Chalk It Up to Accidental Learning


Chalk It Up to Accidental Learning


These days everyone is looking for education activities for their toddlers and older children. We shop the aisle with the Leapfrog and Vtech toys. We scour Pinterest for hours looking for the perfect educational activities. We buy tons of supplies at Hobby Lobby for these projects and then slave over the Pinterest instructions only to have it turn out looking like something worse than what our toddler put together themselves.

One evening my husband was at a church meeting and so I decided to break out our new sidewalk chalk (thank you Target Clearance!).  As moms, we all know that the time after dinner until bedtime is hard to fill, so I thought that this would be great. As we sat on the sidewalk, I realized how unintentionally sidewalk chalk can be educational. My daughter loves to count. So, of course, she had to count every piece of chalk as we took it out of the box. She colored for a while and then she started to try to name all of the colors of the chalk.


We talked about Holy Week and Easter.


My mother-in-law was here a few weeks ago and she drew different kinds of fruit on the sidewalk, basic shapes, and a big rainbow.


All of these things are simple concepts are great things for our children to learn at this age. The wonder of this sidewalk chalk is that it’s so easy. I’m not even trying to be educational. I am trying to fill time and tire her out before bedtime.

A few other unintentional and prep free educational activities are:

  1. Shopping –  My daughter counts everything. She counts the checkout lane numbers. She counts the number birthday candles as we wait at the deli. She points out different objects like hats, cows on the milk carton, and different kinds of fruits.
  2. Sesame Street – Now I know we want to make sure that our kids aren’t getting too much screen time, but in moderation most things are okay. Sesame Street is one of those things. Sesame Street has taught Zoe so many things. I even saw a study that said that one hour of Sesame Street a day has proven educational gains in children.
  3. Bath time – Zoe has animal squirters in the tub and she loves to make all of the animal sounds. She also has a letter and number set that she loves to pick up and say their names.

What are some ways that your children learn unintentionally?




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