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21 Ways to Entertain and Educate Children… Without Technology

21 Ways to Entertain and Educate Children… Without Technology

Technology is now a central part of children’s lives: TV, DVDs, computer games, the internet, social media networks, and mobile phones all make for a vast array of constant activity. There is no escaping it—digital devices are everywhere and they are an integral part of social activities, education, and leisure time. However, I would argue it’s equally important for this generation of children to experience the varieties of life, and to promote this I supply 21 practical ideas for entertaining, and educating, kids without the use of technological wizardry.

1. Paper Airplanes

    To get things rolling, we have the legendary process of making sheets of paper fly. Paper airplane-making sessions can start with simple dart designs, and then encourage your children to develop their design skills; folding the nose tip adjusts weight and momentum, experimenting with flaps on the wings to add lift, and change direction and trying out different airplane designs.

    Although paper airplane-making offers a huge amount of fun, it also introduces the principles of aerodynamics and develops design and craft skills.

    2. Science Experiment #1: Mouldy Bread!

      Science experiments at their most basic can be great fun, and educational. For this simple experiment you will need sliced bread, sealable sandwich bags, locations with different conditions in which you can leave the bread, and a magnifying glass. This experiment also requires around ten days for a proper investigation.

      For the first stage, get the kids to place single slices of bread into sandwich bags, seal the bags, and then find places to store them where they will not be disturbed. These areas should provide a variety of conditions: warm and cold, light and dark, dry and moist, indoors and outdoors. Once left, the children should check the state of their bread samples at regular intervals over the course of ten days, studying them with the magnifying glass and noting the presence of mould and the different conditions that encourage its growth. The bags should remain sealed. The results they find can form the basis of a conversation about why mould grows, what microbes are, which conditions are best for mould to grow in, why we refrigerate food, and other related issues.

      It should be noted some people are allergic to mould, so get your children to wear protective gloves and masks when studying the bread, never allow them to have direct contact with the mould, and dispose of the samples at the end of the investigation.

       

      3. Write a Story

        This is one of the simplest tech-free ways to entertain your children. It’s a simple process that promotes creativity and inspiration—vital activities for young, developing minds.

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        4. Perform a Play

          Holding an impromptu play is a terrific way to entertain children. You can use favourite toys to create characters, include the family pets as additional support, and generally make sure you have a fun, silly time of it. The play could be anything from a simple monologue to more elaborate productions that would encourage further creativity, such as script-writing, set-building, making costumes, singing songs, and dancing.

          5. Make Maps

            Cartography is a lot of fun and also helps develop a child’s spatial awareness. Drawing maps of the layouts of their bedroom, or the house, can begin with pacing out the lengths of walls and where things are located in relation to each other. Larger-scale maps could include routes to school, where friends live, and the local town and countryside. A world map would also be worthwhile, allowing a child to understand the scale of the Earth. It doesn’t have to be so serious, of course, as imaginary places (such as treasure maps) can a tremendous sourse of creative fun.

            6. Tie-Dye Clothing

              For this activity you will need clothing dye, freshly washed and dried t-shirts, rubber gloves, a large washing up bowl or bucket, and elastic bands or string.

              Use the elastic bands or string to fold, knot, and tie the clothing item: the way it is tied determines which parts will be exposed to the dye and coloured. Wearing the rubber gloves, mix up the dye with water according to the dye manufacturer’s instructions and submerge the clothing item for the recommended amount of time. Remove the item and allow it to dry for 24 hours, and then wash. Once finished you’ll have a very lively piece of clothing!

              7. Science Experiment #2: Make a Sundial

                This is an outdoor activity that requires the ever-useful Sun, a clock, a compass, and a stick. Push the stick into the ground, angled towards north on the compass. Use the clock to mark where the stick’s shadow is at the passing of every hour. Now you can use these marks to tell the time on any day when there is enough sunlight to cast a shadow. This is a handy reminder to any child of our ancient ancestors’ lack of access to digital clocks!

                8. Science Experiment #3: Build a Rain Gauge

                  This is a meteorological technique that measures rainfall—if everyone’s stuck inside thanks to a rainy day, here’s a reason to be creative. All you need is a large flat-bottomed jar, a ruler, and some rain.

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                  Leave the container out in the rain either for the duration of a rain shower; hours, days, or weeks would be fine. Use the ruler to measure to depth of water collected in the container and you have an accurate record of how much rain fell during the specific period of time. It’s a useful way for children to understand the arbitrary happenings of weather.

