In the earliest stages, although it may be tougher to notice especially for young infants, a child learns through observation and imitation.
For this reason, the best way to stimulate your child is through the introduction to new experiences.
If you need to help your child acquire new skills, read on.
Learning through experience is about testing, trial, and errors
For an infant and toddler, almost every experience is new. That is why this time, ages 1-5, are essential for a child; the pathways in the brain, built for noticing and repeating, are just starting to expand and develop.
Hence, any child needs exposure to an engaging environment, and access to new experiences, to grow, play, and learn.
Guiding from a distance is certainly one component of teaching any infant and toddler new skills.
However, the best way to make these learnings stick is to let the child practice these new skills for themselves.
An education, especially for young toddlers and children, should be interactive and immersive and offer the chance to children to experiment, ask questions, solve a problem, and work with peers.
In effect, your child is able to try, make mistakes, learn from mistakes, and repeat the process until the new skill is acquired. Encouraging the intent and the result is ultimately motivating for your young learner.
Therefore, it is essential for a child to have great enablers - parents and teachers - leaving them enough freedom to be creative while enabling discovery in a safe environment.
How can I contribute and help my child learn?
In essence, learning takes place every single day, with no days off. Infants and toddlers are constantly seeking new ways to stay engaged and learn about the world around them. Remember that mom and dad are at the center of their entire world. Although things will change during teenage, in the first years of a child’s life you are their wonder.
Engage with your child in a naturally warm and responsive way to feed interactions. Remember that self-initiated, playful interactions can trigger exploration in a very natural way. Hence, use play to enable learning. Through play, you can create an interesting environment for your child and entice them to learn.
Apart from the parents and immediate fun family members, early childhood educators and teachers are next in line for playing a positive role in the lives of children and toddlers.
Curriculums such as STEAM are a huge part of ensuring that all children, from infants to kindergarten and beyond, are safely exposed to a variety of subjects and experiences.
In reality, there are a lot of different tools and techniques that parents and early childhood educators can use to guide a child’s exploration.
Undoubtedly, the best way to do this is by exposing the child to new experiences and allowing them to engage safely with their environment. This can end up taking the form of:
Altogether, giving a toddler as many opportunities as possible is crucial to the learning process.
Learning through experience will allow your child to develop important skills such as:
Therefore, as your child continues to grow and gains exposure to new situations, contexts, objects, problems to solve and people, it is a must to ensure that competent people serving as great learning enablers are in place along the way.
In other words, surround yourself with individuals with the right mindset, knowledge base, and motivation to make sure your infant or toddler stays safe and continues their exploration of the world.
Take advantage of your child’s natural curiosity
Curiosity is natural and through the eyes of your child, everything is a wonder. Hence, embrace it and keep the exploration and discovery fun. Create an intriguing environment that your child can explore safely. Remain patient and never forget that all your child tries to do is make sense of what surrounds them. Be the helping hand.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we implement experience-based learning in our classrooms, and how your child can get involved.
If these benefits from healthy eating habits for your toddler are interesting to you, read on.
Why Should You Care?
The impacts of unhealthy eating can be detrimental to your toddler. If not properly educated and instructed on healthy eating habits, your toddler could develop habits that cause them to become physically and emotionally unwell.
Some major issues your toddler could face in the future include:
Alternatively, being mindful of what your toddler eats will encourage physical growth while allowing for the optimal growth of cognitive processes. Some of the benefits of adopting healthy eating habits include:
Encourage Growth Through Healthy Eating
As a parent, your goal is to ensure proper growth for your child. Healthy eating habits will help to ensure that your toddler is fueled with the nutrients they need to properly grow and develop.
These critical vitamins necessary for your toddler’s development can be easily overlooked and forgotten if not explicitly addressed.
Overloading your child with unhealthy foods or drinks, high in sugars and artificial flavorings, preservatives, and chemicals, won’t allow your toddler to maximize their development potential.
The root of your thought process should stay constant; the toddler’s health and wellbeing always come first.
When thinking of what food or drink your child should eat or drink, the first questions that you should ask yourself are these:
If you can’t come up with a reasonable response for one or both of these questions, or attempt to fill the void in thinking with some abject rationalization, it may be time to reconsider or think again about what you’re using as a source of fuel and energy for your child.
When it comes down to it, your toddler will miss out on experiences with food through culture and experience a decline in social aptitude if they develop habits of picky or unhealthy food choices.
All parents want to see their child grow to become adventurous and curious, ready to try new cuisines and flavors from different cultures and backgrounds.
If these principles are not instilled at a young age, the chances of these traits developing in the future become much less likely.
Tips For Establishing Healthy Eating Habits For Your Toddler
First of all, it is important to allow your child to make semi-independent choices about what they eat.
As always, take this with a grain of salt; for example, offer a few choices to your child, allowing them to choose, but maintain a common theme of health across all choices. There is a broad scope of nutrient-rich foods to choose from.
Take measures to include your toddler in the shopping process and allow them to pick out one or two healthy foods that they like.
This follows along with our core ideal of allowing your child to develop a feeling of independence and growth, while still within the bounds of your ability to teach and encourage good decision-making principles and healthy eating habits.
Once you have returned from the grocery store, invite your toddler to assist you with the food preparation process.
Not only will this peak their interest to learn about the healthy foods and become engaged with healthy eating habits, but it will spark their excitement to eat the healthy foods once the ‘cooking’ step is completed.
Finally, take advantage of every opportunity to teach your child about how healthy foods allows them to grow.
Although your toddler may not be able to understand complex principles of nutrients, they are still curious and always engaged by opportunities to learn.
Try using phrases and techniques such as:
Learn more about phrases and techniques to assist in your aim to reinforce healthy eating habits.
All of these techniques are great, easy-to-implement ways to make sure that your toddler gets the most benefit out of healthy eating habits.
There’s no time to waste; start doing this today!
Encouraging the growth and well-being of children and toddlers is what we’re all about at Willowdale Children’s Academy.
Learn more about what we do and ways that we can contribute to the growth of your child in all aspects of their future.
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Willowdale Children's Academy is a child care agency located in Chester County, PA, specialized in early learning with schools in Chadds Ford, Kennett Square, Avondale, and West Chester, PA. We offer programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, after school care, and summer camps.