Multiplication tables. Reading assignments. Science projects. These common activities help children learn critical skills in school. Every parent, however, knows the frustration of getting a reluctant child to complete homework on time, or worse, start a task in which he or she has absolutely no interest.

That’s because when learning feels like a chore, kids are going to resist.

Academic experts agree play can be a great tool to help kids learn, especially when it is related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. When kids have fun, they love to learn. And when they love to learn, education happens naturally.

There are many things parents can do to foster a love of learning in their children. Follow these five proven principals and watch your child blossom into an enthusiastic lifelong learner.

1. Get and stay involved
Kids are born with the desire to learn. They are naturally inquisitive, and if given the right support they will remain that way until they graduate from school. Your best way to show support is to remain involved in school and extracurricular activities. Kids with supportive, loving parents have a solid foundation so they can embrace learning.

2. Observe and listen
Educators know that learning isn’t one-sided. It’s not just a teacher giving a lesson to the student. Rather, a great teacher will observe, listen and watch as much as they teach. As a parent, you can support your children’s individualized learning styles by following suit. Listen to their thoughts. Let them ask questions. Follow their lead. 

3. Use familiar objects 
When you use objects kids recognize, it’s easy to promote learning. A perfect example is LEGO® Bricks, which encourage kids to practice engineering skills through hands-on building that stimulates the imagination. When building a project at Bricks 4 Kidz, children develop enhanced spatial awareness, visual processing and fine motor skills. Plus, because the classes feature proprietary models centered on popular themes, kids are guaranteed to have fun while they learn.

4. Make time for play
The typical family lives a hectic life, and children succumb to stress just like adults. It’s imperative that kids have time to play and explore. This playtime can be a scheduled class or it might be an impromptu visit to a park. Either way, play is a fantastic opportunity for kids to practice social and cognitive skills. Never underestimate the benefits of play for the mind and body.

5. Read together
Your kids are never too young or too old to read with you. Reading together is a wonderful way to bond, plus it promotes learning on so many levels. In addition to building reading skills, you’re modeling essential language skills such as vocal inflection. Encourage your child to ask questions about the story and inquire about the characters. From inspiring imaginary play to promoting problem-solving skills, opening a book always underscores a love of learning.