One of the Best Ways to Teach Children

03/08/2016

Children, naturally curious of their surroundings and environment, learn and discover new things about themselves through play and one of the best ways to teach children is through play!  Many schools in PJ ask too much of children – forcing them to sit down, be still and play instead of allowing them to act their age.  Toddlers and children are little balls of energy, and until they can expend that energy, they are going to fidget!

Giving children a safe space which allows them to learn, discover and explore new things helps them to grow, strengthens other important skills such as problem-solving, focus and even social skills and manners.  So how can a parent support their children in learning and developing faster?  One of the best ways to teach children in our experience is through play!

How to Teach Children Through Play

Teaching through play can be fun for both adults and children:  it provides an awesome bonding experience while giving the child a chance to model his or her behaviour after the adult.  Here are a few ways you can teach children through play:

1)    Allow your children to explore safely.

As stated earlier, children are naturally curious and require a lot of love and attention.  One thing that can actually hinder your child’s development is by restricting their movement and environment.  Naturally parents want to keep their children safe and keep an eye on them, but keeping them in the living room all day or in a crib can stunt their development.  Allocating some time every day to give your child a change of scenery, whether that is exploring the rest of the house or going to the park leaves children happy and satisfied (and they go to bed easier too).

If finding a new environment to explore every day is difficult, you can always find new things to do for your child so that they don’t get bored.  For example, making some colourful moon sand or slime for them, and giving them utensils and tools to play with can keep them occupied for hours!

2)    Allow your children to fall down and make mistakes – this is how they learn!

While keeping your child safe and out of harm’s way is natural for a parent, there is a point where too much over-protection stops a child from wanting to try new things… this can be detrimental to learning and to, well, living in general.

In order to keep your child in exploratory mode, and not shrink back in fear every time something new presents itself, celebrate “little” mistakes.  When they fall down, which is normal and bound to happen (especially when they are learning to walk), celebrate it!  Applaud their blunders and mishaps.  This will support them in celebrating their mistakes in the future and not feel like a failure every time something undesirable happens.

3) Determine whether your child is a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner.

Asking lots of questions to your toddler and observing how they play and interact with others can lend you clues as to how your child learns.  Asking your child lots of questions that make them think even if they aren’t quite talking yet.  They understand a lot more than you may think.  “Do you think the circle fits in the square hole?” And “what colour do you think this is?”  Open-ended questions will also get their brain working, “What do you like about this toy?”

Every child learns differently and figuring out what makes them tick and what gets their attention can help you teach them easier.  Notice little things such as whether or not they make eye contact with you when you speak to them.  Are they sociable with other children, making lots of friends fast, or do they sit back and watch other children first?  Do they go around and make a big mess of all the toys at once?  Do they talk or babble nonstop?  Answering these questions can support you in determining if your child learns more through auditory, visual or kinesthetic means.

4)    Sing songs, tell stories and repeat!

Children, though they often need a change in scenery, also require repetition and a schedule.  For example, my little sister recently went on holiday leaving her 1 ½ year old with me.  She had a daily schedule laid out for him – when he wakes up, what he eats for breakfast, how much t.v. he is allowed to watch, when he is allowed to watch it, when he can go outside to play, when a good time for him to explore new environments is and so on.  This is very healthy for him because he knows what to expect and two, he has his own time during the day for when he discovers something new.

Singing songs and telling stories are a great way to get your child to learn simple things such as ABC’s and counting.  As you know, in order to learn a song we often have to hear it a few times.  So while giving your child a new environment to explore is good, so is a little repetition!

5)    Let them “help” you with chores

Some children love helping mommy and daddy with chores, whether that is washing dishes, folding laundry or even cooking.  Granted, they often do a very bad job in the eyes of mommy or daddy, but children like being included in your lives.  Feeling helpful is important to them, so let them help you!  I know that sometimes they unintentionally make a bigger mess of things, but it supports them in building their self-confidence and even in building a stronger bond with mommy or daddy.

What I used to do with my daughter would be to give her a couple of washcloths to fold while I folded the rest of the clothes.  She would be entertained the whole time while I am getting household chores done.  By the time I finished, I would tell her how proud I was of her, and celebrate her effort.  Now that she is older, she has no problem helping mommy with household chores (and now she can actually do them) and actually enjoys the simple things like making her bed, making her own sandwiches, or cleaning up her own dishes!  It turned out to be a win/win scenario for me:  I have a low-maintenance child!

 

In summary, teaching children through play supports them in growing and developing while also setting you up for success in the long term.  Imagine having a child who is never upset when they make a small mistake – able to shrug it off without being bothered by it.

More importantly, is finding a school that embodies the philosophy of learning through play.  This is why Little Human Scholars Preschool, Playschool and Daycare centre uses play-based learning techniques daily.  This learn-through-play school in Petaling Jaya is located near University Hospital, PJ Old Town and PJ New Town, Jaya One and Jaya33.  Little Human Scholars understands that children tend to learn faster when they are having fun.  There isn’t even a need to motivate them because when something is “fun,” they naturally want to participate.

To schedule a walk-through or to enrol your child in school or full day daycare, kindly fill out the form here or call either (603) 7932 3107 or  (017) 7303 025.  One of the friendly staff of Little Human Scholars will get back to you shortly.

Wishing you happy parenting experiences!

Jana Moreno

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