                  9. Science Experiment #4: Plant Seeds

                    This is the perfect way to introduce children to how plants grow. You will need fresh seeds such as sunflower, cress, or pumpkin seeds. Next, find some good quality soil or compost, and a few plant pots. Water, sunlight, and heat will also be handy for this experiment!

                    Place the soil in the plant pots, plant the seeds in the soil, and place the plant pots on a warm windowsill that receives plenty of sunlight. Keep the soil moist by watering daily. Kids can keep a record of how the seeds germinate and the plants grow, developing an understanding of biology and farming.

                    10. Juggle!

                      Juggling is a fun, and healthy, activity; it can help improve concentration, hand-eye coordination, and overall brain health. The creative and mathematical elements to the skill are also very handy for young, and old, minds alike. You can use Lifehack’s Juggling Guide to learn the basics—practice makes perfect!

                      11. Painting

                        This is a cheap, and rewarding, way to promote creativity. From watercolours to acrylic paints, all you need is a sheet of paper and some artistic flair.

                        12. Chalk Drawings

                          Every child should enjoy the artistic creativity of drawing with colourful chalks on a local pavement. If this is frowned upon in your community, get a chalk board—there’s no price on creative expression for young ones.

                          13. Science Experiment #5: Experiment With Static Electricity

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                            This activity is great fun, but also introduces children to ideas about how physics works. Here’s what you need: two balloons, a wooly jumper/sweater, an aluminum can, and a head of hair. Once in possession of these, rub the balloons on the wooly jumper and then experiment with trying to push them together—they will resist one another. Next, rub a balloon on your hair and gently lift it away from your head—it should make your hair stand on end! Rub the balloon on your hair again and then, with the aluminum can lying flat on its side on a table, hold the balloon close to the can—it will be pulled towards the balloon.

                            The kids can try out these experiments and you can explain what is happening: rubbing the balloons creates static electricity. When you rub the balloon on hair or wool it becomes negatively-charged because it has taken some negative particles (called electrons) from the hair or wool, leaving the hair or wool positively charged. The positively-charged hair, or aluminum can, are attracted to the negatively charged balloon. The two negatively charged balloons are not attracted to each other so resist being pushed together.

                            14. Draw a Family Tree

                              Children can learn a lot about their history by creating a family tree; they will be able trace distant relatives, learn how much other family members know about the family’s past, and find interesting connections and personal stories. Families are often very complex, but resist the urge to go online for research. Instead, speak to family members and ask them about their memories of relatives. Before long, a family tree will take shape.

                              15. Scientific Experiment #6: Create an Indoor Volcano

                                Making an indoor volcano is a real crowd-pleaser, but also has the potential to get very messy, so you need to be prepared. To build your volcano you need a large bowl, an empty 500ml soft drink bottle, a large oven dish, warm water, washing up liquid (dish soap), red food colouring, bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, cooking oil, 850g of plain flour, and 320g salt.

                                Place the flour and salt in the bowl along with 480ml of water and four tablespoons of cooking oil. Get your kids to use their hands to combine the mixture into a smooth paste.

                                Stand the empty drinks bottle in the centre of the oven dish and then begin molding the paste around the bottle to form the shape of the volcanic cone with the top of the bottle becoming the volcano’s crater.

                                When the volcano’s cone-shaped mountain is complete you can unscrew the bottle’s cap and start adding the ingredients for the lava. Pour in warm water until the bottle is about three quarters full, then add six drops of washing up liquid, and a dash of red food colouring. Finally, add two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda, stand back and watch the eruption begin!

                                16. Take to the Great Outdoors

                                  Many of these activities have involved being outdoors, but this tech-free suggestion for is to take kids right out into the great outdoors.

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                                  There are infinite possibilities for activities to be enjoyed this way: head to local parks (or into your garden) and look for local wildlife; study the weather (or just guess the shapes of clouds), or explore urban landscapes in greater detail. Most cities have park areas, so seek them out and enjoy the relative solitude.

                                  17. Find Pen Pals

                                    A long-forgotten part of growing up is writing letters by hand, even if it’s just to each other or to family. Hold a letter-writing project and take your kids to post them in the nearest mailbox. Even better would be to get a pen pal from abroad; communicating with different cultures can be inspiring for any young mind.

                                    18. Charity Events

                                      Bring out the best in your children by holding charity events and initiatives. Find long-forgotten causes and contribute to them; such activity promotes good moral teachings. As it’s springtime, you could do something fun to raise money, such as opening a lemonade stand.

                                      19. Play Some Retro Games

                                        Classics such as Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit are still great fun to play and promote intelligent thinking, whilst games such as Jenga can provide fun shocks, and Twister will have everyone in hysterics. These games are also useful in promoting social interaction and communication, so dust off your old versions and get playing!

