Many parents struggle with trying to turn daily activities with their toddler into learning experiences. It’s natural to want to help your child get ahead and start learning as soon as possible. However, there is more that you can do beyond reading bedtime stories together. Here are a few ways you can help encourage STEM and creative thinking in your child every day.
You would be surprised what children still have to learn, and playing with them every day can help with that. Hitting pots with spoons may be a nuisance, but it teaches your child how to correlate their actions with sound to create music. Drawing with crayons, finger painting, and games of pretend with toys all help stimulate problem-solving skills, creative thinking, and fine motor skills. While many parents are tempted to leave their children in front of the TV so they can get work done, it is no substitute for one-on-one, hands-on learning experiences with their family.
When children are old enough, most parents will send their children to a pre-K school so they can start learning social skills with other children and practice school-like structures for when they go into Kindergarten. However, your child’s preschool takes up a lot of your child’s day, and so that time should be spent wisely. An early childhood learning centre should incorporate many of these tips into their curriculum. Look for preschools that incorporate STEM and creative learning processes through hands-on activities, close one-on-one supervision, and well-structured courses that help your child get the most out of their time away from home.
While many children today prefer to stay indoors, toddlers and small children can learn so much more from going outside than even adults do. Picking up grass with their fingers, experiencing various types of weather, and exploring what natural life lives in the backyard all encourage a love of learning and exploration in children. Being exposed to animals and bugs early on also can help prevent the development of allergies and phobias later in their life, making it a great learning experience for their bodies as well as their minds.
While leaving your child in front of the TV just to get some alone time isn’t recommended, not all TV is bad. Educational shows are great for teaching your child a variety of lessons that they can’t easily learn on hand, and documentaries can help encourage your child to enjoy learning as they pick up facts about a world they’ve barely begun to explore. Keep in mind, however, that children can be easily frightened as they haven’t yet learned to separate fiction from reality, so avoid showing too violent or disturbing of documentaries and start them off with nature documentaries meant for younger children.
There are lots of ways your child can learn at home. Along with these tips, remember to instill a love of reading in your child by reading along with them. Whatever method you choose for teaching your child, keep in mind that the best way to teach is by example.
By Meghan Belnap
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here