Learning happens all around us, and for children, it happens easiest through play.
A tried and true Autumn tradition of painting and decorating pumpkins with a vivacious and curious seven year old girl spun into a discussion of Literary Devices from a simple question of "Isn't it funny how the pumpkins are colorful and sparkly and the ghoul is dark and scary?" By listening and engaging her in a subject that she initiated, a lesson on Juxtaposition emerged.
"That's a really cool observation, G7! That's called Juxtaposition. Do you know what that means? It's when two totally opposite things are next to each other. Like our colorful pumpkins and your scary and dark ghoul decoration."
There were no worksheets. No flashcards. No textbooks. Sitting around a rod iron table on a mild fall day while painting pumpkins, organic learning occurred. Effortlessly.
Learning through play often receives looks of dismay and confusion, however it is the most effective way for many children to learn. It allows children to decide what they are learning and by relation--gain knowledge about subjects they are interested in. Many Occupational and Speech Therapists teach their littlest clients through play, as well.
Next time a learning opportunity comes along organically, pause, listen, and engage. You may be surprised at what transpires.