The ability to learn should never be limited to age. Learning can actually take place at any age, and even the professor who has the highest possible qualifications is still learning. Babies learn from the moment they exit the womb.
They learn who their parents are, and how to stick with a routine. If you are the parent of a toddler or a kindergarten teacher and you want to figure out how to engage toddlers in learning, then this article is for you.
How Do Kids Learn?
You may take it for granted, but kids actually learn when they are at play. Playtime is when they actually learn cognitive skills and how to problem solve.
Think about when they are building or trying to climb something that you may deem a dangerous activity for them to engage in.
Apart from play, toddlers learn by listening. That is why you have to be careful what you say around them. They also observe the behavior of the people around them, ask a lot of “whys,” and are always interested in trying new things.
Help the Toddler Learn
Toddlers require their parents and the persons caring for them to have a lot of patience and energy. You can help the toddler learn by actually answering their queries. That is just the first step.
Doing that doesn’t require that you spend money but just that you have some patience. Even if you are busy doing chores, if your toddler seems interested, you should allow him/her to assist you with the activities.
So, now that you have an idea of how toddlers learn, what ideas do you have on how to engage toddlers in learning?
As mentioned earlier, learning for toddlers happen through play. When they play, they tend to develop certain areas of their brain.
So, if you want to get your toddler to learn, you do not necessarily have to disguise the activity as a play for it to work. If the kid sees you doing something that looks interesting, their curiosity will get the better of them and they would want to try the activity.
Play introduces them to increase motor skills, reading, number and social skills. Whilst some kids may prefer to play alone, for their learning, it is important that they engage with other children.
That way, they can learn teamwork and how to work with others. If your toddler wants to play “tea party” or with trucks, encourage these activities as these imaginative scenarios to develop their creativity.
Keep Them Active
To suggest that you keep toddlers active may sound harsh but it not only helps their learning, but it is also a way to tire them out so they (and you) could have a good night’s rest. Toddlers are naturally curious, so you can feed on their curiosity by assigning them small tasks. They are also very relentless and can be a perfectionist.
Their persistence has them going until they are able to master what you showed them. When they are finished, they would feel a sense of pride and accomplishment and ask you to look.
So, if you wanted to figure out how to engage toddlers in learning, the best way to do so is to capitalize on their desire to keep active and to always be on the move.
It is not as clear-cut as it sounds, but skills development just means taking time to develop certain skills that are necessary for them to have at that age. They should be able to control their muscles—have coordination and balance.
You need not have them practice complicated activities like jump roping and cartwheels, but engaging them in an activity of soccer or even running can help with the development of these skills.
Remember that they also tend to have a short attention span, so their activities should probably be coordinated and a mix of both structured and unstructured. You can give them about an hour of free play, where they conduct their own activities, and you can lead them in activities for no more than half hour.
Remember, it is not your intention to bore them but to get them to learn.
Take Your Time
As a parent, when you see them learning and if they seem somewhat advanced for their age, you may get a little excited and want to give them more to learn or increase their learning activities.
Remember, they are young, and they get tired and have short attention span so, don’t get too obsessed with feeding them too much information at a time. As was mentioned before, dealing with a toddler requires patience.
Allow your child to do some activities alone and do not rush their learning process. Take your time and never show frustration to your child. You can look for telltale signs to know when they have had enough of activity.
They tend to make certain sounds, gestures, have cute facial expressions that show disgust and boredom. If they seem bored or frustrated take a break or start something new.
Figure Out What Your Toddler Likes to Do
Sometimes, you just have to figure out what people like to do. The same applies to toddlers. Once you figure out what your toddler likes to do, you can incorporate it into their learning regime. When they actually enjoy something, they would desire to perfect it and get better at it.
Children actually learn well by repetition. Playing things over and over for them may not be exciting for you, but it is very exciting for them. It is a thrill for them, and it sticks.
How to Engage Toddlers in Learning: Final Thoughts
Toddlers are very impressionable, and it is important that their abilities be developed. However, as the parent, you are tasked with finding the most creative ways for them to learn.
It requires a lot of patience, but you are essentially setting your young child up for a future in learning.