Kids (and Adults) Learn Better When They’re Having Fun


Image by jijis via Flickr

It’s a fact – kids learn better when they’re having fun. Actually, adults do too. To test out the theory, all you need to do is survey a group of folks who have just sat through a two hour PowerPoint meeting. How much of the presentation do you think they absorbed? In probing, I’m sure you’ll hear more about “death by PowerPoint” than tangible lessons from the meeting. The complaints you’d hear from adults are the same as the ones you’d hear from kids who are expected to sit quietly in class and absorb the lesson plan.

But, this doesn’t need to be the way. There are many engaging ways to teach.

In fact, a woman by the name of Joan Ganz Cooney pioneered a different approach for teaching children. Though she may not be a household name, Ms. Cooney is the inspiration (the muscle, the brainpower, the creative powerhouse) behind Sesame Street. After 40 years on television, Sesame Street is still going strong. Though it is now international, viewed in over 140 countries, and has an updated format, Sesame Street is just as engaging and entertaining as the day it was conceived.

Here’s a clip from the Ricky Gervais segment. My 5-year old turned beet red and laughed so hard he wasn’t able to make any sounds. And, if you think the Sesame Street format is just for kids, my husband enjoyed the segment even more than my son.

So the next time you get up to lecture, think about Sesame Street and consider how you can make your content more engaging by infusing elements of edutainment. When people are having fun, they’ll remember the experience. Learning can be about play!

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