These are simple next steps to turn your bonding time into learning time. Crank the educational dial up just one level with some simple tips to add in to your daily routine. A new Next Step is included as the third step to each new post. Again these are meant to be interactions that are low cost, low commitment educational fun that you can jump into right as you sit and engage with your child about the post.
As a Parent Educator with many years of experience working with families, I have learned that sometimes the simplest things are the most impactful.
- Use a diverse vocabulary when talking with your child. Try to use synonyms frequently so they note the different ways to say the same thing.
- for example: speed and velocity, interchangeable but seldom incorporated into normal conversation
- List the steps of the day before you go out to run errands. By showing them the planning and sequencing of events it helps young children to see those concepts in execution. These are earl math skills developing.
- Ask many questions (open ended ones are the best)and hesitate before you reply. Parents often jump to correction which will frequently inhibit their children from adding more.
- Note scenery around you as you move through the world. This helps children to learn to “stop and smell the flowers”. It can be simple things like the clouds as you drive or a flower when you are walking down the sidewalk. It helps kids to observe their world.
- Ask your child to describe things. Driving time whether on a bus or in a car are wonderful times to play 20 questions. This helps your child learn to make deeper observations and increase their literary skills.
- SLOW DOWN.. today’s world goes so fast we adults are often so wrapped up in the hustle that we miss the precious time of childhood. This is best experienced with eyes wide open, imagination in high gear and senses turn way up. Smell, Savor, Imagine, Touch, and Explore!
- Last but not least: talk to your child and listen lots. Our youngest son was born blind and his doctor told us one of the best things to do for all children is to help be their eyes for them, but even better stop often and let them show you the world through their eyes. You can never get your childhood back, but if you are lucky you can glimpse the magic through your child’s eyes for fleeting moments.