                                        20. Make Sock Puppets

                                          An item as simple as a sock can be a tremendous source of fun to a child’s vivid imagination. Sock puppets, which can easily be made by adding eyeballs and silly bits of wool for hair, immediately become sentient beings with children, and they can even make up a number of characters to form a play (which would be handy for Point 4).

                                          And finally…

                                          21. Music Lessons

                                            See if you’re in the possession of the latest Mozart by holding regular music lessons. With so much modern music focusing on electronic sounds, going back to music’s roots can inspire and remind children of different cultures and human history. Classical music is believed to have very positive effects on children’s development—Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s compositions in particular. The “Mozart Effect” has been a craze for 20 years, with studies from 1993 showing young people’s reasoning abilities improved after listening to Mozart’s music.

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                                            Alex Morris

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                                            Last Updated on November 18, 2020

                                            50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                                            50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                                            If you’re like me and really into self-development, you’ve probably read many of the thousands of self-help books out there on the market. But also like me, you probably find all the information a bit overwhelming.

                                            That’s why I wanted to do the self-less task of taking the most important, life-changing lessons I’ve drawn from these books and condensed them into 50 key points.

                                            Here’re 50 habits of successful people you should learn:

                                            1. Believe It to See It

                                            Our minds tend to focus on what’s happening around us and refuse to see what could happen. Only when you trust in what’s possible and dare to dream big, big things can happen for you.

                                            2. See Problems as a Wonderful Gift

                                            While others only see problems and give up, successful people use the problem as a lesson to find improvement in themselves or the task at hand.

                                            3. Keep Looking for Solutions

                                            Even if they’re knee-deep in problems, successful people will still put all of their focus on finding solutions.

                                            4. Remember It’s All About the Journey

                                            Successful people are conscious and methodical in creating their own success. They don’t sit around doing the bare minimum, hoping success finds them.

                                            5. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

                                            There’s so much fear on the road to success, but instead of letting that fear control and limit them, successful people do a good job of just forging ahead regardless.

                                            6. Always Ask Productive Questions

                                            It’s all about asking the right questions. Successful people make sure they are questions that will elicit information for a more productive, creative and positive mindset moving forward.

                                            7. Understand the Best Waste of Energy Is Complaining

                                            Successful people know that choosing to see the negative side of things will only create a useless and unproductive state.

                                            8. Don’t Play the Blame Game

                                            Taking responsibility for actions and outcomes is a form of empowerment that you can build your success upon. While the act of blaming others or outside circumstances takes this empowerment away from you.

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                                            9. Maximize Your Strengths

                                            Not every successful person is simply more talented than the rest, but they do use what they know they’re good at to achieve more successful results.

                                            10. Be in It to Win It

                                            Successful people are busy, productive and proactive. Instead of sitting around over-thinking and over-planning a great idea, they just take a step towards it no matter how small.

                                            11. Know That Success Attracts Success

                                            People who are successful surround themselves and seek out like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team and forge win-win relationships.

                                            12. Actually Choose to Be Successful

                                            Dreaming big is a massive part of being successful even if your dream seems impossible. Ambition is a mindset that needs to be a daily conscious choice.

                                            13. Visualize, Visualize, Visualize!

                                            You’ve got to see your success in your mind’s eye even before it comes. Successful people clarify and get that certainty about what they want their reality to look like rather than being mere spectators of life.

                                            14. Be a One-Off Original

                                            Successful people look for what’s working and then create a unique spin on it. Imitating only regurgitates other people’s ideas with no originality.

                                            15. The Perfect Time to Act Is Now

                                            Waiting for the right time to act is basically procrastination wrapped up in an excuse. Successful people know there’s never a perfect time so they may as well just do it now.

                                            16. Keep Learning, Keep Growing

                                            Continuous learning is the key to a successful life. Whether it’s academic, being a student of life or actionable learning, it’s all about expanding your knowledge and personal development.

                                            17. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

                                            Successful people have the knack for finding positive aspects in all people and circumstances no matter what.

                                            18. Having a Bad Day? Do It Anyway!

                                            We all have bad moods but it shouldn’t be an excuse to stop everything. Giving into a bad mood just stop-starts your life, slowing success way down.

                                            19. Sometimes Risky Business Is Needed

                                            Calculated risks are a must for success. It’s about weighing the pros and cons while moving forward with that element of trust.

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                                            20. Accept Challenge All the Time

                                            Dealing with problems head-on is a must to be successful. Successful people also face challenges in order to improve themselves.

