13 Fun Homework Ideas: The Best Ways To Make Homework Fun For Kids Quickly & Easily
Figuring out how to make homework fun can be a tricky task for parents.
Does it feel like you’re constantly nagging your kids to do their homework? If your answer is yes, know that we’ve all been there! It’s natural for parents to want their children to progress and do well in school, but after an entire day of paper, pencils, and books many youngsters will resist getting on with their homework – and that’s putting it mildly!
Top Tips To Make Homework Fun:
- 1. Work together
- 2. Use rewards and incentives
- 3. Make them a snack
- 4. Make it visual
- 5. Try different learning apps
- 6. Set up a homework play date
- 7. Go outside
- 8. Turn it into a game
- 9. Let them play teacher
- 10. Use a timer
- 11. Create a special homework space
- 12. Remember to be positive
- 13. Get help if you need it
Thankfully, there are ways of making homework less boring and that are a little bit more fun for your child. Whether they need to practice spelling, learn their times tables or revise for an important exam, our top fun homework ideas will help you magically take the ‘work’ out of homework.
1. Work together
Adults often work best in the company of others, and the same can be said of kids, so why not sit with your child while they’re studying and get on with some of your own work or life admin?
Whether you’re returning emails or doing your online banking, creating a shared workspace and modeling focused work is a great way to spend quality time together while they complete their homework. Win-win!
Quick win: While your child is tackling their fractions homework, you could sit down with them and take a look through your finances.
2. Use rewards and incentives
Rewards and incentives are great when it comes to getting your children to follow your household rules and routines, and homework is no different. Things like stickers or the promise of time on their iPad or games console for slightly older children can all work wonders in getting them to do their homework without a battle.
Quick win: For every few questions they answer they could get a minute of screen time!
3. Make them a snack
Let’s face it: A hungry child is an unfocused, unmotivated and unhappy child.
Most children come out of school ravenous, so let them nibble on a nutritious after-school snack while they get on with homework; things like popcorn, apple slices, grapes, or crackers and cheese are all great snack options.
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, Active for Life has a list of healthy after-school snack ideas and recipes to try.
Quick win: One of the best brain foods for kids is a nice and crispy apple! So when your child is craving something sweet just cut up an apple and let them munch away.
4. Make it visual
Help to eliminate the late night ‘Oh, I forgot to do that’, and create a weekly homework chart so your child can see what they have to do each day and check off each ‘to do’ task as it’s been completed.
Again, Pinterest has some great free printables to help keep kids organized. Get them involved by letting them color it, or decorate it with their favorite stickers, and pin it up somewhere at their height, where they will see it easily every day as a reminder. Some exciting new stationery and colorful pens might help too.
Quick win: An easy way to make homework fun is to grab a piece of paper and get your child to draw out and decorate a ‘homework chart’ consisting of 5 days. Stick it on the fridge and add a sticker to each day after they’ve done their homework, when they’ve collected 5 stickers they get a treat!
5. Try different learning apps
If your child prefers to be online, there are some great online apps around that children will have fun using, yet encourage learning too. Here are our favorite free math websites for example. Speak to your child’s teacher too and see which apps the children use in school so you can support what they’re doing at home.
Quick win: One of our favorite websites that makes homework fun is Tang Math!
6. Set up a homework play date
Holding a homework playdate where your child can invite one of their best school buddies over to do homework together can be a great way for them to learn and make sure the work gets done, especially older children in elementary school.
Plus, it’s likely that their parents will be delighted!
Younger children may need a bit more support and guidance but can still gain a lot from the experience of learning together with a friend – think of this as a mini-educational play date for them.
Quick win: Let your child and their friend play for a while, and then get them to work through their homework with the incentive of a yummy ‘ice cream party’ when they’ve completed all of their homework.
7. Go outside
If the weather allows, create a comfortable outside study space and allow your child to do their homework outdoors.
The fresh air can help kids with their concentration if they’ve been stuck in a classroom all day, and studies also show that being outside, closer to nature, can increase productivity. The reward of a quick game of Frisbee or a kick-around of a soccer ball between tasks will help them stay motivated too.
8. Turn it into a game
Who said home learning had to be boring? If children enjoy what they’re learning, they’re more likely to remember what they’re being taught, so turn their learning into a fun game. Using sweets like Smarties to help with math and number work can turn the experience from a chore into a treat. If they get the right answer, they get to eat some!
Another trick that you can use when your child is learning spellings is to write them in shaving cream or in magnetic letters. It sounds simple but we can guarantee that it will make homework a lot more fun for your child.
Quick win: If you’re looking for some fun homework ideas then check out this simple multiplication activity you can do at home, it’ll even get in one of your child’s five a day!
9. Let them play teacher
Make another fun homework game by creating your own mini-classroom and letting your child step into the role of teacher.
Have your child explain a concept to you as a teacher, as you, or their sibling, play the role of the student. This game works particularly well with subjects that require theory, like Science for example, as it will improve their understanding of the concept and build logic and reasoning skills.
Quick win: Make homework fun by getting your child to choose their favorite teddies and toys and setting them up in their own mini- classroom. Start off with registration, ‘mom’ ‘present’, ‘mr teddy’ ‘here’ etc. You’ll soon notice that your child is growing in confidence regardless of the topic as children love playing teacher!
10. Use a timer
Some children may have difficulty working for prolonged periods of time without a break, so using a timer can be great for getting them to complete homework without whining. For example, if your child is given 20 math problems for homework, you can say “Complete the first 10 questions, then we’ll take a 5-minute break, then complete the next 10 questions”.
Many children will need a mental break and will work more effectively when given the opportunity to take one. At the end of the task, they get to pick an activity of their choice. If your child gets easily distracted, a timer game can work well to keep them focused on the task in hand.
Quick win: Put the timer on your phone so that your child can see the countdown while they’re working.
11. Create a special homework space
A special study space can make homework more fun and help motivate your child to get it done! Choose a space in your house that’s least likely to distract your child, and create simple, organized, and kid-friendly homework.
You could hang up some of their artwork above the desk, and have all their school essentials nearby so everything is close to hand.
Quick win: Make sure that they aren’t surrounded by things that will distract them. Televisions and iPads are a no go at homework time!
12. Remember to be positive
Remember to always be upbeat and positive about school and the importance of their homework. Give your child lots of praise and encouragement about how well they’re doing to help them stay motivated and on track.
Quick win: After every homework session, spend five minutes talking through what your child has accomplished. If you’re running out of activities to do, have a look at our list of home learning packs – all free to download.
13. Get help if you need it
Homework can be frustrating if your child doesn’t understand the material or gets bored easily. If your child is struggling, get them some expert help!
Quick win: Third Space Learning has plenty of advice on learning math for kids and parents but if you need more support, our primary school math tutors are easy to organize and very affordable.
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The content in this article was originally written by primary school teacher Sophie Bartlett and has since been revised and adapted for US schools by elementary math teacher Christi Kulesza.