I’m a strong believer in the phrase, “Children are Sponges”. They really are. They take in everything around them – even if you don’t intend it! We started Whistler’s education as soon as he was born by immediately teaching him sign language. By his first birthday, he could sign over 100 words and understood many more. People always commented on what a happy baby he was. The kid never cried! I truly believe much of it had to do with the fact that we have always been able to communicate easily with one another.
At just 15 mos my father gave him his own iPad. And while I know many parents are opposed to the early use of electronic devices, I am 100% for it. I made sure to only load on educational applications that I approved of and there were no brainless “fun only” games allowed. By 18 months, Whistler knew all upper and lowercase letters of the alphabet, numbers 0-10, primary colors and basic shapes. I promise you that there is no way I would have been able to teach that all to him on my own without the help of the iPad.
Regardless of what stage you are at with your child, I feel its never too late to start the training early and pave a great road for education and learning development.
Read To Your Children
Reading to your children daily is one of the most important things you can do with them. Read books your children enjoy and want to hear over and over again. Repetition helps them recognize words and their sounds. Our son started “reading” one of his favorite small books to us about a year ago. It was a book he wanted us to read to him every night, which is when we do our reading. We like tucking them into bed and then reading a bedtime story.
Play Games With Your Child
Games that include matching or sorting are great for children. Dominoes and mathematical flash cards is great to help build mathematical skills. Even playing a game like checkers can help build your child’s cognitive skills.
Get Out of the House
Take your child on a nature hike can be very educational along the way, discussing plants and trees, or taking care of our environment can be weaved into the conversation. You can also hunt for colors along your hike by bringing swatches of different colors and having your child find those colors along the way.
Visit a local children’s museum. I love our local children’s museum; it’s full of hands-on activities and play areas which allow our children to learn without feeling like it.
Whistler loves animals and is obsessed with learning as many as he can so one of our favorite places to visit is the Los Angeles Zoo. But it really doesn’t have to be the Zoo to get in quality “animal” time – a walk around out neighborhood does the tricks too with plenty of dogs, cats, birds and statues to find along the way!
Turn on the Music
There are great educational songs for kids to learn about numbers, colors, or even music to help kids transition. Remember the School House Songs? I loved those as a kid – “Conjunction, junction, what’s your function” was a great tool to use to educate kids on grammar.
Let Them Use Their Imagination
Our kids have the most fun when they make up a scenario and then play that out, such as school, pretending they are jungle animals, dancers, etc. Utilizing their Halloween costumes adds that much more to their fun to their playtime.
I like buying toys for them that they can use to build with, kids can be so creative when left to their own imagination.
As a member of Clever Girls Collective, I was selected to participate in the Healthy Habits program sponsored by Kimberly-Clark and Colgate-Palmolive. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own. #healthyhabits #cgc