacation planning to include: "Every family member should have a day or afternoon on vacation to decide what to do. That also means that everyone has to sit down and research what there is to discover on site. This encourages Independence, but also strengthens self-confidence. "