Love is in the air! So, what a better time to spread the love of education? This post will share 5 ways to help children develop a love of learning!
1. A Love for Reading!
The best way to encourage a love for reading, is to read to a child starting at infancy; even if it's one short book a day. Allowing children to explore books by giving them age appropriate books such as, board or rubber books for infants and toddlers, promotes an interest in books! You can also encourage learning expressive language by telling stories (Verbally) to children, and allowing them to share their ideas on what will happen next, where the story is taking place or what the characters should looks like.
2. Turn it into Music!
Think about how easy it is to remember song lyrics compared to just about anything else you've read or heard. Now imagine a young child dancing and engaging with songs about their colors, ABCs, spelling, Science and Geography. You can get creative and use the tune of songs your child already knows to help them learn! Below are some examples of songs you can use!
"A is for apple A-a-apple, B is for ball B-b-ball."
You will continue through the alphabet giving each letter a word. This helps with understanding phonics.
"5 little monkeys" helps with counting and the concept of subtraction.
Spelling the child's name or a word they are learning to spell in a song. For example, S-h-i-r-l-e-y, spells Shirley! Sh-Sh-Shirley.
"The wheels on the bus", is a great song for teaching children about how buses/cars move. You can also change the words to teach body parts or animal sounds!
Ex: The arms on the boy/girl go up and down, up and down, up and down, the arms on the boy/girl go up and down all through the living room (replace this with your location), continue this for each body part hands go clap,clap, clap, feet go stomp,stomp,stomp, ect.. To teach animal sounds you would simply say the name's name and sound. For example, the owl on the bus goes hoot, hoot, hoot, hoot, hoot, hoot the owl on the bus goes hoot, hoot, hoot all through the town.
3. Making math fun!
Turning learning math into a game, allows children to gain an understanding of math concepts, while also having fun! One math game for toddlers, is to count how many steps it takes to get from one side of the room to the other. This game can also be done when going up or down steps! It helps toddlers gain an understanding of counting while they are doing what toddlers do best, moving! For preschoolers and kindergartners, you can have them add and subtract the steps they are taking. An example of how to do this is, to tell the child "we are going to play a game and add up our steps." Have the child take a step, then say "You took one step. Now if you take one more step, how many steps did you take?" You can do the same thing with twos, threes and higher numbers too! If you are going up/down steps. you can have the child count the steps going up then subtract them going down.
Another fun game for Young School-aged children, is a die graphing game. Using a graphing chart like the one below and a die, you have the child roll the die then fill-in a bar above the number they rolled. You can also use a die for adding and subtracting. You would have the child write the first number they roll down, then an addition or subtraction sign. Next they will roll the die again and write the second number down. Finally, they will solve the problem they've made. You can also do this with 2 dice and have children add together the number on each die.
4. Science Experiments for all!
Science experiments are a great way to make learning fun! A great science experiment for toddlers, is to make their own play dough. To make the play dough you mix 2 parts flour with 1 part water and 1/4 salt. Mixing colored water is another fun and simple science experiment. Mixing colored water a great for learning colors and what colors mixed make. To do this you need glass or clear plastic cups, food coloring, a spoon and water. You will fill a cup no more then 3/4 full with water then add food coloring. You can allow you child to experiment with how many drops it takes to make each color and what happens if they add more drops. After adding the food coloring you or your child (depending on age and if you're using glass or plastic cups) will have to mix it with a spoon to help the water and food coloring blend. You and your child will then repeat this with another cup and color. Finally, you and your child will mix half of each color into another cup. Homemade volcanoes are a great science experiment for school-aged children too. Check out our blog on Volcano activities for more volcano fun! https://www.educationfromtheheart.com/post/new-year-eruptions
A fun way to help children learn basic Geography skills, is to have them explore the world around them! As you're driving or walking with them to school, the doctors, the store, or play dates, ask them about places they see on the way. You can also use this game of "tell me what you see" to help them recognize police stations, post offices, favorite stores, doctor's offices, and their school or other schools in your neighborhood. As children become more aware of their surroundings while traveling, you can ask them more details about your drive or walk. How many turns did we make? Which direction did we turn? How long did it take us to get from point A to B?