Early childhood is a time that is often viewed as a moment in life where children are free to just play. While this is true, it is also important to realize how critical these early play experiences are for a child’s development. Children are naturally curious about the world and love engaging in new experiences that offer them a new perspective. While it may look like a child is just playing, they actually are picking up valuable skills in language, science and mathematics that may not be obvious to others at first glance. As your child enters these amazing years full of wonder, provide them with these educational activities that stimulate learning by tapping into their interests.
Develop Social Skills Through Dramatic Play
Dress up may be cute to watch from an adult’s perspective, but children engaged in imaginative play truly allow themselves to try on new personas. Helping to put out a fire in an imaginary village or pretending to serve food to their friends in a restaurant promotes a sense of the importance that each person has in a community. It also gives young children a chance to practice social skills such as asking for help or ordering food in a restaurant. And, as they talk to each other, their language and vocabulary skills also rapidly improve.
Teach Science by Nurturing a Love for Nature
Children are fascinated by science, and real life experiences are critical for creating an environment that satisfies their curiosity. For young children, planting a seed and watching as it grows into a fruit-producing plant is a lesson about the cycle of life that they will always remember. Helping to water the plant or feed an animal teaches responsibility and the importance of caring for the environment. Nature walks through the wilderness also give kids the chance to examine rocks, flowers and other types of natural elements as they develop their skills in scientific exploration.
Promote Creativity and Self-Expression Through Art
Finger paints and play dough are staples of every early childhood program, but the teachers do not use these materials just to keep the children busy. These types of experiences promote sensory awareness, which is important for helping kids learn how to express themselves and make sense of the world around them. In addition to strengthening their fine motor skills, using a brush to swirl paint across paper gives young children a positive experience with self-expression.
Get That Little Body Moving in Fun Exercise Classes
Energetic preschoolers may look like little wiggle worms as they run around a room, but all that activity is critical for their physical development. During these formative years, participating in age-appropriate exercise classes is perfect for helping kids develop gross motor skills while learning how to work with others as a team. Whether your child loves tumbling with other tots or learning how to climb on a rock wall, testing their abilities at an early age fosters the development of self-confidence.
Looking in on a preschool class is likely to make you look back with fond memories of the days when you spent your days playing with clay. Yet, it is easy to forget about how important these types of experiences were for your healthy development. Today, much is understood about how much learning truly goes on in the early childhood years and, by filling your child’s day with a wide range of educational activities, you can nurture their interests while providing them with the experiences they need for healthy development.
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