Children are born with natural curiosity. When their curiosity is suppressed, their learning is diminished. When their curiosity is encouraged with nurturing guidance, their learning accelerates. Unschooling focuses on interest-driven activities sparked by curiosity. Your guidance can help enhance your child’s curiosity, creativeness, and education.
Here are some unschooling activities that have been suggested by our readers. These are just a few of the many possibilities. Each can radiate out into further learning and even more activities. Below this list is additional information on why and how unschooling works so well.
Remember: Playing is learning! These activities and ideas can evolve into a world of learning!
Unschooling Activities Suggested by Readers:
• Daily explorations and play
• Hands-on activities
• Science experiments
• Invention projects
• Construction projects
• Composing or playing music
• Arts and crafts
• Drawing and painting
• Sculpting, clay, and pottery
• Puzzles and sorting games
• Pretend play
• Forts and teepees
• Creative writing
• Writing books and stories
• Reading and researching
• Library trips
• New books or authors to read
• Drama, acting, and performing
• Dancing and singing
• Making videos and animations
• Board games
• Outdoor or backyard games
• Family games
• Nature walks
• Relay races
• Scavenger hunts
• Math manipulatives
• Cooking and baking
• Home projects
• Sports activities
• Recreational activities
• Family activities
• Camping and hiking
• Weekend trips or getaways
• Swimming and skating
• Surfing and skiing
• Gymnastics or wall-climbing
• Picnics and socials
• Field trips
• Museum and zoo visits
• Local tours
• Community courses
• Family discussions
• Family newsletters
• Family businesses
• Life skills
• Interest-driven learning pursuits
• Independent learning activities
• Natural living and learning every day
Curiosity increases activity in specific areas of the brain, helping people to absorb and retain information longer. When you are interested and curious about a topic, your brain becomes more inclined to learn about it. Children who are allowed to ask questions, and to remain curious about the world around them, remain eager to learn.
Children are naturally curious about everything, and because curiosity helps them to learn, it’s a trait that should never be discouraged. Asking “Why?” is an innate part of the way children learn. They should always be encouraged to ask why, and to be encouraged to find answers to “Why?”
Unschooling is one of the most natural ways for children to seek the answers to their “Why” questions, and one of the most natural ways for children to acquire knowledge. You’ll want to keep their curiosity alive and encourage them to follow their interests as they learn about the world around them.
Children gain a huge amount of knowledge and skills between birth and age five, without formal schooling. They learn by experimenting, doing, trying and failing, then trying again. Rarely are they deterred, and rarely do they give up. Young children love to experiment. They enjoy trying things their own way, and if it doesn’t work, they’ll try another way. Just as curiosity is an in-born trait in children, so is the desire to learn new things.
Trying the Unschooling Method
If you’re not sure about the unschooling method, try unschooling during weekends, vacations, summertime, or any time! Watch them play, and you’ll see them learn. Encourage their curiosity, and guide them in finding answers and resources. Follow their interests, and you’ll learn right alongside them. You’ll certainly be amazed at how adept they are at learning through the myriad topics that interest them.
More Unschooling Activities
Children are eager to play, and, consequently, learn. Sometimes, though, they might feel that they’ve forgotten how to play, or can’t think of anything to do. Spend time brainstorming ideas together. Ask your children what they’d like to do if they had all the time in the world to do whatever they liked. Then explore those ideas together.
Revisit fun activities from the past, which they might’ve forgotten about, but which could interest them in new or different ways now.
Activities could include:
• Building simple models or 3D structures
• Performing plays based on books or movies
• Creating new types of board games to play
• Designing video games for handheld devices
• Learning to play new instruments and composing music
• Writing and creating comic books or cartoon strips
• Performing and making videos of scientific experiments
• Using LEGO sets or electronic kits to create new gadgets
• Cooking or baking new concoctions for the family
Every day provides multiple ideas for playing, unschooling, and learning. There’s no limit to what your children can do and achieve!