It is normal for new parents to feel worried about the learning rate of their babies. Most parents worry that they are not doing enough to assist their babies in learning fast forgetting that children are natural learners. With close observation, you tend to see that babies are capable of learning what they need to know without any deliberate effort to teach them or impart knowledge. However, there are certain things that you can do to ensure that your child is building the capacity to learn faster every day.
This article explains some of the useful ways you can help your baby learn and develop faster. It offers useful strategies you can put in place to make learning easier and fun for your kids.
Learning Is Fun: That was not just a term coined to deceive us in middle school, learning is supposed to be fun, so you can help your children learn in fun ways. Offer simple and sturdy toys and watch how they interact with them. For example, you can give your kids cups and watch if he tries to drink from it or give him a spoon and watch if he recognizes the use of that object. Offer general day-to-day objects like toys and watch how your baby will handle them.
Giving clothing materials, stainless steel, wood, etc. and they will gradually learn the differences between hard and soft materials, cold and warm materials, etc. These fun yet learning activities is one of many ways they gradually pick up useful life skills that they can use to navigate life.
Simplicity in Fun: It is general knowledge that any toy that your child needs help or supervision to play with may not be for that child. The age tags on toys in toy stores are not just for sorting purposes. They are also to help you identify the toys suitable for children at every age. It is best to avoid toys that require a battery for infants. That way, you can see the child act rather than a bunch of mechanisms clouding his learning view.
Ride on toy cars can also be great learning tool, as they will teach the child a little about directions and navigation. Playing with your child is a very good activity for bonding, however, it is also great to step back and observe your child from a distance while he/she plays.
Encourage Problem Solving: When you observe them in the middle of something it is best to watch silently so as not to interrupt their little mental experiments. Try to figure out the problem they are attempting to solve and when they look to you for a reaction simply explain in simple words what they are trying to do. Resist the temptation to help when they are trying to solve a problem but rather offer subjective observations like “It seems difficult to fit the round ball into that square box”. That will make them pause and think of another way to go about that same problem. Recall from earlier that a baby’s capability of learning just what they need to know at each stage, so when you see them trying to get something done with objects and toys there is no need to tell them what to do, they will figure it out. Maybe not today but tomorrow, sometimes learning is not done in a day.
Spend Time Outdoor: Not everything they need to learn for effective development can be done indoors, so take a walk to the park or take a drive. That way they can feel the weather outside like the cool breeze, the sun and heat, etc. In a park, they can feel the texture of the grass and the sand as well. These can also be good to help them learn social skills, as they will interact with other children their age with words and actions.
Take Note Of Your Child’s Attention Span: It is no secret that children have very short attention spans, so when trying to actively teach your child something, take note of that child’s attention span. When you have been able to observe your baby’s attention span then you can begin creating activities that match his/her attention span. For example, if you observe that your baby can pay attention for up to 10 minutes before getting distracted, then create learning schedules that last only minutes and encourage stimulating breaks activities in between. Activities such as jumping or stretching are great ideas for learning breaks. Subsequently, you can begin adding a minute or two to your baby’s learning schedule.
Encourage Challenges: Often when a child is learning a new concept even in between playing, frustration might set in. This is what child-learning experts explain as the learning pit. At this point, you can offer encouraging and soothing words that let the child know that learning sometimes comes with a little difficulty. For example, when a child is playing with building blocks and after each stacking, the block eventually tumbles down. After a few trials, your child might experience some frustration or annoyance. This might lead to giving up on the task. However, instead of allowing him to give up, you can let him/her know that he can give it a rest and return to it later with renewed energy. Words like “don’t worry, you’ll figure it out” and “keep trying” will go a long way in helping a child learn how to get out of a learning pit.
Generally, no deliberate efforts need to be made to teach a baby new concepts since they learn as they experience new things and play. However, in the middle of learning, it is important to be cautious of the things that our babies experience as they will not be able to decipher between right and wrong and may end up picking up attitudes that are not socially acceptable. In any case, it is always great to allow our kids to learn in their way while you sit back and observe.
Ways to Help Your Baby Learn is a feature post