Learning as a Family: The Actimel Family Wellbeing Index

This is a sponsored post

As you know, I’m a huge proponent for PLAY and play-based learning. I’ve written a few times about the benefits and importance of play and am really happy to have been asked to write a little about the importance of learning together as a family, on behalf of Actimel.

pattern making with spielgaben

In today’s world everyone is always in a hurry and it seems this has even filtered down into our parenting and teaching of tiny children, trying to get them to learn their letters and numbers as young as 2 years old, and happily supplying worksheets and formal, set activities daily from this stage onwards. Children are natural born learners and begin from the moment of birth. With enough stimulation, love and interaction, this will flourish of its own accord and the amount they learn in the first 5 years is absolutely staggering! Mobility, co-ordination, language, comprehension, social interaction, investigation skills to name but a few in a myriad of complex connections and marvellous new abilities that are built on, on a daily basis!

We don’t need all these extra pressures on young children, as they need to time and space to learn so many other more important skills before formal education takes place, and that should all happen through play!

As part of a family children learn very quickly from other siblings, parents and extended family members who span the generations. We all have so much to learn from grandparents and those people in our lives who have experienced different eras, countries, languages and cultures. All of these, combined together through storytelling and shared histories create a wonderful basis for learning together.

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[A trip to a farm is hugely enriching for everyone!]

Recording that learning journey can be fun and rewarding to look back on in later years. Why not make a scrapbook together of days out and holidays taken? Collect post cards and entrance tickets, maps and photographs and work together to make a record as the years go by. This is the kind of project that the whole family can join in together and benefit from. The toddler can stick the pieces, the 6 year old can do some scribing, the 8 year old can be the photographer and parents can aid and read back the work, for e.g.! Or decide a new topic of interest, perhaps based on a local historical landmark, or a country or animal you would like to discover more about, then launch a family-based project on it together. Go to do research in libraries or online, visit the relevant museums and locations, take photos, makes books with diagrams, slideshow presentations for friends and other family members to see! Perhaps you could find out about your family surname and its origins!

Whatever we do, we should keep it playful, child-directed and FUN, as kids learn best and feel most motivated when learning through play. In fact, Einstein himself said “play is the highest form of research” and should be treated as seriously as that.

counting lego blocks

[Learning together in a playful way is the best way to consolidate new concepts and create a LOVE of learning!]

Earlier this year, Actimel launched a fabulous new initiative on their website called The Family Wellbeing Index, with the intention of helping families to celebrate the simple, important things in life and spend more time together in a happy, healthy way. They have been exploring the ideas of EAT – PLAY – CONNECT – MOVE – LEARN – GIVE. If you pop over to take a look you can complete a short surgery to find out what type of family yours is e.g. “Out and Abouters” or “Fun and Gamers” amongst many other categories! Then you will find a series of tips and personalised ideas for you and your family! There are loads of fun ideas and activities and something for everyone.

I’m thrilled to have been selected to be their LEARN ambassador, and you will find my tips over there too by clicking here to the LEARN category.

As part of this initiative, Actimel are inviting other parent bloggers to apply for funding through their scheme, from anything as simple as family music or dance lessons,  tickets to a museum for the whole family, materials to build an outdoor learning station in the garden or furniture to make a cosy reading and writing nook inside! Any idea that you think will enrich your family, as a whole, in terms of learning new things, can be applied for! If you win, Actimel will supply the necessary funds to make it happen for you.

How to Apply

To enter simply pop us an email with your idea – Make this clear, descriptive and no more then 200 words. Remember this category is all about Learn – whether passing down (or up) a bit of knowledge or learning a new instrument together, we want to hear what you could LEARN to make family life even more marvellous.

Once you’ve come up with an idea send us our entry idea to actimeluk@gmail.com before September 27th

Judging Criteria

A panel from Actimel will judge each submission based on relevance to the category and how much it benefits the whole family’s wellbeing. Successful candidates will be notified via email. Actimel asks that all successful applicants document their activity through a blog post and social media posts too.

More details & T&C’s can be found here:-

http://www.familywellbeingindex.co.uk/fund

Remember, all parenting bloggers are eligible to join our network and apply for funding so feel free to share the info and link above.

Look forward to your seeing your idea!

 

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Actimel.

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