Children are active learners and they learn naturally through exploration – by touching, moving, listening, seeing and experiencing. Being in an environment where these activities are supported can enrich their learning and help them develop important life skills. Here are some ways to help your child learn while they play and explore.
Providing resources and opportunities for children to explore
Giving children the chance to explore their surroundings in a safe and supervised manner lets them decide how they interact with the environment around them. Whether it’s navigating around obstacles in the yard, examining a trail of ants or scooping mud from a bucket into the garden, every opportunity is a chance for your child to learn.
Using materials for children to express themselves
Providing a range of materials, such as paint, clay, musical instruments and writing implements, can help children find ways to communicate their thoughts and feelings. Using different tools can also help them develop motor skills, so aim to offer your child the chance to try a variety of creative mediums.
Questioning and encouraging children to think creatively, investigate and solve problems
Being able to solve problems is an invaluable life skill, and one which can be developed through interactive play. It could be as simple as building a tower out of blocks, and working out how to make sure it doesn’t fall over. You can guide investigative thinking with questions like “Why do you think the tower fell over?”
Making learning ‘visible’
Using cameras, video recorders and written observations to document your child’s thoughts and ideas as they learn can help turn their learning into something tangible. When your child’s educators collect your childs experiences, comments, ideas, learning stories, photos and observations, they can also identify which strengths your child can build upon and which gaps in development can be addressed.
Making learning visible can benefit children’s learning and development in many ways, as well as helping you understand their individual journey.