Making Learning Fun

Let’s talk about making learning fun!  

Learning does not always have to be serious –  practicing writing drills or doing worksheets.  Learning can (and should) be fun and engaging!  I get the best engagement, social interaction, joint attention, and laughs out of my students when I bring in learning games and tools during centers time.  Keep reading to see some of what I use to make learning fun in my classroom!

Math Fun

My students love hands-on math activities such as the Squeeze, Scoop & Count Ice Cream Shop from Lakeshore Learning.  My students and I love practicing 1:1 correspondence while counting to 10 with this fun hands-on activity!  Students are also able to practice their fine motor skills while using the scooper to scoop the ice creams.  Because the “ice cream” comes in different colors, I also use this as an addition activity.  This is a fun way to engage in joint attention as well as pretend play!
Continuing with the theme of ice cream, my students also love the Counting Cones from Lakeshore Learning.  These can be used to work on patterns, 1:1 correspondence, and addition!  Such a fun way to work on math, joint attention, and social skills.

Language Arts Fun

We work on a lot of letter identification and letter formation in my classroom.  This can easily be done using worksheets and tracing activities, but that gets boring over time.  I love this Lakeshore Learning Construct-A-Letter Activity Center, and so do my students!  I get amazing engagement and participation from my students because of how much fun this is.  With this activity, I am able to make learning fun while working on letter identification, letter formation, and fine motor skills.  Bonus, it’s easy to incorporate social skills with this one, too!
Another fun learning activity for my students are these Alpha-Bots from Lakeshore Learning.  These allow students to play and learn at the same time.  Play is such a beneficial skill that is often overlooked but helps students grow so much.  My students love playing and learning with these!

Social & Life Skills Fun

Social skills are fundamental life skills.  Part of losing, congratulating a friend, waiting, taking turns, joint attention, and playing fairly are all social and life skills needed but also need to be learned.  It is okay to work on these in the classroom – it’s a great place to build these skills!  Some of my favorite games to help build these necessary social and life skills are:
Greedy Granny

What a silly game!  Students take turns removing snacks from Granny’s tray while she is sleeping.  They must be careful, though, because Granny can wake up at any moment.  When she wakes up, her teeth come flying out of her mouth.  I love Greedy Granny because it promotes laughter, turn taking, and tolerating losing.  Mostly, my students spend their time laughing while playing this game and it makes the classroom so happy. 

Shark Bite

Students take turn fishing sea creatures from the shark’s tummy.  Be careful, because the shark could bite at any moment!  Shark Bite is a fun game that teaches students how to take turns and how to tolerate losing.  My students and I always have a lot of laughs (and sometimes tears) when playing this game.  This one is definitely a classroom favorite!

Kinetic Sand

I love incorporating sensory play when making learning fun in my classroom.  Kinetic Sand is the perfect sensory tool to use!  Students can search for items in the sand, build ice cream cones, or just watch the sand slip through their fingers.  I get amazing joint-attention and engagement when I pull this out!  It’s great for practicing waiting, turn taking, and all done skills as well. 

What are your thoughts on making learning fun in the classroom?  Do you have favorite ways to bring fun into your class?  Let me know in the comments.  Thanks for reading!
Michelle Lindenmuth, M.Ed.
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