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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

                                            Content Manager, Copywriter, & Blogger

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                                            Last Updated on October 15, 2019

                                            How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                                            How To Be Successful In Life? 13 Tips From The Most Successful People

                                            What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

                                            To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

                                            All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

                                            There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

                                            With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

                                            What follows is a list of thirteen of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these 13 tips are essential:

                                            1. Think Big

                                              From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

                                              “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

                                              There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

                                              Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

                                              Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

                                              Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
                                              Instead be ambitious.

                                              2. Find What You Love to Do and Do It

                                                From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

                                                “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

                                                This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

                                                Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

                                                If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

                                                Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

                                                Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

                                                Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

                                                3. Learn How to Balance Life

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                                                  From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                                                  “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                                                  All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                                                  If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                                                  However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                                                  If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                                                  In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                                                  To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                                                  4. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure

                                                    From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                                                    “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                                                    There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                                                    Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                                                    His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                                                    He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                                                    Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                                                    Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                                                    If you find it difficult to fight your fear of failure, here’s a guide for you: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

                                                    5. Have an Unwavering Resolution to Succeed

                                                      From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                                                      “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                                                      This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                                                      It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

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                                                      If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

                                                      Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                                                      6. Be a Person of Action

                                                        From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                                                        “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                                                        Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                                                        Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                                                        When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renaissance era Italy, we think of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Or think about the present day, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                                                        You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                                                        All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                                                        Applying this to you?

                                                        Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                                                        7. Cultivate Positive Relationships

                                                          From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                                                          The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                                                          The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                                                          People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                                                          This is key to good leadership.

                                                          It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                                                          But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                                                          What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                                                          As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

                                                          8. Don’t Be Afraid of Introducing New Ideas

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                                                            From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                                                            “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                                                            It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                                                            Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                                                            If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                                                            9. Believe in Your Capacity to Succeed

                                                              From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                                                              “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                                                              Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                                                              It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                                                              Keep dreaming!

                                                              10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude

                                                                From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                                                                “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                                                                Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                                                                Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                                                                If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                                                                However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                                                                11. Don’t Let Discouragement Stop You from Pressing On

                                                                  From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                                                  “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                                                  It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

                                                                  When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

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                                                                  Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                                                  If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                                                  This is How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

                                                                  12. Be Willing to Work Hard

                                                                    From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                                                    “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                                                    You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                                                    Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                                                    True success comes from work.

                                                                    You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                                                    Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                                                    13. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Intuition

                                                                      From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                                                      “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                                                      In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                                                      If you strongly believe and desire something, chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                                                      It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                                                      Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                                                      Final Thoughts

                                                                      What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                                                      Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                                                      More to Help You Succeed in Life

                                                                      Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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