So far I have shared how you can create a rich learning environment for preschoolers by providing daily experiences, how you can help children build concepts through sensory exploration, and how you can help them make sense of the information they collect by giving them language to understand their discoveries.
I gave you a couple ways to apply this concept using sand, water and paint play, but there are many more ways to provide daily learning experiences!
Preschoolers love to help out around the house, so incorporate them as much as possible.
I gave my preschooler a tray with a spray bottle filled with an all natural cleaner, paper towels, newspaper and terry cloth rags and let her clean the windows that she can reach.
Whatever you do, they seem to want to do so have them work along side you when possible... or make the chore into a more toddler friendly activity.
Here Eliana is "sweeping" up yellow split peas and using the dust pan to scoop them up and put them on the tray.
Cooking is another one filled with lots of potential ~ measuring, scooping, pouring, stirring, rolling dough and more. Whenever I make bread, my preschooler is working right beside me with her own lump of dough. Practical skills are a wonderful way to provide experiences!
Note: Sometimes it can slow you down to have your preschooler help in the kitchen or around the house... sometimes, you just want to hurry and make this or do that (I speak from experience), but think of the EXPERIENCE they will get! I look at it as a chance to offer them that experience and consider the inconvenience a small price to pay.
Here are a few tips to consider when working with your preschooler:
- Encourage playful exploration. Give your child plenty of open-ended activities. The process, not the end product, is what matters.
- Make sure the activity is appropriate for the child's age. Does it hold the child's interest? Is your child engaged in the process? The best way to tell is to try it and see. If it doesn't, wait and try it again later.
- Assure success. Success inspires learning, so try activities that are challenging but not too difficult. Don't push. Guard that natural love of learning!
- Let the discussion come naturally ~ play with them and talk about what you are doing, make an observation as you walk by, praise their efforts for whatever they are doing.
- Be patient. Let the child develop skills at their own pace. Respect their uniqueness. Don't rush.
- Instill a love for learning. Praise. Be enthusiastic about all their efforts. Learning is a joy! Convey that to your child!
Tomorrow, I will talk about creating a memory!_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Be sure to visit these brilliant women in this 10 days adventure between February 7th-18th! We love these ladies and we know you do too.
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