Hey everyone and welcome back to yet another blog post. Today's topic is about learning and playing with your toddler or children. So my child learns differently. He's the type of toddler that needs to be doing it in order to learn it, so therefore we combine learning time with play time. I think it's essential to know how your child learns. This will help you when you are trying to teach them or if they are in school and their teacher says "your child won't behave, sit and stay in his/her chair when we are doing math problems." You can maybe say "well when we had this problem at home, we decided to try having them do it as we taught them, and it worked." Suggesting something to a teacher, or whoever is teaching your child... isn't a bad thing...it actually can really be beneficial. When we got our toddler a speech therapist, she asked me "what they could do to help him," and I said, "well he didn't do well with flash cards..so maybe if you try something different," and she said "ok," and ever since then, he has been doing amazing. He was really far behind other kids his age a few months ago and now he's just about with them in some things and more advanced in others. Now all this is great because we can play with him and still teach him what he should or needs to know. For example: today we were playing with his cars and trucks, and I would say "car," and try and get him to repeat it, that way when he sees a car he can associate the picture of a car with the saying or word. Another thing that I do is I have made flash cards that just have words on them and no picture, because as I have said flash cards didn't work before and they also had pictures on them, so I tried something different. Every time he learns a new word, phrase, or sign, I write it on an index card, and add it to the pile of words, signs, and phrases he already knows. Then everyday we go over all of the ones he knows so that he doesn't forget it. Now my toddler will be 2 in August, and he's almost where he needs to be. I love when he learns new things, words, phrases, signs, anything. I love these learning and playing times and I don't even set a time. He has an hour for speech therapy but then the way I do it, is I just have him learn while he plays. He's so smart and even though he can't talk full sentences and a lot of words yet, he's a very smart little boy. He knows things that I was told a lot of toddlers his age do not know. I find that every play time can be a teaching time. When we go outside, he loves grass, rocks, flowers, dirt...typical toddler things...so as he's playing and exploring I just point things out...like if he's looking at the grass, I say "grass," or if he's playing in the dirt..I say "dirt." This is just for him to start associating dirt with the word and with what he is playing with. It has helped a lot. and he's come so far. Back in February he only knew 2 words, and now it's June and he knows about 30...and that's with all the signs that he knows. These years you can not get back, and for an active child who just does not sit still for anything...combining learning time with play time is essential...because they can do what they want to do but you can still teach them as they are playing. Now on to the 6 tips that I have found have worked for my child, and for me. Remember every child is different, so maybe this won't work with your child and that's ok, the important thing is that you need to find what works.
1) combine learning time with playtime.If they are playing with blocks, say "blocks," so they associate what you are saying with what they are playing with. They are playing with it, seeing it, and hearing it.
2) Talk to your child as he/she plays: Ask questions, tell stories, point things out...just talk. They will eventually pick it up.
3) Learn their learning style: Are they a visual learner?, Do they need to hear it before they can understand it?, Do they need to do it in order to get it?
4) Always keep learning fun: They will learn more if they are having fun with what they are learning. Toddlers and children have a different way of learning than adults and they have a short attention span, so keep it fun and on their level.
5) Do not compare your child with other children. Every child is different..plain and simple.
6) Do not get frustrated if they do not get it the first few times. Kids will learn at their own pace, and if they don't get it the first few times, keep working with them, they absorb and understand more than you think.
Question of the day:
-What are ways that you teach your children? If they are grown, what are ways that you have found that have worked for helping your child learn? Share in the comments below :)