Welcome to Day Three of our Teaching Creatively blog hop! Today’s topic is “toys, games and puzzles”. I find this topic amusing because when I first started homeschooling my kids I made sure there were NO toys in the school area!! Toys were for play, they were a distraction!! They were for use after school!! It’s funny the things I have learned since we started this adventure. I have come to find that toys can have their place in our schooling.
My youngest son is Lego-obsessed. Seriously, at any given time he is building 3-4 different things with his legos. Some are projects from sets that he got (like the Millenium Falcon, the Hogwarts Castle, Batman’s Cave) and others are things he has simply come up with himself. At any given moment you could walk across my living room floor barefoot and yelp in pain when you step on a Lego you didn’t notice! (if you too have a lego fan at your house, you understand the pain I am describing 😉 ).
I decided to try and put his love of those colorful little squares to good use, and these are some of the ways I have done that. First, my son has used his legos to “illustrate” stories he has written. He has also used his legos to “recreate” famous places we have visited in our history or geography studies. Usually, after we have learned about an interesting place or historical site (say, the Sphinx or the Mayan ruins) my son will use books and the internet to do further research, and then he will spend some time building his masterpiece. Here is a picture of one of these:
Another toy we have found useful in our schooling is our collection of various plastic army men/policeman/firemen and their vehicles. They can be used for staging your own battle scenes (as we did for this picture…this is a WWII battle scene from our last school year):
My oldest son also has an interest in photography and filmmaking, and he has taught himself to make stop-motion movies using his matchbox cars. This is a painstaking process as it involves setting up the cars, then moving them inch by inch (or sometimes centimeter by centimeter) as you take each shot. He then downloads the pictures to our computer and puts them together to make a movie!! Personally, I am pretty impressed with his skill, considering I have a hard enough time downloading pictures and finding them after I’ve done so (grrr….where are our beach pictures?? I know I put them on here somewhere!!). I think he is learning valuable computer, photography and planning skills by doing this, and every time he makes a movie he gets a little better. This is one of his earlier projects:
So, I have come to see toys as a useful learning tool in my homeschool. How do you use toys at your house? Leave me a comment to let me know! To see what other Crew members had to say about toys and games in homeschooling, click here:
Join me tomorrow for Day 4 of our hop! Our topic will be Homeschooling in a Crisis.
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