Children are like sponges. They absorb and learn throughout the day from watching the world around them and taking in different information. Because of this, you could make everything a learning opportunity—from trips to the grocery store to walks through the park, anything and everything can help your children learn and develop. Even certain TV shows can help them learn, but we don’t recommend sticking them in front of the TV all day.
If you think something is not a learning moment, make it one. It is easy to get your children thinking and understanding more things. Remembering that children, especially young children, are curious about the world and why things happen. Feed their curiosity by telling them what they want to know, showing them things they may not have thought about, and exploring new ideas with your kiddos.
The world is your child’s classroom, but when you are at work, let Yellow Brick Road Early Childhood Development Center be their classroom. At Yellow Brick road, we work with children from the time they are infants to the the time they are ready to head to kindergarten. This is an important time in a child’s life and our center can help them stay curious, interested in learning, and confident in their abilities. Yellow Brick Road can help them prepare for school and stay excited to learn.
While we work hard to aid your child’s development and learning, there are things you can do at home that can help boost their knowledge and understand of the world as well. As parents, you have the ability to show your children how important learning is and how fun it can be. You can show them that everything can be an opportunity to learn something new. In this blog, we will give you some tips and ideas of activities and ways to teach your child throughout your daily routine.
Running to the grocery store with your child may be one of your least favorite parts of the week, but you can teach them a lot during your time spent wandering the aisles. From categorizing to number and letter, you can help your child learn a lot more than just how to find a good deal.
As you walk up and down the aisles, have them tell you what all of the items have in common. They will learn how to categorize the different items and may begin to understand why everything is separated like that. The more often you go, ask them if they remember where certain items are in the store, if they get really good at this game, have them tell you the aisle as well, it will save your from running up and down the aisles looking for granola bars. Teach them that all the fruit and veggies are together, that certain items need to be in the freezers, and whatever else you can think of to teach your children about categories.
If you are an organized parent, organize your cabinet and pantry in a similar way at the grocery store. Have your child help you unload groceries by telling you where things will go. This will help them to understand that even though you are now at home, the items need to go in similar locations, like the freezer of fridge.
While at the store, you can also have them read a box to you. While this may be hard for them, it will help them stay distracted and learning at the same time. Give them a cereal box and have them tell you the letters in the brand name. Reward them with a treat if you would like, this will keep them interested in the game and also help them with their reading skills. You can also ask them where different aisles are, or how many items are in a box, and which check lanes are open. This will help them recognize numbers in different settings. Ask them to help you count out apples, bananas, boxes of tissues, and other items so they can work on their counting skills.
The grocery store is a great place to teach you child just about everything. So use it as a learning opportunity rather than a stressful time full of wrangling screaming children.
Taking your child to a park is fun, but it can also be used as a learning opportunity. Teach them to count using the monkey bars or steps. But hey, not everything has to be a lesson in numbers and letters. Teach your child how to actually do the monkey bars, how to swing by themselves, and how to climb around successfully. These types of lessons can help them become more coordinated and help them stay active. Help them gain some strength in their tiny arms and teach them how to use their bodies to do these types of activities, whether it is swinging to grab the next monkey bar or kicking their feet to get higher on the swing. These lessons are important and will help them develop in more ways than one.
This is also a great place to teach them social skills. Your child will most likely be surrounded by other children at the playground, so teach them the proper ways to act. Taking turns, being polite, sharing, and other important life lessons can easily be learned on the playground. Teach your child to let other children by on the stairs up to the slide, if they don’t one of them might fall and get injured. Teach them to take turns and not hog one of the few swings. These lessons are just as important as your child know how to count to 20 and may even be more important as they grow older. After all, nobody likes a smart guy if he is rude.
While not every park visit may be a lesson, your children will be able to learn different things at different times. Try to find something that they can learn from, even if it is the types of clouds floating high above your heads during the park visit.
Cooking and Baking
Most parents do not want their children, especially toddlers, helping them cook or bake. But if you give your child small tasks that can help, they may learn a lot more than how to make grandma’s special cookies. Cooking and baking are great ways to teach your toddler many different things, from measuring to why order matters.
Teaching your child how to measure may not be easy, but letting them watch you measure and then having them add the ingredients to the bowl can help them get a perspective about different amounts. It will be years before your child learns measurements in school, but cooking and baking with them for years will help them to understand the importance of measurements and following instructions.
Having your kiddos read, or attempt to read, the instructions to you as you cook can help them learn how to read better and how to read recipes. Being able to read the measurements for ingredients can help them out later in life as well.
Cooking and baking will also teach them about process and following instructions. These are other important lessons that will help your children throughout life. They will be able to understand why these instructions matter to the final outcome and why it is important to read the directions before getting started, something many of us still don’t do.
Baking with your child will also teach them the lesson of patients. While they are most likely to want a cookie the minute you stick them in the oven, they will have to learn how to wait patiently and allow the cookies to cool before eating them.
Playing board games is another fun activity that can teach your child many lessons. Based on the game you choose, you can teach them different things.
Matching games are great for children because it helps them work on their memorization skills and helps them to understand what makes two things match. Matching games often have numbers and letters that a child must match, and this help them to learn the alphabet and counting. Games like UNO can help them learn numbers and colors and how to properly match between different aspects.
But most importantly, games teach your children to follow rules, take turns, and hopefully not to cheat to win. Games can help you child develop socially and help them learn to be a good sports and not to be angry when they lose. While many parents let their children win, every once in awhile make sure the don’t, whether the means your other child wins or you win. It may sound harsh, but you can teach them how to lose without throwing a fit. Being a good sport is an important lesson to learn, and unfortunately, some people still haven’t learned this lesson.
There are learning opportunities and lessons for your children just about anywhere you go. Teaching your children throughout the day, during your everyday activities, whenever you see a learning opportunity can help to keep them curious. They will learn that there are things all around that they can learn from, keeping them interested in the world and learning.
At Yellow Brick Road, your children can use similar learning opportunities that help them to use their surrounding to discover new and interesting things. We will help them learn the important stuff, work on their development, and stay curious about the world. Contact us today to learn more and be sure to check out our different locations to find the one closest to you!