In the face of the present education stand-off in British Columbia, I thought I would contribute 25 cool learning ideas that kids can do, starting right now!
1. Build a fort
2. Learn some biking and boarding tricks. While you’re at it learn to ride a unicycle
3. Learn a skill you’ve always wanted to learn (cooking, sketching, dancing, etc.)
4. Go to your library and check out a bag of books
5. Plan and plant a winter garden
6. September is the best month for learning all about spiders! Study them in a local park or yard (check out this reference site British Columbia Spiders)
7. Get a job helping pick harvest fruits and vegetables, or cleaning up summer gardens
8. Go to diy.org and pick a skill from the several hundred profiled their in their palette
9. Start a DIY club in your community, plan a show and tell meeting, and invite everyone you know who makes something interesting to come and share
10. Get with the ‘Makers’ movement! Check out makezine.com and … get Making!
11. Start a Makers club in your community, plan a show and tell meeting, and invite everyone you know who is a Maker or wannabee Maker to come and share
12. Learn magic tricks with friends and teach each others new tricks
13. Write a script for your own play, rehearse it and put it on with and for friends and family. Build your own sets and make your own costumes!
14. September is Fringe Festival month; pick a Fringe play or three and attend them
15. Learn ‘Tabletop Moviemaking’ with your own cell phone or tablet; write a script, and storyboard and then start filming! Learn more at: www.tabletopmedia.org (and know that you can make an effective tabletop movie studio from an old laptop box or suitcase. I did!)
16. Pick someone in your community who is doing something you want to learn, approach them and ask if you can observe or ‘shadow’ them while they ‘do their thing’ (build, paint, sew, whatever). If you’re respectful they will engage with you and show you more about it. I.E. they could be a mentor to you
17. Write a comedy routine with your friends, rehearse it and stage an ‘comedy’ night in your living room. That’s how most of the pros got started!
18. Check out taking free, online courses through ITunesU, and the like
19. Approach someone in your community who is a native speaker of a language you wish to learn (French, Spanish, Finnish, Urdu, Tagalog), and ask them for a couple of lessons. If it works out, they might be a helpful mentor to you
20. Volunteer at an agency in your community; I guarantee you’ll likely learn lots of new things and meet interesting people
21. Go around your neighbourhood and offer to do some yard cleanup in preparation for fall and dare I say, winter. Rake leaves, chop wood, fix fencing, etc.
22. Start a music band, write or rehearse some cover songs, and plan a music showcase or battle of the bands event in your community
23. Make public art like murals, sidewalk designs, poetry or other kinds of installations; remember to ask permission first
24. Busk, showing off and honing your performance talents (singing,playing an instrument, doing magic, etc. Again, that’s how a lot of the pros got started!)
25. Get active through playing sports like ultimate frisby, hakky-sac, volleyball, touch football, hiking and biking; September is a wonderful time to stay outside and enjoy the waning summer weather.
BONUS: Read my book, Learn Your Way! SelfDesigning the Life Your Really Want, Starting Now!
I hope these are some helpful tips for you to Keep Learning Your Way! – Michael