From playing Peek-A-Boo to listening to music, most every activity that your child engages in promotes learning. This is because, for kids, most of their learning happens through living and playing. As your child lives and plays, she learns to interact with her world and discovers how things work and relate to her and each other in her environment. While learning does happen naturally, there are specific activities you can do with your child to foster learning.
Singing songs with your child can teach and reinforce concepts and information. Using music as a teaching activity is not a new idea. For years, children have been learning the alphabet by singing their “ABCs,” and learning their body parts by singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” In addition to providing opportunities to build your child’s vocabulary by teaching new words, singing can also be used to help your child improve early literacy skills and teach multiplication tables, according to Shelly Ringgenberg, in an article in “Young Children,” the journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and reprinted on Education.com.
Playing games with your child can teach a variety of skills and concepts. Video games, board games, verbal games, sport games, drawing games and card games can all be used to enhance learning. Playing games like Simon Says or Red Rover can teach and develop your child’s listening skills. Card games like Memory can teach your child to differentiate things that are the same from things that are different. Board games like Checkers can teach your child about strategy, decision-making and consequences. Even video and computer games can be used as teaching activities. DreamBox Learning, for example, has developed several Internet-based learning games that can teach children math, according to VentureBeat.com.
Reading books with your child provides her an opportunity to learn about many things. From picture books to text books, you can find an age-appropriate book that will teach your child valuable information about her world. Books about animals, for example, may teach what different animals look like, what sounds they make, where they live and what they eat. Books on math may teach a specific concept like counting, addition or subtraction. Reading together also teaches and reinforces reading skills. Early readers can learn letter and word recognition, and older children can learn to sound out new and challenging words.