Inside: Learn a simple hack to turn homeschool posters into a fun learning tool your kids will enjoy using.
Even if you don’t have a homeschool room, you probably have some homeschool posters or other homeschool decor hanging on your walls. That’s all fine and dandy, but how often do your kids really look at them?
If you’re going to take up prime real estate on your walls with posters, you might as well get something back in return.
Did you know you can turn those homeschool posters into a learning opportunity?
That’s right! A fun homeschool room idea is to turn those cute wall hangings into interactive posters.
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What Is an Interactive Poster?
Interactive posters are similar to academic posters, but go one step further by having the child actively involved, or interacting with the information.
By taking a traditional classroom poster and cutting it apart, you can create an activity your child manipulates in some way.
Benefits of Interactive Learning
Just reading a book or listening to someone teach is a passive form of learning. For the traditional learner, that’s fine. He’ll excel in that environment.
Unfortunately, many students don’t learn that way and need to touch and feel in order to connect with what they’re learning. That’s where these posters come into play!
Check out some benefits:
✔ Strengthen Students’ Knowledge– If there’s a topic you’ve already covered in the past and you want your child to store it in his long-term memory, create a poster activity and use it every so often to keep it fresh in his mind.
✔ Reinforces Skills– Does your child need some extra practice with a skill? Turn a homeschool poster into a hands-on activity and he can practice repeatedly in a fun way.
✔ Multi-Sensory Approach– When we teach using several senses, it activates different parts of the brain so students are more likely to remember it.
✔ More Engaging– Just looking at a poster is nice, but when you can interact with it, it’s much more interesting, fun, and effective.
✔ Build Independence– Most interactive activities are done independently. That means the child is learning how to work by himself building independence.
✔ Problem Solving/Critical Thinking– When a child has to think for himself to figure out a solution, such as coming up with the missing answer or finding a match to a card, he’s problem solving and using critical thinking skills. These are skills every child needs to work on and will benefit them throughout life.
How to Create Educational Poster Activities
When you see how easy it is to create these learning posters, you’re going to wonder why you never thought of it before. And your kids will love using them! It’s what I like to call “sneaky learning” because it feels like they’re playing a game.
5 Easy Steps to Creating Homeschool Posters for Interactive Learning
Step 1- Buy Educational Posters
The first step is buying an educational poster (Or two of the same one, depending on the activity you want to create). The reason you may want to buy two is that sometimes one will be the base for the learning activity and you’ll cut the other one apart for the manipulative pieces.
Step 2- Determine the Activity
Looking at your poster, determine what activity your child can do with it. Will he be matching, putting things in a pocket, etc?
Often a poster lends itself to a specific activity by the way it’s set up. Check out the examples below to see how I’ve used the posters.
Here is a simple alphabet poster. I bought two of them and cut apart the letters on one for my son to match onto the other poster.
In the parts of speech poster below (which is a used and worn one), I glued it to poster paper and then added pockets to the sides for my kids to put cards in.
Here’s a money poster. All I did to this was add some Velcro on the poster and then cut out pieces of an index card with the names of the coins. I laminated each one and put Velcro on the back to attach them to the poster.
Step 3: Create the Activity
Matching Activity– For a matching activity, you’ll want to cut the second poster apart. Whichever graphics or words you want your child to learn or remember, you’ll cut them out so they become individual answers your child holds and places onto the first poster.
Put self-adhesive velcro on the back of each piece and then on the poster itself so they’ll stick together. Tip: Be sure to use see through velcro if you’re going to place it on top of the words or pictures so it doesn’t cover them up.
Pocket Activity– For a pocket activity, you’ll want to figure out where to adhere the pockets your child will place his answers in. Sometimes you’ll be using a pocket to cover up the information you want your child to learn. Other times, you can put the poster on a posterboard to make room for the pockets like the example below.
From the second poster, you’ll cut apart the individual answers you covered up on the first poster. Or you can use one poster and write out the answers on index cards. Your child will put these cares into the correct pockets.
If you can laminate these pieces, they last longer, but that’s optional.
Flip Up Activity
For this activity, you only need one poster. Instead of cutting answers apart, you’ll cover them with paper flaps. Write a question on the outside of the flap and after your child says the answer to himself, he’ll lift the flap to see if he’s correct.
Step 4: Write Directions
Because you want your child to do these activities by himself, it’s important to write out very specific directions explaining how to use it. Sometimes it’s even helpful to go through it with your child the first time to make sure he understands what to do and how to self-check.
Step 5: Make an Answer Key
Creating an answer key (if necessary) is an important step you don’t want to forget. Your child needs to check himself. Not only does it keep the activity independent but also reinforces the correct answers and cements them in his memory.
Tip: Check out the back of posters. They often have teaching ideas, and it may give you inspiration for other ways you could use the poster.
Check out these ideas on Pinterest to see how others have made posters interactive.
