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How to Make Learning Fun

Most people have fond memories of elementary school. Playing with your friends on the playground, dominating at tetherball or gossiping and giggling on the monkey bars — these are the fun experiences we reminisce about.

Today, we hear a lot about Common Core standards and getting students ready for college. Gone are the carefree days of elementary school, as teachers and parents push kids to excel to even higher learning standards.

Why It’s Important to Make Learning Fun For Kids

Kids need fun at school. When teachers make learning exciting, students are more willing to participate and often find the lesson not only more fun, but also more memorable.  So how can we make school more fun and interesting for students?

10 Tips to Make Learning Fun and Engaging For Children

Making school fun can give kids a lifelong love of learning. To keep your students engaged and motivated, throw in some fun variety. Here are 10 ways you can make learning and education more fun and interesting for your students.

1. Break up Your Lessons

Many lessons, especially when you’re introducing a new topic, involve a lecture. But you can’t expect young kids to stay engaged as they sit still listening to you talk. Breaking up your lesson adds excitement and keeps your students interested.

Give an introduction, then try an activity. Go back to talking, then pull out another group exercise or get students out of their seats for a round of jumping jacks. Finish the class with a discussion. Even a 30-second break every six minutes or so will do wonders. Try to vary what you do for every lesson and how you teach every day. Learning in new ways and doing new things can help kids pay attention to the material.

2. Give Your Students Choices

Kids don’t get lots of choices in their daily routine, either at school or at home. Sometimes all they want is to have a say. When kids have the power to choose, it helps them become more engaged and buy into what happens next. Try letting them pick the activity that goes along with your lesson or what homework assignment they will work on that night. Giving kids choices will make lessons more fun, all while instilling them with decision-making skills.

3. Incorporate Games

Games are an incredible way to add instant engagement to your lesson plan. They make learning more fun, from review time to memorization drills. Games don’t need to require a lot of prep time or expense, as there are thousands of free educational games online. Students will look forward to review days and other lessons if they know it’s game on.

4. Create Group Time

When you allow students to work together, they retain information quicker and longer. Cooperation also helps develop critical thinking and communication skills. Group time breaks up the same routine, making your lesson much more enjoyable.

5. Get up and Move

Most elementary school kids don’t like to sit still for very long. Your kids deserve a break, and so do you. It’s time to get up and get moving.

If you see your kids lagging, incorporate movement into your lesson or give them a brain break. These breaks are a great way to give your students a quick two minutes of downtime. Make sure you offer ample opportunities for movement. When they know a mini-break is on the horizon, your kids will stay more engaged and have much more fun.

6. Incorporate Hands-On Learning

Teachers have used hands-on activities for a long time as a fun and engaging way to learn. Apply these activities to almost any subject, from a preschool alphabet lesson to math, English and geography. An action-oriented assignment, like an arts and crafts project, is more meaningful to students and will likely be the lesson they remember most.

7. Be Open to Creativity

It’s easy to teach from the same lesson plans year after year. Once you have something that works, you may be a little nervous about trying something new. But remember — each year, you’ve got a new batch of students with various interests. Variety and creativity are the best ways to ensure learning stays fun.

Be open to your students’ creativity. Give your class the freedom to modify assignments and projects as long as they run the changes by you first. You may find that their ideas give a unique twist to a lesson. Plus, when students come up with something on their own, it’s more meaningful to them and they can develop confidence in their decision-making skills.

8. Schedule Field Trips

Who doesn’t have fond memories of their class field trips? These treks outside the classroom are an ideal way for your students to connect to the outside world and engage with what they’re learning. From plays and museum exhibits to historical places, these and other field trips will be more memorable than a classroom lecture.

If your school has cut the field trip budget, try taking an online virtual field trip. Or, maybe there’s a cool opportunity within walking distance of your building. No matter how you offer a trip to your students, it’ll be a fun way to learn.

9. Make Technology a Part of Your Lesson

Technology is a given in today’s world. From tablets and laptops to YouTube and Netflix, your kids experience an endless stream of devices, sites and software every day. Use technology as a tool to make learning more fun, familiar and accessible.

Stock your classroom with tablets that have exciting educational apps. Or show your kids a short clip on YouTube or TeacherTube. You can even create a PowerPoint or a video of your own. Technology is a great way to meet some of your students’ instructional needs.

10. Take the Fun Outside

Recess — is there any word that brings more joy to a student’s heart? Looking forward to these outdoor excursions can make their in-class time more fun and engaging.

Kids need a break, yet many schools are doing away with recess in favor of academics. However, research shows that getting outdoors, playing on the playground and engaging with friends primes their brains for learning. Along with that, you and your students could enjoy these additional benefits of having class outside.

  • Learning about different subjects: Of course, outdoor lessons can be ideal for science classes. But you could also go outside to supplement a reading class focusing on nature or an art class exploring landscapes.
  • Improving grades: Taking lessons outside can boost grades. Kids can become more engaged with learning and grow their critical thinking skills, increasing their chances of doing well on tests and assignments.
  • Reducing stress: You and your students deserve the chance to relax. Take a break from tests and lectures to spend some time outside and reduce everyone’s stress.

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