Learning Resources for Young Children
Consideration of Learning Styles
Every child is different so therefore, there are no “one-size-fits-all” early learning resources available. With that being said, it is beneficial to look at multiple variables that affect how a child learns. For example, not only does the age of the child need to be considered, but also their learning style. A 2-year old will respond differently to mental stimulation than a 4-year old will, and does the child response well to verbal coaching or are they more inclined to learn when visuals are used? These are just a couple questions that will need to be asked when considering which tools should be used.
Types of Resources
Learning of course begins with the teacher, whether it is a parent, other adult figure, or literally an instructor. Some resources that are beneficial in teaching children are books, games, arts and crafts, hands-on lessons, and interactive and interpersonal play time, which will be explained in further detail below. For teachers there are also various types of products and “kits” available that outline the specific methods to use, and these items can come in handy if one is ever confused as to where to start. Often these products are available as online literature and/or hard copies, and the kits may contain literature, visual tools, toys, games, etc., depending on the overall purpose of the kit.
Books are one of the most classic tools to use when teaching a child, and one of the most important early learning resources available. For young children, it is best to have a book that has mostly pictures so that they can begin to recognize what things are. They can then associate the physical object with the identifying word, and be encouraged to start reading short sentences over time.
Games, Arts and Crafts, and Interactive Play Time
Children love to play games (both in-person, board games, and computer games) and they also love creating things with their hands. Arts and crafts are two of the most active learning resources, next to hands-on learning and interpersonal play time. These activities encourage the development of motor skills, as well as promoting logical thinking. When done in a team environment, these activities also promote team-building and social skills.
Hands-On Lessons and Interpersonal Play Time
This is very important to include, in addition to any other resources that may be used, as children need to learn about how to interact with different types of people. Not only are they learning about team-building and social skills, but they are also learning about tolerance, learning to respect authority (when learning one-on-one with the teacher), and how to handle the various emotions they feel in a healthy way.
Deciding Which Resources to Choose
Due to the various ways that children learn, it will probably take more than one type of active learning resource to allow a young child to reach his or her full potential. Ultimately, it is up to the teacher to make the right choices. Children are like sponges and will soak up almost any new knowledge that comes their way, but their overall success lies within the effective use of those resources and being taught how to apply that knowledge.