Sometimes parents are hesitant to start homeschooling because they worry that it will be a financial investment to keep their kids entertained, learning, and happy. The good news is that a lot of super-educational activities are also fun and very inexpensive—often even free!—and most can be done without having to even leave the neighborhood. Check out these ideas:
- Going on a nature walk or hike is a great way to explore the outdoors and learn about the natural world. While on your walk, you can collect specimens such as leaves, rocks, or flowers to create a nature journal. This journal can be used to document the different plants and animals you see, as well as any interesting observations you make.
- Conducting experiments with common household items is a fun and educational way to learn about chemistry and physics. You can try experiments such as creating a baking soda and vinegar volcano, or making a bouncy ball using cornstarch and water. These experiments are not only educational, but they can also be a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy.
- A scavenger hunt is a fun way to explore your neighborhood or home and learn about your surroundings. You can create a list of items to find, such as a red flower, a shiny rock, or a tree with bark that looks like a face. Once you have your list, you can set off on a hunt to find all of the items and see who can find them the fastest. When you get back, everyone will enjoy sharing the similar but different items they collected!
- Learning a new language together can be a fun and rewarding experience for the whole family. You can start by learning basic words and phrases, and then practice by watching TV shows or movies in that language. This will not only help you learn the language, but it can also provide an opportunity for cultural enrichment and learning about other countries and cultures. Plus it’s good for families to have long-term goals and projects that they are working on together.
- Making a map of your neighborhood or city can be a fun and educational activity. You can use a piece of paper and a pencil, or you can use a mapping app or website to create your map. Once your map is complete, you can mark important landmarks such as schools, parks, and stores. This activity can help you learn about geography and spatial awareness, and can also be a fun way to explore your community.
- Creating a time capsule is a fun way to document the current time period and your family’s history. You can collect items such as photos, letters, and small objects that represent your family and the current time period. Once you have collected your items, you can place them in a container and bury it in a safe location. This activity can be a fun way to look back on your family’s history in the future.
- Planting a garden is a great way to learn about plant biology and ecology. You can choose to plant a variety of flowers, vegetables, or herbs, and then care for them as they grow. This can be a fun and educational way to learn about how plants grow and how they interact with their environment, and it’s a gift that keeps giving all through the season!
- Creating your own board game based on a subject you are studying in school can be a fun and educational activity. You can design the game board, create the rules, and make the game pieces. This activity can not only be fun, but it can also help you learn more about the subject you are studying. Who knows, your game might just be so awesome that you decide to sell it to others. You might just become entrepreneurs!
- Having a family art night is a fun way to explore your creative side and make some art together. You can use a variety of media such as paints, markers, or clay to create your own masterpieces. This activity can not only be fun, but it can also help you learn about different art techniques and styles. Plus, it’s a great way to fill a hallway or stairwell with beautiful family artwork.
- Writing and performing a play based on a historical event or literary work can be a fun and educational way to learn more about the subject. You can research the event or work, and then write a script based on what you have learned. Once you have a script, you can assign roles and practice your lines to perform the play for friends and family. This activity can not only be fun, but it can also help you learn more about hidden talents and abilities of your family members!
You see! There is plenty to do at home without having to spend a ton of money. All you need is some creativity, and an adventurous spirit!
Speaking of creativity, did you know that the Tuttle Twins economics curriculum, Free Market Rules, includes lessons for everyone in the family (including mom and dad!) and comes with loads of hands-on family activities, plus dinner conversation starters? Part of successful homeschooling is creating a culture of learning in your family, so we offer a ton of family-friendly books, lessons, and activities to help you create the ideal environment for lifelong learning and fun!