Many parents have heard of education and entertainment combined into one to form “edutainment”. That is to say, providing kids with educational material using ways and tools that traditionally have a closer link with entertainment. That may include movies, TV shows, game consoles, and increasingly, portable projectors.
We take a closer look on edutainment and edutainment activities.
An obvious portmanteau of education and entertainment, edutainment denotes a fun way of learning or learning through play. Contrasted with mainstream education, edutainment relies far more on interaction, playful activities, storytelling, and engaging the senses and imagination. It does not share the “learn by rote” approach that much of formal education retains, and there don’t have to be exams. The whole logic or idea is that kids learn better when having a good time, especially with parents at home. This latter portion may be quite relevant as you’re reading this, since due to the global pandemic more kids are homeschooling than at any point over the preceding century.
As mentioned above, better knowledge retention stands as the most obvious plus of edutainment. Where traditional classes and topics often prove daunting to kids and schools sometimes boil down to cramming for a grade, edutainment is nearly indistinguishable from play. Thus, kids actively want to learn and have much more motivation for edutainment-based schooling.
Bonding between students and teachers is another big boon of edutainment. Whether it’s parents engaging directly with kids or professional teachers getting to know learners, a more playful and enjoyable approach to schooling provides a nourishing base for better relationships. As humans, we feel better about people we can share joy with, and edutainment leverages that.
Importantly, edutainment is easy in this day and age. There’s so much technology that can be used to help kids learn. And this applies to pretty much any location, from the home to local parks and libraries to schools. Edutainment works so well now because you and your kids can learn and have fun together with your smartphones, tablets, laptops, portable projectors, and many other devices. That’s a huge benefit of edutainment: it provides a whole new dimension to the devices you already own, enticing your imagination as you learn new ways to use technology together.
So it’s no wonder that if you look up edutainment in late 2020 you’ll find it’s a trending theme. The maturity of smart, portable devices and the wealth of content available to us have created a balanced environment for rich, diverse learning that’s fun, engaging, and accessible.
More than ever, edutainment proves valuable because on top of the wealth of content and accessible technology, it fills a much-needed gap in the education of many kids. Without talking yet again about COVID-19 at length, we’ll just say that as many children and parents spend time at home together, this is a golden opportunity to make the most of that time. Instead of just playing video games or watching Netflix (not that there’s anything wrong with that when done in moderation), parents and kids get to spend time together, having fun and learning. And that’s learning for everyone, not just the kids. Parents learn how to be better at imparting knowledge to their children, which is priceless.
So instead of feeling down about the circumstances we find ourselves in, it’s a whole lot better to get proactive and try to make the most of things.
No need for expensive equipment, fancy interactive boards, or heavy textbooks. Got a laptop? Tablet? Internet? Then you’re all set. Xbox or PlayStation? There are plenty of games that have tremendous educational value, including generally mature titles like Assassin’s Creed with their historical discovery tour modes of ancient Egypt and Greece.
If you don’t already have a portable projector, you may want to consider ordering one. With HDMI, USB, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, good portable projectors interact with pretty much all of your devices. So instead of viewing content on a tiny phone or tablet screen, you and the kids share experiences in big picture format. You don’t even need a dedicated screen, any available wall will do. The impact of seeing visuals and text in big picture mode cannot be overstated, making portable projectors a great help. Plus, they’re light and compact so it’s not like you need to commit to a specific location. Move the portable projector from room to room as your edutainment needs arise.
A lot of kids all over are sadly missing out on in-person teaching right about now. But even without COVID, having learning materials projected onto a wall or screen at home provides you with the flexibility to create your own class in a friendly, fun, and familiar environment. There’s a lot of research that shows edutainment approaches work marvels for knowledge retention, so whatever the topic, going big is a nice touch that’s a lot more than a mere extra. It’s a game changer. If the weather’s good, go outside, as good portable projectors are durable and designed for outdoors use. Holding home classes in the backyard works especially well in the evening for extra mood and maybe some astronomy lessons.
As we said, make sure the projector has at least 500 lumens in projection power for good outdoors performance.
Place the portable projector in your kitchen and showcase recipe books on the wall in clear detail. Then involve the kids in the process of cooking or baking. They learn so much from that. Responsibility, measurements, a touch of chemistry and biology, and of course success or failure and the joy of getting it right. Cooking is a basic human activity that has brought us together throughout our history, except most previous generations didn’t have access to wonders like portable projectors, so make sure you make the most of the bounties we so readily enjoy.
Want to teach your kids about some of the most renowned paintings in history? No problem. Another edutainment activity involves projecting the paintings onto a wall so every detail stands out with superb fidelity. Then start a fun activity where you and the children draw your own version of each painting based on your interpretation. This type of activity is beneficial on so many levels. It encourages creative thinking, critical observation, and any latent predilections towards drawing and painting your children may have yet to realize.
Similar to the art class above, but this time involving hands-on painting and drawing on a large canvas or surface. Use the portable projector to show a scene or a basic premise on any surface you’re OK with the kids drawing on. Then ask them to fill in details based either on their own determination or basic guidelines that you provide. You end up with a mural that you and the kids worked on together and what’s more rewarding than a job well done as a labor of love?
You could continue telling stories from a book or tablet while you fall asleep before the kids do, or you could use a portable projector. Bring up stories in massive size right in the kids’ bedrooms so that you’re all engulfed in lovely visuals that make stories come to life. This isn’t something out of a Netflix Christmas movie, it’s something you can easily do at home. And kids can’t resist the joyful temptation of jumping in front of the projector to see their shadows affecting the image. That never fails to make everyone laugh, which is great on its own, but is also an excellent way to help kids learn more about physicality and the way light works.
So there you have it, five edutainment activities with portable projectors. Have a great holiday season and keep learning!