Here’s a video showing some examples of homeschool posters used for learning activities.
How to Vary the Difficulty of Your Hands-On Activity
Depending on the age of your child, you may need to change up the difficulty of the activity.
For young children, you can use a Montessori approach with your posters. They can place their cut apart pieces on top of the matching picture or words. They can see they’re the same, and it reinforces the information.
If they’re studying a topic like animals, you could use manipulatives like small plastic animals and match those to the pictures instead. This develops visual skills, spatial memory and recognition of shapes, sizes and objects. In this case, you don’t need Velcro and you would lay the poster on a table instead of hanging it on a wall.
Below is a video showing what I mean, except it would be with a poster.
For older students, you’ll want to cover up the answers and let them make their best guess and then use the answer key to check themselves.
If you have multiple children, you may want to make one homeschool poster usable for each of them and to do that, you’ll need to create a different set of answers for each age group.
An example would be using pictures instead of words or simple terms instead of larger vocabulary words for the younger kids. You can hang each set on a separate metal binder ring to keep them organized.
Storing the Pieces for Your Homeschool Posters
For an simple way to store the pieces for each poster, you can put them in a sandwich bag or envelope and then paperclip it to the poster or staple one side of the plastic bag so it can still be opened.
You can also take a small plastic shoebox, bin, or basket, and store all the envelopes and sandwich bags with pieces when they’re not being used.
If a poster has lots of cards or pieces that are the same size, you can put a hole in the corner and hang them on a metal binder ring like the picture below.
Storing Your Homeschool Posters
When a poster isn’t being used, you can store it in a tri-fold cardboard presentation board. Slide the board behind a shelf, couch, china closet or any other place where it can stand up out of the way. This keeps the posters from getting bent.
You can take two large pieces of cardboard and Duct Tape one side and slip the posters in between if they’re too big for a presentation board.
Where to Find Educational Posters for Kids
There are several places you can find educational posters. Below is a list of options to choose from.
Free Educational Posters
Posters You Can Print Out Yourself
Posters on Amazon
You might even find some at the Dollar Tree.
Homeschool Poster Ideas
Posters come in all shapes, sizes, and topics. Most of them will cover the following subjects:
- Grammar Rules
- Phonics Charts
- Science Facts
- History Facts
- Math Facts/Rules
Here’s a cloud poster I bought. I can cover the words and create word cards to identify each.
This is a time zone poster. I can attach Velcro to the poster and then make cards with the names of the time zones for my kids to attach.
Using Homeschool Posters During Your School Day
Setting up a learning center for your interactive posters is the easiest way to make sure you use them. You can set up a specific wall space for them and then add a stool or beanbag for your child to sit on while he works.
Be sure to rotate through different posters each week or month to keep them fun and exciting.
If you use workboxes, then you may already have a center time in your workbox schedule and realize what a wonderful learning tool it is. If you don’t know what homeschool workboxes are, you should check them out. They are a fantastic way to keep your homeschool organized, teach your kids independence, and motivate them to get their work finished each day.
If you don’t use workboxes, choose a particular time during the day to send your child to the center. It could be in the morning while you’re working one-on-one with another child, when you are getting lunch ready, or when you need to get the umteenth load of laundry into the washing machine.
Another option is to use the posters as a break from your regular subjects.
It doesn’t matter when you use them. Just get them in your schedule because using learning centers in your homeschool has a lot of perks.
- Provide a change of scenery
- Allow student to relax while learning
- Teach self-discipline
- Increase motivation
- Make connections with things they’ve already learned
- Give ownership over their learning
- Foster independence
- Build confidence
Feeling better about taking up precious space on your walls?
Alternative Hands-On Learning Resources
If you’re having trouble finding educational posters, I have a couple alternative resources for you.
Educational placemats are a great option if you don’t want to buy two posters or can’t find ones you like. Many times they have questions on the back to fill in with a dry erase marker. You may not want to hang them on the wall since the activity is on the back, but you can set up a specific area as a learning center to keep all of them in one spot.
Digital Interactive Posters
Another option for the child who likes computers is to create your own digital interactive posters. You can use Google Drawing to create clickable slides on any topic you’d like.
Obviously there’s more work to create something like this and you need to be techy to do it, but it’s an option I thought I’d throw out there. Also, there are templates you can find to give you a base to work with and then you can change out the image and text. You can even add videos.
The digital format won’t be as hands-on where your child is manipulating physical pieces, but it’s a way for him to learn about a topic independently in an enjoyable method.
Here’s a video showing how to build your own digital interactive posters.
If you’re looking for a fun way to get your kids to practice skills and encourage independent learning, making homeschool posters into hands-on learning activities is a great way to do that.
This multi-sensory approach makes the information easier to remember, and they’ll look forward to using them.
Get yourself a few posters and give it a shot! I think you’ll find it’s an enjoyable way for your kids to learn.