popular topics in skill-building activities

  • Entertainment and Activities
    Math Activities
    Secret Mathematical Formulas
    Secret Mathematical Formulas Required: Pen and paper Here's a game where your child knows all the answers. But does he or she know the questions? Think of a mathematical formula that reflects the type of problems your child is studying in school...
  • Entertainment and Activities
    Science Activities
    Science Fair
    Science Fair Required: Research materials Drawing supplies Is your child eager to demonstrate his or her scientific knowledge? Why not organize an at-home science fair and invite everyone in the family to participate? Each person can select a to...
  • Entertainment and Activities
    Writing Activities
    Brainstorming Activity
    Brainstorming ActivityAccording to Susan K. Perry in Playing Smart, the more a child uses brainstorming skills, the more creative a thinker she will be. Brainstorming is thinking up as many answers to a question as possible. Below are some ideas ...
    Trish Kuffner, author of The Children's Busy Book
  • Entertainment and Activities
    Geography Activities
    Spin the Globe
    Spin the Globe Required: Atlas or globe Reference materials Looking for a great vacation spot for your family? Then spin the globe (or flip through an atlas or scan a map) while you're unwinding, and you and your child can plan the perfect trip....
  • Entertainment and Activities
    Drawing and Painting
    Show-'Em-How Manuals
    Show-'Em-How Manuals Required: Drawing supplies Sometimes, the only way to really explain something is to draw a how-to picture, or even a series of pictures. And there's no better person to draw them than your child, the budding junior technica...
  • Entertainment and Activities
    Reading Activities
    Read My Lips
    Read My Lips Required: Newspapers Can you create memorable sound bites worthy of a politician? Give your child examples of famous sound bites and talk about the events they help memorialize. Read newspaper headlines together, and see which of th...
  • Child
    Penmanship
    5 Common Handwriting Struggles and How to Solve Them
    Handwriting is a complex skill, so it isn't surprising that many children have a hard time mastering it. Poor handwriting skills can make your child stressed and anxious, cause problems with his or her schoolwork, and keep him or her from wanting...
    Lindsay Hutton
  • Activity Center
    Activities and Crafts
    Activity Center
    Find endless activities for little hands.
    familyeducation editors
  • Babies and Toddlers
    Imaginative Play
    Presidential Mixer Party Game
    Presidential Mixer Party Game Required: Reference materials Costumes for guests Have you met anyone interesting at a party recently? Well, this is your chance to mix with some of the most prestigious party guests of all—U.S. presidents, past a...
  • Entertainment and Activities
    Reading Activities
    Pay by the Word
    Pay by the Word Required: Your time only What if conversations were telegrams and every word counted? Your child can learn to speak concisely—or to "pay" the cost! Challenge your child to describe a movie or book in as few words as possible. A...
  • Entertainment and Activities
    History Activities
    Oral History Book
    Oral History Book Required: Reference materials Shazam! Your family has been transformed into a living history book, and the title is The History of the World. Assign a historical event or era (such as the Ice Age, the Middle Ages, the rise and ...
  • Entertainment and Activities
    Science Activities
    The Using Your Senses Game
    The Using Your Senses GameHere's an idea to help junior sleuths use their senses for investigation. 1. Collect a varitey of substances to smell in small jars or ziplock bags. Try cinnamon, pepper, soap, or crayons. 2. Put a number on each bag. 3...
  • Entertainment and Activities
    Math Activities
    Math Codes
    Math Codes Required: Writing supplies Kids love to make and break codes. Here's a variation that adds a new level of fun and reinforces basic math skills at the same time. You can easily adjust the level of challenge for your child's math and re...
  • Entertainment and Activities
    History Activities
    Instant Lecture Series
    Instant Lecture Series Required: Reference books Drawing supplies How would you like to turn your living room into a lecture hall and host some of the greatest thinkers—within your family, that is—at the drop of a hat? You can easily transfo...
  • Entertainment and Activities
    Drawing and Painting
    Household Road Signs
    Household Road SignsRequired: Drawing supplies No Left Turn. Right Turn Only. One Way. Left Lane Merges Right. These signs would make perfect sense if you saw them while driving about town in your car. But in your house!? Your kids can have a gr...
  • School and Learning
    Math
    Eureka! 5 Easy Ways to Grow Kids' STEM Skills at Home
    Eureka! 5 Easy Ways to Grow Kids' STEM Skills at Home STEM — yikes! Science, technology, engineering, and math (the "STEM" subjects) are important areas of learning for any student — but they sure can be intimidating for parents who are tr...
  • AAP Says Interactive Screen Time Could Be Healthy
    AAP Says Interactive Screen Time Can Be Healthy
    When it comes to screen time and kids, it isn't all bad news. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers guidelines on how to make screen time healthy and educational.
    Curious World
  • Entertainment and Activities
    Reading Activities
    Hole Story
    Hole Story Required: Storybook How would you like to hear the hole story? All you need for this activity are the stories—your child can provide the holes. With your child, read aloud a page or two from a storybook. Then call out a part of spee...