Posted: Oct 20 2015
" I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity." Eleanor Roosevelt
I LOVE this quote!! It pretty much sums up how I feel.
As parents and teachers we know that instilling a love of learning, being creative and curious - is something a child takes with them forever.
But it can be harder than it sounds!
So in my latest blog post I take a look at twelve ways in which we can excite, engage and inspire - such fun.
Don’t Mope Around On A Rainy Day
Use the time to learn something new together. For inspiration you may want to buy a book of easy, indoor experiments, alternatively... why not check out Pinterest for a cool engineering challenge? Ever fancied coding? Now is a great time to give it a go and there are some fab resources for beginners. Why not have some fun making paper aeroplanes and learn about aerodynamics?
OR you could.....
Get Outside & Forest Bathe
You don’t need a specific reason or goal to go out for a walk and explore the great outdoors and if it's rainy... grab some wellies and embrace it :) Just go! Along your way you can talk about the nature that you come across, the signs that the seasons are changing or compare the differences between natural elements and man-made items.
Allow Your Children To Set Their Own Goals
Helping your child in their own goal setting is key to setting them up in life for achieving tasks on their own, so help them in writing down what they want to achieve. This is also a great activity for pinning down the topics that your child may naturally wish to learn about and for which their creativity will naturally lend itself. Why not create some vision boards together? They are great fun!
Don’t Just Talk About A Subject, Get Hands On!
There are few, if any, subjects that can’t be translated into a physical task, experiment or activity. So whatever you’re trying to teach it’s worth a quick Google beforehand to see what tutorials, resources and experiments are already out there.
Always Appreciate The Importance Of Books
Surrounding your child with books is a great way to encourage their learning and reading serves as an ideal way of spending time together. What’s more with so many wonderful books available online today, that range from the standard to the positively unique, you’re sure to find a book to suit your interests, your child’s age range and the subject that your teaching.
Allow Your Child A Little Room To Choose What They Learn
Always listen to your child if they mention something that they want to learn or take up. A natural interest within something is half the battle. Why not give them a notebook or journal? A place where they can stick /draw pictures of things they are interested and encourage to jot down cool facts and any thoughts and ideas they have.
Make The Most Of Technology
There is far too much press around our children's use of technology that is negative, when in fact the internet and smartphone apps are awash with hands on learning presented in ever more inventive ways. We are living at such an incredible time where access to the internet has changed education forever... it would be a shame not to make the most of it!
Teach Your Child To Be A Critical Thinker
Encouraging your child’s critical thinking skills through puzzle solving and trivia tackling is a great way of advancing your child's general cognitive abilities. They are some lovely books in this genre for kids - do a search for 'brain games for kids' on Amazon or Google and you'll find lots of inspiration.
Reward Effort, Rather Than Results
Rewarding the effort that your child puts in, rather than the tangible results that they achieve, is key to your child’s development, and has been shown to be far more effective than focusing on outcomes that can serve only to pressurise.
Summarise What Has Been Learnt
Following an activity, walk or task always summarise what you’ve done and what has been learnt as a result. You could also ask them a few questions to see how much of what you’ve covered has been retained.
Appreciate The Ways In Which Your Child Learns Most Effectively
Every single child learns in a different way, from those who are hands on, to those who learn through visual activities, and onto kids who prefer to learn by listening.
You can help your child discover their learning style with this helpful online quiz: “What Type of Learner is Your Child?”
Inspire Your Kids To Imagine Themselves In The Future
Kids are never too young to start imagining themselves in the future. Picturing where they will live, dream careers, places they will visit.... can help their imagination grow. 'Just Imagine' and 'You Choose' by Pippa Goodhart are two fabulous books that are just perfect in helping to set their imaginations free.