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listen to an airplane in the sky, stooping to watch a ladybug on a plant,
sitting on a rock to watch the waves crash over -children have their own agendas and timescales. As they find out more
about their world and their place in it; they work hard not to let adults hurry them. We need to
hear their voices.” This quote probably
sums up all the advice an early educator would provide to parents for
optimizing learning at early childhood.
Play time is the best way to research, explore and learn. As parents of, tiny tots, who are on the threshold of learning we need to ensure that play and learning are not segregated and slotted into different time zones. Children learn as they play and play as they learn.
With a vast change in the entire outlook of bringing up children and the need to create the apt environment for them; learning platforms have also changed.
Young mothers do not need to get intimidated and find the task daunting. I once had a stressed out parent of a 3 year old complain that the child refused to learn how to write the Letters despite coercion in every manner by the irate parent. The child had developed an aversion to learning at home though she was extremely bright and enthusiastic at the play school.
A child cannot be expected to sit confined to a space and go through the formal system of learning at the early years. Through play they become more receptive to their environment, people and the world around them. They become creative, expressive, healthy and wise. Essential skills like reading, writing, recognition and language are also easily improved. Their imagination helps them to master their surroundings and develop social, emotional, leadership and other life skills.
These Tips may be useful to Teach your Tots:
1) Talk to babies: Very often we neglect the need to talk with little babies. From the time they start cooing interaction is important. Babies will imitate your tone and expressions at a very early age. It is a pleasure to listen to your child respond even though they are so little. A child even when a few months old will laugh aloud at your expressions.
2) Grocery shopping made fun: I always involved my little kids when I went grocery shopping. As soon as they could walk along me they accompanied me everywhere. I would hand them a small basket and encourage them to pick a yellow lemon, or a red tomato or a green cucumber to place in their baskets. This was a fun way to teach them the colors, names of vegetables and also kept them happily occupied as I shopped.
3) Driving can be fun too: As we drove around the kids and I would have a fun conversation all through. We would scream “stop” at the red light and “go” when it turned green. We would try to count the number of red or white cars we saw at the signal. We would chant “round and round the wheels go” as we saw the wheels of a bus right next to us. As they grew older and were learning to read, traffic signs and overhead direction boards also proved very helpful.
4) Meals are a great time: a child’s meal is a whole plateful of learning. The shape of the plate is round, plates have different colors, the rotis can be round or triangles or squares. The vegetables all have different colors. Meal time can be made fun by talking to your child as they eat and make it appear as play time. This will help them to eat better and not be picky with their food either.
5) Books are my best buddies: books are the best for children especially if they are age appropriate. Play should be fun and interactive without placing any overwhelming difficulties for the child. Night time stories with voice modulation and narrated expressively will mesmerize the children and they soon learn the sounds and sights associated with the story.
Children learn at every step. When they shake a rattle they associate sounds. That first struggle to get their rattles into their mouth is always amazing to watch. They look at picture books and recognize words and objects. They learn numbers and symmetry as they play with blocks. Pretend play is probably the best way to develop various skills and give the provided exposure to their vivid imagination.
The following poem probably describes best the best way to teach a tot…
I tried to teach my child with books;
He gave me only puzzled looks.
I tried to teach my child with words;
They passed him by often unheard.
Despairingly, I turned aside;
"How shall i teach this child," I cried?
Into my hand he put the key,
"Come," he said, "play with me."