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Ideas for self learning

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My son is almost 6 and he really likes to have things spoon fed to him, but sometimes I see him get really excited about a project and work really hard to figure things out. I would love some ideas for appropriate activities or resources to be able to give him something and have him figure it out on his own. He loves puzzles, but I would love to give him something a little more challenging. I would love to hear your ideas!

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DD is very crafty and has taught herself a lot of things. She's very independent and undertakes projects that *I'd* be scared to try, especially without a pattern. She also learns a lot by reading and she enjoys writing of all kinds.


DS is my builder. He has learned so much math, engineering, and physics just by playing with his Legos.

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My middle son (10) is like this. Some things he has enjoyed:


I printed the projects from the blog "Think!" and gathered all supplies in a clear plastic tub and he worked through those.


He also loved the Ultimate Kid Concoction book. I did the same, gathering all supplies in a plastic tub and letting him work through it.


My ds enjoyed the Complete a Sketch series and Drawing Textbook.


He really likes Zomes with the free Lesson Plans available on pdf on the Zome site. We started with the Creator 1 set, but would like to add more.


He likes Quadrilla marble runs.


Yesterday he spent the afternoon making up Angry Bird towers using Kapla blocks and then seeing how sturdy they were by tossing the stuffed Angry Birds at them.


He loves to build Lego and is a Nathan Sawaya fan.


Pearler Beads have been a hit here too. KoolStuff4Kids has a nice selection. Over the weekend ds found architectural templates for them, he also has enjoyed all of the idea books.


Have you tried models instead of standard puzzles? Ravensburger has a lighthouse model ds is drooling over.


Oh, and the Lego Architecture series is very good, ds just did the White House one, read a few books about the White House and elections, then explored DC on the DK app.


When he was younger he went through a phase of collecting rocks and bugs in the backyard with field guides.


He then moved into building with real wood and tools.


From there he went into cardboard with MakeDo and Mr. McGroovy.


Duct tape has been fun.


Then he got into PVC creations, including making his own Tee Pee out of PVC and stomp rocket.


He really enjoyed the squish human body by SmartLab.


Science Wiz Kits


The important part for him is that he has time and materials to do this type of thing daily. Be sure to take pictures too.





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There is also the Lego Quest blog. I second the ideas of the Think blog (great idea to make a kit!) and the PVC. My kids have a giant Rubbermaid full of PVC parts and a big basket of fittings. They have made anything and everything out of those, from puppet theaters in the house to a bike wash in the back yard in the summer. So creative and relatively inexpensive. My kids also build all kinds of things with their unit blocks and Citiblocs (I'll have to give them an Angry Birds challenge tomorrow). I also like the book Sandbox Scientist with kits to go with the different ideas for exploration.


ETA: One cool thing we've been doing this year is making a field guide for our neighborhood. We go on nature walks and the kids make a field guide page for all the different plants and animals we find. We categorize them as we go along.

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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