Making learning fun, exciting and engaging for children

What you need to know:

  • Integrating education into everyday experiences makes it enjoyable and relevant, ignites curiosity, and fosters a love for learning.

One of the best approaches for teaching young learners is disguising learning with engaging activities. This approach taps into children’s natural curiosity, allowing them to absorb knowledge and skills in an enjoyable and memorable way.

Integrating education into everyday experiences makes it enjoyable and relevant, ignites curiosity, and fosters a love for learning.

The most effective tools for diverse learning include games, songs, cartoons, and playtime. Each activity engages children uniquely, promoting cognitive, emotional, and social growth.


Games are an integral part of childhood and serve as a powerful educational tool. Games engage children in ways that traditional learning methods might not, making learning enjoyable and memorable.

Games that involve strategy, puzzles, or problem-solving significantly enhance cognitive skills. Board games like chess, checkers, and Scrabble improve logical thinking, spatial awareness, and vocabulary. Video games, particularly those designed for educational purposes, can enhance hand-eye coordination, critical thinking, and multitasking abilities.

Multiplayer games foster social interaction, teaching children to cooperate, take turns, and communicate effectively. These games often require teamwork, negotiation, and leadership, helping children develop important social skills that are crucial throughout life.

Games can also help children develop resilience and emotional regulation. The nature of games, where winning and losing are part of the experience, teaches children how to handle success and failure gracefully. This builds emotional resilience and the ability to cope with frustration and disappointment.

Role-playing games and imaginative play encourage creativity and imagination. When children engage in games that allow them to create characters, stories, and worlds, they develop their creative thinking and storytelling abilities. This kind of play also helps in developing empathy, as children often put themselves in others' shoes.

Mr John Mukuyu, a teacher at Mnazi Mmoja Primary School, says games are a great way to make learning fun and engaging. “Strategy and puzzle games boost cognitive skills, while multiplayer games enhance social interaction and teamwork," he notes.


Songs and music are powerful tools for learning and development. They engage multiple areas of the brain at the same time and therefore enhance memory, language skills, and emotional well-being.

Songs introduce new vocabulary and concepts. Rhyming songs, in particular, help children recognise sound patterns and improve phonemic awareness, which is crucial for reading skills. Songs with repetitive lyrics and rhythms help with language acquisition and can aid in learning new languages as well.

The melody and rhythm of songs make them easier to remember than spoken words. This is why educational songs are so effective at teaching facts and concepts. For example, songs about the alphabet, numbers, or scientific processes can help children retain information more effectively than rote memorization.

Singing together creates a sense of community and belonging. Group singing activities encourage cooperation, listening, and the ability to follow directions. Music also has a profound impact on emotions; it can soothe, energise, or help children express feelings they might not be able to articulate.

Songs that incorporate movement, such as action songs or dance, help develop gross motor skills. These activities require coordination, balance, and physical control, contributing to overall physical development.

A kindergarten teacher at Ghati Memorial Pre & Primary School in Musoma, Mara Region, Ms Sophia Ndaro, shares that rhyming and repetitive lyrics enhance awareness, which is crucial for reading skills, and make learning enjoyable and memorable.


Cartoons are often seen merely as entertainment, but they can also be educational and provide numerous benefits for children's development when chosen carefully. Educational cartoons can introduce complex ideas and concepts in a way that is accessible and engaging for children.

Shows focusing on science, math, history, or problem-solving can stimulate intellectual curiosity and foster a love for learning. Cartoons like "Dora the Explorer" or "Sesame Street" are designed to teach specific skills and knowledge while keeping children entertained.

Watching cartoons in different languages or those that use a rich and varied vocabulary can enhance language development. Dialogues in cartoons help children understand context, improve their listening skills, and learn new words and phrases. Subtitled cartoons can also aid in reading skills, as children match spoken words with text.

Many cartoons depict social scenarios and model appropriate behaviour and emotional responses. Characters often navigate friendships, conflicts, and moral dilemmas, providing children with examples of how to handle similar situations in their own lives. This helps in developing empathy, understanding social cues, and managing emotions.

The imaginative worlds and characters in cartoons can inspire creativity in children. Cartoons that encourage storytelling, art, or imaginative play can stimulate creative thinking and self-expression. They often encourage children to think beyond the ordinary and explore fantastical concepts.

"Educational cartoons are great tools for engagingly introducing complex subjects. Shows like 'Sesame Street' help children learn science, math, and language skills while being entertained," says Mr Shaibu Hamza, a teacher at Karume Primary School in Dar es Salaam.


Playtime is crucial for the holistic development of children. It is during play that children often learn best, as it allows them to explore, experiment, and understand the world around them.

Active play is essential for physical health. It helps develop gross motor skills, coordination, strength, and overall physical fitness. Activities such as running, jumping, climbing, and playing sports are vital for physical growth and health.

Playtime, especially free play, encourages problem-solving and critical thinking. Children often create their own games and rules, which involve planning, strategizing, and executing ideas. This type of play fosters cognitive flexibility and the ability to think creatively and independently.

Playtime provides opportunities for children to interact with peers, helping them develop social skills such as sharing, cooperation, negotiation, and conflict resolution. It also helps children understand social norms and build relationships with others.

Play is a natural way for children to express and process their emotions. Through play, children can work through fears, anxieties, and other feelings. It also provides a sense of joy and fulfilment, contributing to overall emotional health.

Imaginative play, where children create scenarios and roles, is crucial for developing creativity. Whether it’s pretending to be a superhero, a chef, or a teacher, this type of play helps children explore different perspectives and roles, enhancing their creative thinking and empathy.