Young children don’t need to be in a classroom to learn important skills. And the earlier you get started, the better. Here are some great ways to incorporate fun learning experiences into your child’s day.
Don’t miss the opportunity to make bath time a fun and engaging experience. Count rubber duckies together, sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” complete with corresponding choreography, and read books -- just be sure they are of the waterproof variety! Even just talking to your children during this time can be educational, helping them pick up new vocabulary and develop language skills.
With careful consideration, your play area can serve double-duty, being a station for fun while encouraging a child's curiosity and love of learning. Consider innovative learning toys that actively teach important skills, such as counting, shapes, colors and the alphabet, while introducing the problem-solving, creativity and social skills children will need to thrive as they grow.
Certain toy brands, such as LeapFrog, have created a variety of learning tools that are also fun to play with for young kids. For example, their new Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart can help children build memory and sequencing skills while they create ice cream cones with a scooper that recognizes colors and flavors. The brand also has a combination laptop and touch screen tablet called the 2-in-1 LeapTop Touch, which is designed to help kids learn letters, numbers and music.
“Childhood is a time of discovery, so seek out toys designed to foster children’s natural curiosity,” says Dr. Clement Chau, director of learning for LeapFrog. “Toys should provide a range of experiences that build a strong foundation of learning.”
Dr. Chau also recommends Step & Learn Scout, a pet pup that teaches kids letters and counting while they develop gross motor skills and get some exercise, as well as the Stack & Tumble Elephant, for building hand-eye coordination while learning songs, numbers and phrases.
Mealtime is the perfect time of day to teach kids about their health, as well as good nutrition habits. You can teach kids about the five food groups, as well as vitamin basics, so they learn that what they put into their body can have a positive impact on their growth and wellness. Kids can also develop motor skills by helping you in the kitchen. From pouring to mixing to measuring, there are many kitchen tasks perfect for little hands.
Help kids wind down before bed with some great books. Read to your children until they can read to themselves. You’ll be forming a lifelong habit of learning.
The right tools and habits can make it easy to seamlessly incorporate education into your child’s daily routine.