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Learning is an Everyday Joy

Updated: Dec 23, 2021

Have you ever written your name in dirt with a stick? Have you ever counted the ants as they walk across the ground? Have you ever pointed out the colour of the cars you see passing by? Most of us can recall these childhood memories with fondness. Did you realise at the time that you were learning key foundational skills and knowledge that would prepare you for future learning?

There is something so wonderful about teaching a young child. Their innate curiosity brings a joy for learning about the world around them. And the beauty of it is it can be done in a simple way with very simple, everyday tools.

One of the greatest gifts we, as parents, can give to our children is a good foundation for learning. Human beings of all ages are constantly learning, adapting, changing. A joy for learning can be cultivated from a very young age through simple play activities that take place in the security and comfort of the home. And the best news is – you don’t have to be a teacher to do this. In fact, with the right support and helpful resources, you can give them all they need to thrive.

If you have studied child development (or just observed your own children), you will know that children learn best through hands-on experiences that connect learning with all their senses and connect the concrete with the abstract. One thing to know is that, according to Centre on the Developing Child of Harvard University, 90% of a child brain’s development happens before the age of 5. Therefore, parents, we have a unique opportunity before our children turn 5 to prepare them and help them develop key concepts and skills that will set them up for success for future learning. Many schools are not build around how children learn best at a young age and can, therefore, hinder more than help young children.

How can I teach my child? I’m not a teacher!! I am here to tell you, no matter what opportunities you had growing up, you CAN teach your child what they need to know and more! With the right support and through simple, hands-on, play activities from the comfort and security of your own home, your child can learn and thrive. Furthermore, you do not need expensive toys or a high-end homeschooling curriculum to do so.

I want to leave you with a taste for this and then if you want to hear more please feel free to contact me. I would be more than happy to interact with you further. I am going to list a few activities in different realms of learning that can be done at home, that will reach standards, and that use simple, everyday tools. These activities should be done in your home language as it will help them connect the language they hear every day to concepts they are learning!

  1. Reading or Storytelling: Read one book to your child EVERY day! That simple. If you don’t own books, you can find a Library near you or read from the local newspaper or even just tell your child a story from your own experiences. – Your child’s vocabulary, understanding of letter and sound relationships, problem solving skills, empathy towards others, and understanding of the world around them will grow.

  2. Literacy: Place some salt or dirt on a plate (or go outside). Draw a letter in it for your child and then ask them to trace yours or draw their own. Talk to them while you draw and tell them the name of the letter and the sound(s) it makes. Point to an object that begins with that letter (t for tree). – Your child will grow in understanding letter and sound relationships in all areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

  3. Math: Use clothing or cutlery. You can ask for your child’s help to collect the clean and dry clothes. Fold and sort the clothes by type (shirts, pants, socks, etc) or by colour (red, yellow, blue, etc.). Count how many you have in each group or how many you have all together. Have them touch each item as they say a number. You can do the same with cutlery and sort by size or by type (knife, fork, spoon). – Your child will grow in number sense (connecting numbers with amount of objects), counting skills, sorting which is a stepping stone for more difficult math concepts like addition, multiplication, comparisons, etc.

  4. Fine Motor Skills: Ask your child to help you put pegs on the line with clothes. Your child can also use a peg or just their fingers to pick up dried beans, pasta, small rocks, etc. – Your child’s fine muscles are used for writing, which is a difficult skill for children to master. The more they strengthen those muscles from young, the easier it will be for them to write when they are a bit older.

  5. Sensory processing: Sensory play is one of the most important activities for a young child. Let them play in the mud when it rains, give them some plastic cups or tubs to play with while they take a bath, eat food with their hands, play with a tray of rice or beans or salt, collect grass or flowers and make a fun display with them, and more! – Sensory play encourages and supports language development, fine and gross motor skills, cognitive development (growing in understanding), problem solving skills, social interaction, and creativity.


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