Brain teasers, quizzes, rhymes, jokes…. kids just cannot get enough!
In The Rabbit’s first special edition of ‘What to do with kids when at home’, I listed reading as a fantastic activity, simple and yet such a rewarding exercise. Being able to read does help, but also just studying the pictures opens a new world to your little ones. So why not dive into the world of books and see what other activities can be combined?
Books – when at home for a longer period, give yourself the time to explore your childhood books and relive your memories with your kids. Do not be disconcerted if your kids do not initially take to your books, as drawings, colouring styles or simply the storyline may not be to their current liking. It might take a second or third try to really appreciate the treasure. Particularly the books with fewer drawings and more text might need some introductory reading from you to spark the interest.
Graphic novels – every culture has its own favourite books and topics. There has been a recent general revival of introducing graphic novels to pre- and elementary school kids as it allows the child to see the emotion in the image and the text in parallel. Indeed some research suggests that graphic novels are as cognitively challenging as text-only reading and support children who are more visually focused. As there are plenty of graphic novels out there you will surely find something that suits your taste and style.
Quizzes – for elementary school kids who like to answer questions about the books they read, there is www.antolin.de, an Internet platform that allows kids to search for the books they read, and answer relevant questions. It features books in a range of languages and allows for bi-lingual kids and those who want to learn another language to test their language skills at all levels. The platform is easy to handle and can be used independently by computer-literate kids. Something similar, extended to mathematics and general knowledge, is www.anton.app. Here, kids can go online and test their skills according to their school grade level; it also has a range of games. This platform is also easy to handle and perfect for a daily session of numbers, words and curiosities.
Please note – it is strongly recommended (that is true for all such online platforms) that you as the parent review the internet page before you introduce it to your kid, so to evaluate its suitability. Also necessary will be a couple of joint training sessions to ensure that all is understood and that that you kid feels comfortable with the medium. That might not come in all too handy for you, between home office, running the household and the attendance of more than one kid, but it does pay off and it is the responsible thing to do.
Brainteasers – as an adult one might feel caught out if a friend drops a brainteaser in the middle of a pleasant dinner party. The individual reactions of guests that follow are almost as intriguing as the answer itself. Most kids are not yet familiar with the notion of being shy in such a situation and just come up with ideas they are happy to share. And be aware they have an abundance of ideas! There are plenty of online brainteasers available, with different focus areas, be it maths, language, etc. Also here the Internet provides an enormous range of templates, easy to download or print out.
Rhymes – they can be silly, long, repetitive and most of all they can be funny! Remember, your understanding of what is funny, might not be the same as your kids. Yes, admittedly every beginning is difficult but with a good amount of imagination it should work. To get started download a couple of rhyming words or use online rhyming dictionaries. Of course for the very ambitious and older kids, whynot check out the mind-bending world of limericks? Here a good introduction is Edward Lear, of course! Another master of rhymes is Dr. Seuss, his texts and drawings give ample ideas for a good rhyme for the young and old!
Jokes – part of reading, but such a joy in kids’ life that they deserve their own paragraph. I remember being stuck in the car in a bad traffic jam with my family. Luckily we were well equipped with joke books. Our kid was well into her second hour of reading jokes out aloud before we asked her to show mercy. She still remembers the jokes from this occasion and is happy to share them again and again. After all there is a reason for all these joke and quiz pages in children’s magazines!!!
The Rabbit wishes a quizzing time and plenty of laughs!