Don't Forget The Sprinkles! (adding fun to learning)

Have you ever taken your child to the doughnut or cupcake section of a bakery and let them pick the one they wanted?

More times than not, they will choose one with SPRINKLES.

My experience tells me that sprinkles must be magic, because EVERYTHING is somehow grand and glorious when they are atop it.  I know that when I add sprinkles to those cupcakes, or to our homeschooling lessons their eyes will dance and their smiles will widen and my heart will rejoice and be thankful for those sprinkles.

What are homeschool sprinkles?

They are anything that makes a plain topic more fun, more interesting, more full of life.  Side effects are grins, giggles, renewed interest in subject matter, and increased cooperation.

Here are some of my favorite homeschooling SPRINKLES:

Music – Adding some fun music can really energize the whole family. We love to do our chores to fun upbeat music.That’s just the beginning of the wonders of this SPRINKLE, there are so many educational music choices available now. For Science we can learn about fossils, seahorses, weather, the periodic table, the bones in the body and more in a few minutes of a catchy song.  For Math, there are skip counting and math facts CDs available. Learn the U.S. Presidents or the words to the Constitution to music as part of history. The opportunities for learning through music are as numerous as those sprinkles on that cupcake.

Art – Add some paint or clay to ANY subject matter, and you are nearly guaranteed happy cooperation. We used this SPRINKLE for those obscure tough Math facts.  By using scotch tape to “write” a math fact on a piece of paper, and then filling the paper with bright vivid colors, we were creating art.  As we colored, we repeated the math fact over and over again.  When we were finished we removed the tape and had a white math fact surrounded by beautiful color.

Field Trips – I absolutely LOVE books, but getting out to see the real thing is simply marvelous!  If you have the opportunity to visit some place you ‘ve encountered in a book, be sure and jump on it. Who wants to read about the changing Autumn leaves or tadpole transformation, when you can see it for yourself?  SPRINKLING  in a trip down to the creek or bike trail can be a welcome surprise on dull day.  Enjoy the fresh air together.

Audio Books – This is one of my favorite type of SPRINKLES.  It’s nice to have someone else read aloud sometimes. The children can  play and listen at the same time.  My crew typically will listen to an audio book several times, but if I read aloud to them, they get it once, maybe another time down the road but not multiple times in a row, my voice just can’t take it.

Friends – Announce to your children that friends are coming over for Science or History and their faces will brighten instantly. In the past we’ve had “Science Club”, a weekly writing class and even a HAM radio class. Friends are truly appreciated SPRINKLES whatever the reason.

I must confess, sometimes I have forgotten the SPRINKLES.  Some days, my children are lucky to be getting plain cupcakes.  The next time you sit down to plan your lessons, take a minute to think about presentation and what sprinkles you will offer your children.

Have you found some delightful SPRINKLES in your homeschool routine? I invite you to share your sweets.

Dana enjoys laughing and learning with her 3 children.  She invites you to come share in their adventures at NogginsandNonsense.

This post is linked to Thirsty Thursday.

Angie Kauffman
Angie, a domestically challenged nerd and mom of three very fun kids, is the founder of Real Life at Home.  Angie also listens to music every chance she gets, writes eBookspodcastsloves Pinterestdocuments the little moments in life on Instagram, and occasionally sleeps.


  1. says

    I loved this article! I’m not a fan of plain cupcakes either! We also sprinkle our curriculum with educational videos and movies on occassion. We are learning about Medieval Japan (not sure why, but there was interest), we spent the day watching part of the miniseries ‘Shogun’. Maybe not overly educational, but it does introduce them to the lifestyle, and after all their schooling for the day, it certainly was fun!:)
    .-= Tonya Prater´s last blog ..For the love of Paris… =-.

    • Jordon says

      The picture made me hungry for cupcakes. And when I was little I would also choose the dessert with the most beautiful sprinkles on it.

  2. says

    What a wonderful comparison…. I love this article!! Thank you for inspiring and reminding us to add sprinkles to our daily routines!! =)

  3. says

    I think the sprinkles that bring smiles is a phrase that I will bring to mind for years to come. I loved it! Funny how a little phrase can bring joy to the learning! (and teaching)

  4. says

    I love your analogy, too! What a great reminder to just think about “where can I add sprinkles to our school/life today?” Thanks!

  5. says

    Yes, the sprinkles are a wonderful analogy. I am a huge proponent of VARIETY. I mean, even the same sprinkles every day become ho-hum. So spicing things up with something different each day is vital.
    For us the sprinkles are —
    arts and crafts, hands-on projects, acting out narrations, games (both making them and playing them), and all of the wonderful things you already mentioned.
    .-= Jimmie´s last blog ..Creative “Doing Without” =-.

  6. says

    Thanks Dana for the Sprinkles thought. I will ask my son to help me come up with ways to add sprinkles……build a warren of rabbits as we read Watership Down? Make up rabbit stories? Hmmmm……Eat carrots? go steal lettuce from the King’s Garden…….? Hmmmm….