It’s never too early to start actively enforcing your toddler’s learning, even before they head to preschool. Simple, every day activities promote early education, putting your child in peak learning shape for when they do head to school.
Stick to a routine. Consistency is grounding and gives children a sense of trust. Once their environment is stable, they’ll be more open to learning, especially at an early age.
Hit the books early. Just because your child can’t read on their own quite yet, doesn’t mean they don’t love to read. Reading out loud can help jumpstart reading skills. Plus, reading to your little one helps build basic skills like speech, sentence structure and the abcs of learning (like reading from left to right).
Let them help with every day tasks. There are measuring lessons in cooking, color recognition in laundry and biology lessons in gardening. Learning every day tasks will not only teach responsibility and the jobs themselves, but there are mini lessons to be learned with each activity.
Participate. Joining in and guiding result in more effective learning than simply telling children what to do. Kids learn by example and, especially at young ages, often mirror their parents and teachers. They’ll learn faster if they have someone to observe and copy.
Communicate. Simply talking and listening to your child will help them learn. They want to both ask you questions and share their theories and experiences. Listen when they do and actively respond. If your child is telling you about coloring at a play date, ask what they drew and why they chose that subject. Talk about their favorite colors.
Encourage creativity. Youngsters learn by imagining and imitating through dress up and pretending. Encourage them to express themselves and make believe. These behaviors are their way of understanding and digesting the world around them.
Time and patience are key. Take things slow and one day at a time. Just like adults, children have good and bad days. It’s your job to remain consistent and loving, not frustrated. Plus, overstimulation is never good. A slow, steady pace gives your little one time to digest all of the new information they’re taking in.
-Serge, Irene. “Time to Get Serious About Early Learning.” Eye on Early education. November 28, 2012. < http://eyeonearlyeducation.org/2012/11/28/time-to-get-serious-about-early-learning/>
-“10 Reasons Why You Should Read to Your Kids” Early Moments. < http://www.earlymoments.com/Promoting-Literacy-and-a-Love-of-Reading/Why-Reading-to-Children-is-Important/>
-“Promoting Learning.” BornLearning.org. http://www.bornlearning.org/default.aspx?id=17
-“Early Learning at Home and in Preschool.” 4Children.org. http://www.4children.org/issues/2012/spring/early_learning_at_home_and_in_preschool/
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