Playful Learning

in Everyday Learning

A three year old took a stack of paper cups and built a tall tower on the kitchen floor.

Using a tub of colored blocks, she made a fence around her tower. Next, she added Lego men and horses inside and outside her creation. The child’s dad sat down to talk “story.” Soon they were giggling at their tall tale of Lego men and horses saving a princess.

Michael Thompson, Ph.D., writes, “Play is the most important activity of childhood; it is absolutely the best way for children to learn. All children are scientists; they are dedicated problem-solvers.”

Don’t fall for the fast-track marketing approach, pushing your little one to learn formal academics early. You don’t need strategically labeled “learning toys” or DVD’s to make a smarter baby or preschooler.

Instead, cultivate your child’s intellectual curiosity through the joy of discovery. Be aware of what’s around the house like wooden spoons, pots and pans, plastic bowls, measuring cups and spoons—perfect for open-ended play.

Here’s what you need:

  • Interactive, face-to-face talk time
  • A well-designed play space
  • Open-ended play, make-believe play with mom or dad (Create a story with stuffed animals and be sure to include a happy ending!)
  • Praise your little one’s efforts. (“You worked hard on your tower. Way to go.”)

These fundamentals aren’t fancy, just easy to do.

Your little one’s learning is worth every minute.

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