How Parents Can Stimulate Their Child's Early Learning

Children learn about the world, other people and themselves through experiences and by trying things out. Here are a few ways you can bolster your child's learning skills:

  • Talk. Discuss everything that your child sees and does.
  • Listen. Do your best to respond to your child's non-stop questions.
  • Read together. Parents are often the key to their child's reading ability.
  • Explore the world. Go on field trips to parks, playgrounds, zoos or museums. Also, help kids know about where they live in the world. Use map placemats or a globe.
  • Sing and dance. Use different types of music to excite or calm your child. Talk about how the music makes her feel or what images it conjures up. In this way, young children develop their listening skills, become interested in music and learn about rhythm.
  • Watch TV together. Monitor what your child watches and discuss the shows together. Don't rely on the TV as a babysitter.
  • Encourage peer relations. Peers will stimulate your child, as well as provide friendships. Limit get-togethers to one or two friends at a time.
  • Involve your child in chores. This will help your child feel useful and understand that we all have responsibilities.
  • Provide interesting playthings. Common household objects such as pots and pans, as well as old coats, hats and shoes will excite your child's imagination. Don't limit play to gender stereotypes.
  • Play -Follow the Leader'. Let your child be the leader and explore the world together. It will give you greater insight into how she learns and also build her self-confidence.
  • Respect your child. A child sees herself through your eyes. Set realistic expectations, be patient, celebrate achievements and treat failures as learning experiences.

It's not always necessary to set aside structured periods of time to teach your child. A child simply needs to be involved in the day-to-day life of the family.


© Parenthood.com, used with permission.

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