1. Whiteboards and whiteboard markers
Somehow, using these can transform any learning activity that involves writing, i.e. math and spelling, into an exciting time. Buy these at any office supply store, or visit Markerboard People for a huge variety of boards and inexpensive markers.
2. A timer
Most kids like being timed. Whether you are timing them on knowing their math facts, reading a poem, or spelling a word, adding the element of speed will make learning activities feel more like games.
3. Smelly markers
Smelly markers, the thick, colorful scented markers that come in a blue box, can do a lot to help kids have fun with learning. Use them to highlight printed reading passages, have kids grade their own math worksheets, create illustrated books, and more. Available at most grocery stores.
4. Magnetic tape and sticky putty
What could be more fun than sticking things to other things? Not much. Use magnetic tape to create word cards to put on your refrigerator to practice vocabulary and spelling words. Stick your child’s writing to the wall with a hunk of sticky putty. Most importantly, let the kids put the tape or putty on and affix things to the fridge or wall. Attaching their work to the wall makes it feel special, and if they get to do it, all the better. Purchase these at Home Depot or most office supply stores.
5. Letter and number tiles and magnets
These are great for practicing spelling and math. Anytime you can switch things up and practice them in a different way, do it. Instead of having your kids write their spelling words, have them create them with tiles. Writing math problems out can feel boring and repetitive for kids, but when you put tiles or magnets into the mix, it suddenly feels new and exciting. Use tiles from a Scrabble set, or purchase these at a learning supply store or online.