All children have the instinct to explore and discover. Multipurpose toys like blocks, crayons, paints, dress-up clothes, stuffed animals, and action figures can all capitalize on that instinct. There are lots of ways to include learning in your child’s play and encourage to them grow up to love learning.
Share Your Passion
Talk to your child about interesting things that you have learned, whether you like sports, art, science, or cooking. If you read an interesting article or watched an educational program, tell your kids about it. Explain, in a way they can understand, what happened and why you found it so interesting. Your kids will pick up on your fascination even if they don’t really understand the topic yet. You are sending the message that learning doesn’t end in childhood.
Surround Them With Books
Research has shown that consistent access to books can increase your child’s motivation to read. The most proficient and confident readers tend to be the children that come from homes that are stocked with a lot of different reading options, such as newspapers, magazines, books, and encyclopedias. To encourage your child to enjoy reading, keep books within easy reach, such as by their bed, in a basket by the couch, and in the car. Let your toddler flip through old issues of magazines, even if they just end up tearing them. Set aside some time to reach together every day. Talk to them about the story and ask your child what they think is going to happen next. Active participation will improve their understanding and make reading more fun.
Build On Your Child’s Natural Interests
If your child is going through a dinosaur phase, visit a natural history museum, take out library books about prehistoric times, or buy a model T-Rex that you can build together. Maybe your child really loves space, trains, or horses. Don’t be disappointed or worried if they aren’t interested in the same thing as their classmates. Tapping into whatever is fascinating them will keep the spark for learning alive, even if their interests shift later on.
Studies of high-achieving artists and athletes found that the common factor in gifted individuals was having parents who recognized their child’s interest early on and provided as much support and encouragement as they could. Support early on could help them later, whether they apply for a scholarship, join teams, or further their studies. Your job as a parent is to let your child point the way and help them to clear a path.
You can even tap into your child’s interests when they are still a baby. More learning will take place if you give your infant as much time as you can to see, touch, or taste the objects that they are already interested in, rather than move them on quickly to another toy or activity. Let them explore what is already interesting to them, and they will move on to something new when they’re ready to do so.
What are some ways that you have fostered a love of learning in your children? Leave a comment below and let us know!