Fun School!

Make school breaks more exciting with this fun-filled idea!

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I'm over at Pam Barnhill's site again today, sharing my Make School Breaks Unforgettable post that gives you a few ideas to help make the most of your breaks from school

Bonus: you won't go bonkers hearing "I'm bored" the whole time, either!

Click on over to check it out, but then be sure to return here to read all about the super-fun idea my friend Heather came up with this year for her kids.

I'll let her tell you a bit about it, then include some links to her YouTube page that explain more and give you a chance to see what "Fun School" looks like in action!

Hi! I’m Heather and I’m an elementary school teacher turned stay-at-home homeschooling mom to my three kids; Abby (8), Liam (5), and Harrison (2). Throughout the year we work on our more-traditional curriculum, but during the month of December I decided we needed to change things up. I wanted it to be easy for me to plan and prep and I wanted it to be fun for the kids, while still bringing in some learning. 


I had some holiday boxes laying around and picked up a few more on sale and I was ready to get started. Planning for fun school has actually been enjoyable and stress free. Basically I walk around my house after getting the kids to bed and check my shelves and closets for fun activities, books, and crafts. Then I pop the materials in the boxes and call it a night. If you want to see more about how I plan and maybe jog your brain for some ideas, here’s a video I made all about the process

The kids are always so excited to wake up and see the boxes stacked up. Hearing them beg to start school is a welcome change! They have no idea they’re learning through their play, plus I’m saving time planning and I have an opportunity to finally use those things that I’ve had stashed away for “one day.”

Fun school activities are as limitless as your imagination, but having a jumping off point always helps me. When I start my evening scavenger hunt for ideas, I try to think of a few core subjects that I can work around. I look for reading and math every day and then I add in a few more subjects like history, geography, science, nature study, art, and music. The great thing about fun school is that so many activities will naturally cover several subjects and your kids probably won’t even notice they’re learning. 

I love lists, so here’s a small sample of fun school activities you may want to try. (Some of these take no planning and you can just pop the materials in the box. Others will take a bit of planning depending on your child’s age and how much they’re capable of.)
  1. Take apart small electronics
  2. Nature journal things found on a walk 
  3. Go on a backyard nature hunt
  4. Read about an artist and recreate their art (Grab a book like this or this for inspiration.)
  5. Recreate famous sculptures out of play dough
  6. Composer study; listen to their music and dance along or draw (Check out this great book for help!) 
  7. Measure items around the house 
  8. Take photos of toys and write a story with them to create a book 
  9. Collect nature items and measure or classify into groups
  10. Paint an original piece on canvas or watch a YouTube video to follow along with and paint 
  11. Watch a fun documentary together 
  12. Write a letter to someone your child admires 
  13. Create 3D art from items from the recycling bin or things you no longer need
  14. Play a board game 
  15. Create your own board game 
  16. Make a pizza out of felt and practice fractions and multiplication, or even just counting and pretend play
  17. Create a pretend store complete with price tags and play money 
  18. Check out a kids’ cookbook from the library to try a new recipe 
  19. Print out a free sight words printable game like Last Card or Slides and Ladders
  20. Create a restaurant with menus and play food (For special winter fun, check out our Candy Cane Cafe idea!)
  21. Make a colorful calendar for the month to keep track of fun events 
  22. Paint a self portrait or draw one of each other (Grab a book like this for help.)
  23. Make life size posters of yourselves by tracing your outline on paper taped together or poster board
  24. Make a paper chain to countdown to something fun
  25. Roll dice and graph how many times each number comes up 
  26. Do a simple science activity, like creating a craft-stick catapult or volcano
  27. Dress up like your favorite character from a story and act like them while having a meal or snack 
  28. Make simple paper puppets and put on a show
  29. Plan out an imaginary vacation with as much or as little detail as your child is interested in - it can be realistic or a dream vacation - you can focus on what you’ll do, where you’ll stay, how much it will cost, the possibilities are endless
  30. Create a simple scrapbook from a past vacation or experience complete  with photos and captions describing their favorite parts
Taking apart electronics

Backyard nature hunt
Filling out their nature journals

And since I love lists, here’s one more list of places you might be able to look for inspiration for ideas! 

  1. Craft projects- small kits, a new skill they haven’t tried
  2. Your game collection
  3. Curriculum you’ve been storing
  4. Books you haven’t been able to find time for 
  5. Your garage - taking things apart, using tools to build 
  6. Your small manipulatives - open ended creativity or a specific goal
  7. Documentaries or fun videos that may spark a new interest
  8. Topics your kids are interested in that they might want to dig deeper into - the Library is perfect for this!

If you’d like to see Fun School in action, head over to my YouTube channel, Meandering Together, where I post videos all about homeschooling, daily family life, and our RV travels. Can’t wait to chat with you over there!

Gosh, doesn't that look and sound like so much fun? I want to spend the day opening boxes and exploring with them too!

And I love how even though you could spend a ton of time and money prepping the whole thing, you don't have to, because you could just box up things you already have but get overlooked, or old junk you've collected throughout the year for them to take apart and investigate!

We usually have so much going on around here with our Shepherd on the Search and Celebrating the Season activities, but I'm setting aside a couple of looks-wrapped-already boxes and will plan to gather things all year long for next winter!

Does this idea just sound like too much fun to you too? I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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