The toddler and preschool years are the best age for children to learn. During this period, they are like sponges that are eager to absorb everything around them. How can a parent or educator take advantage of this window of time where learning is at its peak?
Let Them Experience the Outdoors
In today’s busy world, children are more exposed to gadgets than the outdoors. But this should not be the case. Many studies show how the outdoors help in developing learning in children. A good way to spend time outdoors is to engage in multi-play structures. This practices their kinesthetic skills. Also, it teaches them their boundaries and being fearless at the same time.
With various activities available, the child’s ability to choose is also practiced. They may focus on sliding for hours to an end or climbing, instead. A child will also learn patience as they wait for their turn. Grounding or earthing is another excellent way to spend time outside.
Provide Real-life Experiences
Next to the outdoors, a child will learn best if they have a first-hand experience of things. It is good to learn about plants and nutritious food through books. But the learning takes on a different level when a child plants and cooks themselves. There is a big difference when a child feels the soil on his hands. Then, see the growth of their plant.
A child can also be happy even just making a simple clubhouse sandwich. They get excited putting an ingredient on top of another. They enjoy eating it afterward, knowing that they have done a good job.
Engage Them with Stories
A child’s imagination is one of their best learning grounds. When an adult tells a story, a child becomes more engaged in the information presented. Stories also enrich a child’s vocabulary. Thus, when a parent or educator wants to impart something to a child, it is best to set it in a story.
There are many storybooks available that teach good values. Concepts about science and math are also incorporated in some stories. If the adult is creative enough, they can even make up their own. Go on and indulge in a good story along with its many benefits.
Practice Repetition and Consistency
For children, repetition is the key to mastery. Adults may become frustrated with the same song or story. But a child absorbs its details as it is repeated to them. Mastery boosts their confidence. They revel in the knowledge that they have conquered.
In the same way, routines help them focus. When they know what comes next, they feel a sense of control. They may get excited about new things. Make sure that they have gained mastery before introducing new concepts.
Give Ample Rest
While it is fun to see children soaking up new information, make sure not to overdo it. Be respectful of a child’s attention span. Even adults need rest to avoid information overload. This is all the more applicable to young children. They will love learning if it is not forced on them or they do not feel pressured. Their time of rest can also help them process what they have learned. Good sleep is essential for toddlers and preschoolers.
Learning in these early stages of life helps children build a good foundation. As an adult, guide them as they explore the world around them. Balance learning and fun. It is when children will love learning more.