What Children Learn Through Play
The best way to start teaching your child is to let him/her have regular playtime each and every day. Children develop the basic skills through play that will help them to succeed as they grow. You may think all they are doing is having fun but they are actually beginning to set a solid foundation for reading, math, writing, etc.
General Areas of Basic Child Development
This is the way a child thinks and learns over time. Memory, Science, Math, and Problem Solving fall under this area.
Social and Emotional
This is how a child learns to get along with others and express their feelings.
This is how a child's body grows over time and learn to use their small and large muscles.
This is how a child learns to speak, listen, write, and read.
Learning through Play
If you ever watched closely at a child playing you will notice that they are doing more than just "playing" and having fun. By watching their actions you will notice studying, evaluation, problem solving, sharing information, communications, and the list goes on and on. These are the same actions that you see writers, scientists, artists, etc. doing. Play is the way children connect to vast amounts of learning!
Developing Writing Skills
When a child scribbles it may not be easy for an adult to understand what it is suppose to be, but scribbles do have meaning. The lines and loops are very important to a child because this is their way of writing their thoughts. Drawing and scribbles are the first steps in using the skills that children will need later for writing.
You can encourage scribbling and drawing by setting out paper, pencils, crayons, and markers so that your child can draw whatever he would like to draw. It is best to use plain paper instead of coloring books so that your child can have the freedom to draw his own pictures and use his own ideas. By doing this you are helping him to begin developing his writing skills.
Developing Reading Skills
An easy way to help your child to develop reading skills is to read to your child every night. As you are reading to your child show him how to use his finger to follow words across a page from left to right and top to bottom. You should also look at the pictures and ask your child to tell what is happening in the story.
You can also play word games with children such as making up silly words that rhyme or picking out the beginning sounds of words. You can also play word games with opposites. My kids always loved playing these games especially with rhyming words.
By exploring fun activities that have to do with reading will help your child begin to develop the basic reading skills that will help them to become better readers later on!
Developing Math Skills
Counting with your child will help him to develop his math skills. You can count fingers, toes, blocks, rocks, or anything else your child wishes to count. You can have them arrange objects from smallest to largest. You can even ask simple math questions, for example; 1 truck + 1 truck = _____. (You can lay out an object for each part of the question)
These little steps help to start developing your child's mathematical skills.
How Play and Learning are Interwoven
Object/Material Played With:
Different sizes and shapes and how they fit together.
Control of small muscles in their hands
To look for differences between the picture and the background
Reading and Writing Skills
Beads to String
How to use their eyes and hands together
Cause and Effect by mixing colors.
To explore the size and shape of container when filled with different amounts of water
Math and Science Skills
Wet and Dry Sand
Cause and Effect when water changes sand to something new and different
Ways to think about how others act, think, and feel
Problem Solving Skills and Using Their Imagination
Control of hand musles, use of sense of touch, use of imagination
Writing and Problem Solving Skills
Getting Ready for School
You are helping your child to become ready for school by helping them develop these skills through playtime with you. By giving your child a jump start with their develop you will help your child to transition more easily into a learning environment such as Pre-School or Kindergarten.
You are your child's first teacher so play with them towards their success!!
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