As a child grows and learns the environment around them, it is important to encourage and support their development.
Children benefit greatly from active learning activities. Simple and fun activities can be incorporated easily into your daily life, and we would like to share nine ideas below. Remember when a question is asked to which your child finds a solution, a critical cognitive development happens which is important to the little mind.
Colours and Shapes
Identify them anywhere you are. With younger kids, you can describe what you see and teach them colours and shapes, but with older kids, you can ask questions about what they see and discuss their answers.
Identify Noises and Sounds
Identify the noises you and your child hear every day. Whether it’s a helicopter flying by or a bird singing, make sure to point it out and talk about it with your child. Kids start recognising sounds around them and tell you next time they hear something they know.
Provide opportunities with hands-on experiences
Get your child out and about on a regular basis. Places like museums, markets or outdoor events (with kids’ activities) or parks and gardens can offer great hands-on experiences. Whether it’s learning about dinosaurs in a museum or feeding the ducks in a park, they will all support your child’s cognitive development.
Learning how to count doesn’t need to happen only during certain times or at daycare/kindergarten or school. You can incorporate it into your daily life and make it interesting along the way. Find opportunities to practise counting - fruit pieces your child is eating, shoes at the front door, pens on the desk or cups on the table.
Learn the alphabet with your child by singing the alphabet song together, reading books, writing their name or playing with alphabet flashcards. For older children, you can make it fun and get them to practise writing letters in a tray of salt or coloured sand.
Play every day
You can make a fun play out of anything which won’t just entertain your child but support their cognitive development. Get them to help you with putting laundry out of a basket into draws, put lids on jars or look in the mirror and point at things you ask them (like "nose", "ear" and so on).
It is important to offer choices to your child, as that develops their thinking and solving problems skills. They also feel independent, and their confidence grows. Ask simple questions about whether they would like to wear blue or grey pants or whether they would like a banana or orange.
Encourage younger kids to play games like building blocks or messy play tray (with shaving foam and paint or coloured sand). Older kids can play puzzles or dress ups. Participating in such games yourself can also provide perfect quality time with your child.
Kids learn every second of the day and talking to them about ordinary things can bring unordinary results. You will not just get to know what your child thinks about everyday things, but get them think and understand what’s happening around them. Ask them why they think they should walk slowly on the stairs or why only mummy can make their hot meal.
Whatever activities you do with your little one, remember to have fun and enjoy some good quality time.
They don’t stay little for long!