What is Lifelong Learning?
Lifelong learning is a term used to describe the ongoing pursuit of knowledge, beyond compulsory education, to improve personal or professional development.
Everyone is so busy nowadays and it can seem very hard to fit in learning with our everyday activities. However, learning doesn’t have to take place in a formal setting and neither does it have to lead to a qualification. For some, travel is a passion. Experiencing new sights, sounds, foods and culture and all invaluable life lessons but gaining knowledge doesn’t have to be expensive. You could rediscover an old passion or take up an entirely new activity.
It’s never too late to start learning.
Why take part in Lifelong Learning?
Making lifelong learning a habit will keep your mind sharp and healthy for longer and can be a low-cost way to help mental well-being. Other benefits include:
- boosting self-confidence;
- increasing self-esteem;
- giving you a sense of purpose;
- improving promotional prospects and employability;
- opportunity to connect with others and build relationships;
- broadening your knowledge; and
- personal satisfaction.
Below is a list of 10 activities you could try to get you started, and bonus, they are all FREE. So you have no excuse, begin your journey of lifelong learning, in an informal way, today.
You can also download this list in a convenient PDF below.
10 Fun Free Learning Activities
1. Learn a new recipe
Pinterest is a great place to find recipes. Another site I love is Allrecipes. Simply search for ingredients you already have and don’t be afraid to substitute certain items so you don’t have to buy anything special which you might not use again. You never know, you might discover a recipe that will become a firm family favourite.
If you’re not a confident cook, make time to develop this vital life skill. Cooking from scratch can save you money and help with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The lovely Delia has a fantastic Learn to Cook section on her website which includes videos, ingredients glossary, tips on equipment and loads more.
2. Shake a tail feather
Be it line dancing, salsa, swing, ballroom or even belly dancing, there’s a dance style for everyone. So search YouTube, find your style, invite some friends over and get shaking!
3. Pick up a book
If you want a more sedate activity. Find a topic that interests you and settle down with a book. Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited Membership Plan, as the name suggests, offers unlimited access to books (including audio) and magazines which you can access on any device with the Kindle app. It’s free for the first month and you won’t be charged if you cancel before the free trial ends. If you’re old school pay a visit to your library and have a good browse.
4. Visit a museum or gallery
Sometimes museums and galleries have free talks and exhibits so if you are lucky enough to live near one, take advantage and soak up some culture.
5. Improve your vocabulary
Dig out your old scrabble board and get playing. As well as improving your vocabulary, scrabble can improve social bonding and cognitive abilities. Don’t get too carried away though and remember if you lose, it’s just a game!
6. Watch a documentary
There are lots of good documentaries on a wide range of subjects available to watch on many platforms. So grab a cup of tea put your feet up and get watching.
7. Become a gadget expert
Read the manual for a gadget you haven’t quite mastered. If you can no longer find the manual, try to find it online or enter your technical questions on google to get some answers and stop wasting your valuable time trying to figure out how the gadget works.
9. Get crafty
Do you have clothes that you no longer want. Why not repurpose them. You’ll have a new item and have learnt something new too. Craftsy has some no sew projects that you could try to satisfy your creative urge. If working with fabric isn’t your thing, check Pinterest and see what other items you can repurpose.
10. Be social!
The importance of learning from others shouldn’t be underestimated. You can benefit from others experience and knowledge, it can also help you think more clearly and lift your mood.
The world is your classroom so be adventurous and learn something new today.
Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments section.
In my next I’ll cover more traditional styles of learning and provide a list of online course providers who cover a broad range of subjects.