Young children are constantly growing and learning and there are opportunities to learn in everything they do. And, we know that children learn best during activities that are part of their everyday routines. Did you know that during the first year of your child’s life, she experiences daily activities and routines at least 2,000 times. Just 20 everyday experiences would provide her with almost 40,000 learning opportunities by her first birthday. (Ferrier, L., 1978) Word, Context and Imitation. In A. Lock (Ed.), Action, gesture and symbol: The Emergence of Language (pp. 471-483). London: Academic Press.
Everyday learning opportunities are the things that your child does as part of his or her daily routine. Bathtime, bedtime, snack and meal time, brushing teeth, playing, cleaning up, shopping trips and other activities that your child does every day give him or her opportunities for learning. Using everyday activities like these to help your child learn new skills gives them lots of chances to practice what they are learning. But don’t stop there!! Think about activities such as picnics, birthday parties, family gatherings, taking a walk or stroll, and splashing in the pool or a puddle of water. These can offer even more chances to practice and learn new skills. When your child is actively involved in his everyday activities, he is more likely to practice what he is learning. And, if he enjoys the activity, he is more likely to try new things.
ZERO TO THREE has published a new series of free videos which explore key aspects of early childhood development. The videos show how adult interactions shape the growth and learning of infants and toddlers.
Check out these Scholastic Teachable Moments videos for parents for ideas on how to turn more everyday activities into learning opportunities for your child.