                                            21. Make Your Own Luck

                                            In the mindset of a successful person, there’s no such thing as ‘luck’ or ‘fate’. They take control to actively and consciously create their own best life.

                                            22. Ignite Your Initiative

                                            While many people are reactive, successful people are proactive – taking action before they have to.

                                            23. Be the Master of Your Emotions

                                            Being effective at managing emotions is key on the road to success. That’s not to say successful people don’t feel like we all do, but they’re just not slaves to their emotions.

                                            24. Champion in Communication

                                            Consciously working on effective communication skills gets anyone closer to success.

                                            25. Plan Your Life Strategically

                                            Successful people’s lives aren’t a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes, they methodically work at turning their plans into a reality.

                                            26. Become Exceptional at What You Do

                                            To become exceptional, you typically have to do things that most won’t. To become successful, hard decisions need to be made and acting on them is crucial.

                                            27. Choose to Live Outside of Your Comfort Zone

                                            While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid.

                                            28. Live by Core Values

                                            Successful people firstly identify their core values and what’s important to them, then do their best to live a life that reflects these values.

                                            29. Realize Money Isn’t Everything

                                            Money and success are not interchangeable and the most successful people understand this. Putting money on a pedestal and equating it to success is a dangerous mindset to have. Success comes in many forms.

                                            30. Don’t Get Carried Away

                                            Successful people understand the importance of discipline and self-control and as a result they are happy to take the road less travelled.

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                                            31. Self-Worth Is Not Tied to Success

                                            Successful people are secure. They do not derive their self-worth from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.

                                            32. Kindness Breeds Kindness (And Success)

                                            Generosity and kindness is a common trait among long-term successful people. It’s important to take pleasure in helping others achieve.

                                            33. More Humility, Less Arrogance

                                            Successful people are humble and happy to admit and apologize for mistakes. This is because they’re confident in their ability. They are happy to learn from others and happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.

                                            34. Change Opens New Doors

                                            People who are successful are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.

                                            35. Success Requires a Healthy Body

                                            It’s not just how you think, it’s about how you show up for success. Successful people understand the importance of being physically well, not for vain reasons but because being in tiptop condition creates a better personal life for success.

                                            36. Laziness Just Doesn’t Exist

                                            Successful people are never considered lazy. Yes, they can relax when they need to, but working hard is their game.

                                            37. Resilience by the Bucket Load

                                            When difficulty strikes, most would throw in the towel, but successful people are just warming up.

                                            38. Feedback Is Just Another Chance to Improve

                                            How people react to feedback determines their potential for success. Being open to constructive criticism and acting on it to improve is most seen in those who are successful.

                                            39. Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

                                            If people are hanging out with toxic and negative people, then they need to take a look at themselves. Successful people hang out with others who are positive and supportive.

                                            40. Can’t Control It? Forget It

                                            Successful people don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.

                                            41. Swim Against the Tide

                                            Successful people are not people-pleasers and they don’t need constant approval from others in order to move ahead.

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                                            42. Alone Time Is Valuable Time

                                            More self-worth means being more comfortable with your own company. Successful people are more happy and see the value in spending time alone.

                                            43. Self-Standard Is Higher Than Most

                                            Everyone has a choice to set high standards for themselves. Successful people do this, which in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results.

                                            44. Failure Isn’t Rationalized

                                            While many use age, health, lack of time, ‘bad luck’, or lack of opportunity to explain away their failure, the key to success is finding a way to succeed despite facing these challenges.

                                            45. Down Time Is an Important Part of a Routine

                                            Having an off switch and taking time to do things that make them happy is a common trait of a successful person. Take a look at here The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                                            46. Career Isn’t Who You Are, It’s What You Do

                                            Successful people know their career isn’t their identity. They are multi-dimensional and don’t define themselves by their job.

                                            47. Be Interested in Only the Path of Resistance

                                            While most people look for the easiest way or the shortcut, successful people are more interested in the most effective way. They look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.

                                            48. Follow Through

                                            Many spend their life starting things that they never finish, but successful people get the job done. Even when the excitement and the novelty has worn off they still follow through and finish.

                                            49. Invest in All Your Dimensions

                                            We’re not just physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. Successful people consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels.

                                            50. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

                                            To obtain success, it’s important to practice what you preach. Successful people don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.

                                            So there you have it, a summary of what I’ve learned from self-help books. But of course, you need to start taking actions so you will get closer to success too.

                                            Bonus: 5 Bad Habits To Quit

                                            More About Success

                                            Featured photo credit: Juan Jose via unsplash.com

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