- Allow Independence. Allow your child to do things independently even when he takes longer than you would if you did it yourself. I know, yes I know, it is hard to sit back and allow your child to do the things that you can easily and quickly do. There are some tricks to doing this. One is give yourself plenty of time. You will not have the patience to let your child buckle herself into her carseat if you are running late. Try to manage your time to include independent time. Another is to busy yourself. If you are like me, you want to jump in and help. Straighten your child's room while he dresses himself. Read a book. Get yourself ready. Find things you can do to prevent yourself from interfering.
- Provide Social Experiences. These experiences can be informal or formal. Ideas are playgroups, preschools, and trips to the park. It is nice to play with mom and dad, but children need to play with children. For one, as my state department points out, sharing with an adult is different than sharing with a peer. Another, also pointed out by my state department, is that imaginations develop through role-playing and pretending. Most adults just won't get into it like a child will, and if you do, there will likely be no clash of ideas as you decide who will be which role in your game of pretend. "Pretend play has been consistently linked to cognitive, intellectual, language, and social growth."
- Develop Fine and Gross Motor Skills Daily: Play sports, go to the park, play tag, pour, stir, use lacing cards, etc. On this blog, we provide ideas for gross motor and fine motor skills activities.
- Develop Math Skills: Count aloud through games like hide-and-seek. Play board games that require counting. Use items around your house to discuss shapes. Do puzzles and play with building toys. See also our Math ideas.
- Do Art: Use crayons, sand, water, paint, paper, markers, scissors, hole punches, yarn, beans, and popsicle sticks, etc. to develop artistic skills. Art project ideas are in great abundance on the Internet, and our blog is no exception :)
- Read. Read lots of types of books. Read poetry. Ready nursery rhymes. Read non-fiction. Look at picture books. Get variety. This can develop vocabulary and sentence pattern structures your child doesn't get exposed to regularly. It helps to get idea from other parents as to what great books are out there. Raegan has done several posts on this blog about book recommendations under the reading blog label. I also have a post on another blog of Great Children's Books.
- Talk WITH Your Child: Listen to stories, ask questions, tell your own stories...children learn language through hearing it.
- Library: Visit the library or bookmobile regularly.
This blog is here for you to find fun learning activities to do with your children. We share great ideas we find and love on the Internet, as well as ideas we come up with on our own! We also like to share resources we find helpful.
To find ideas for your child, click on the age range blog label or on the theme/topic you are looking for (on the left side of the page). In each post, we try to list optimal age ranges for the activity, but you must judge for yourself if it is appropriate for your child. When you try an activity out, please comment and let us (and everyone else) know how your child liked it!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Here are eight simple ideas for helping your child learn on a daily basis. These ideas in bold come from the Utah State Department of Education, and the elaboration is my own.