Healthy eating is a mix of good habits and little tricks that can make a world of difference. The most important aspect is to be consistent and create rituals for habits to stick in time.
Read on if you do not want to scream, “eat your broccoli!” until they leave for college.
Healthy Eating Starts With You
Sure, life can be busy sometimes. How often did you have to run errands, complete something urgent at work, pick up the kids, drive kids to sports practices, and try to fit everything in a twenty-four-hour day?
Let’s be honest; family schedules can be extremely tight, leaving little space for cooking or even sitting down, let alone eating at regular times.
Yet, young children like rituals and predictability.
The truth is that establishing healthy eating habits starts with you and the control you have over schedules. Eating at regular times and taking the time to sit down around a table as a family is the first step.
Remember that you are your child’s most important reference, and your toddler or preschooler will mimic everything you do. If your child sees that you are putting a lot of attention and emphasis on eating at regular hours and that meals are ritualized, they will adopt your approach.
The same thing goes for the food you eat. If you do not eat fruits and vegetables and all you have is on-the-go convenience foods and snacking chips and candy all the time, your child will simply follow your lead.
So, establishing a solid role model base is essential. Always try to think about the message you want to send across. It will be challenging to convince your child if your meal plans are nutritionally imbalanced most of the time. In other words, lead by example and establish healthy food habits as a family value.
Then Healthy Eating Trickles Down
If being a role model is very important, involving your kids in adopting a lifestyle is the next step. The good news is that young children are naturally curious, and nothing is easier than involving a young child.
Try to engage with your young child. Have your kid help shop for food at your local store, help set the table for dinner, or mix ingredients. In other words, involve them in the process with safe, age-appropriate tasks.
If they go to daycare or preschool, get them to choose between what to eat for their snack and lunch. For instance, give a choice between strawberries and apples. Kids love to decide, and it also helps them become independent thinkers and make healthy choices for themselves.
Things like healthy eating become habits that will last a lifetime if you persist and show consistency. That said, do not fall into extremes or create anxiety and turn food and nutrition into a conflict or perpetual negotiation.
Maintain A Healthy Mindset and Lifestyle
One thing is for sure, expect a lot of resistance and crisis from your kiddo once you shift to eating healthy. Moving from frequent burgers, fries, mac’n’cheese, and pizza to balanced healthy meals with vegetables and proteins will not be welcomed, and there is nothing abnormal about getting some pushback.
Adjusting your mindset, lifestyle, and approach to eating healthy is a pathway to better living. But that pathway is not smooth if it involves profound changes. There will be a time of adjustment for sure. That said, keeping in sight your family and life goals of eating healthy will help you achieve these goals with consistency. Here are a few points that may help you achieve these goals:
As per the CDC, in 2019-2020, “[...] the prevalence of obesity was 19.7% and affected about 14.7 million children and adolescents [...] Obesity prevalence was 12.7% among 2- to 5-year-olds”
It means that healthy eating of nutritious food should start as early as possible, and there is a pivotal role that you can play as a parent.
Remember that the development of the human brain requires all essential nutrients to form and maintain its structure, and infants’ and young children’s cognitive development depends on adequate nutrition. As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to our team.
Hence, preparing your preschooler for the smoothest transition possible is essential, and that preparation should happen as early as possible. If your child is in Pre-K this year, take that transitional year to prepare them. Here are some tips to help you out.
Establish Strong Routines
Establishing strong routines and frameworks at home helps children feel safe and in control of their environment. Therefore, creating family rituals and keeping kids on your planned schedule is essential. It does not always need to be perfect because we all know that life happens to anyone, and sometimes things derail a bit. That said, strive to stick to your schedule, routines, and rituals as much as possible.
Pre-k is the perfect time to prepare your child to talk about what happened at school. It will help you learn about what happened during the day and emphasize that you are interested in what they did inside and outside the classroom. Most importantly, you show that talking together and sharing is important and that school is a part of that too. You will notice that your child will be more inclined to open up and share their feelings.
Do not expect your preschooler to respond in great detail to a generic “how was your day?” Try to engage in a series of questions about what they did, what was their favorite activity, ask what they played with, or if they have made new friends. Multiply the questions but do not become an examinator. Also, share what you did to show that a conversation is not a one-way activity but an opportunity to inform and share.
A day is filled with opportunities to learn, become independent, and help the family. You can build routines around taking shoes off and washing hands when your child returns home.
Washing hands becomes particularly important during the colder seasons when flu, stomach bugs, and other viruses are circulating. Re-emphasizing good hygiene rules can help protect your family.
Reading and Math Routines
Pre-k is an excellent time to establish some routines around reading and math:
These activities are typically what your child will do during kindergarten. Therefore, take some time every day to work together and establish a ritual.
Take the time to prepare a meal together and involve your child in the process. Have them churn or sprinkle something, smell and taste what you prepare, or ask them to set the table. In other words, transform a chore into a moment of sharing and fun.
Preparing and sharing a healthy meal is an opportunity to spend time together and strengthen relationships. Remember that enjoying a moment around the table without phones, TV, or tablets is as crucial as developing healthy eating habits. If your child sees that they have your full attention, they will feel valued.
Keep consistent bedtime routines and rituals. Planning is necessary to maintain that schedule if your child goes to bed around 8:00 PM. Make sure to account for the time to bathe, brush their teeth, go to the bathroom, and read a story or two before switching off the lights.
Take the opportunity to dim the lights and calm down. Avoid using electronics, roughhousing, or playing games that will keep them excited.
Visit The Future School
Transitioning from one school to another is never easy and is often a source of anxiety and stress. Therefore, to alleviate that stress, you may want to drive past the future school and show their future school. It can help them get more comfortable with the idea of going to kindergarten. Usually, the great thing about drive-bys is that they trigger a lot of questions in the car. So, it is an opportunity to answer all questions about their future new environment.
Another great way to prepare your child is to contact the elementary school director and ask to meet or visit the new school. Although school cultures, rules, and policies are sometimes different, and directors may not be open to welcoming future students outside the traditional open door or back-to-school days, some are and will accept to meet your family and show you around. Take the opportunity to learn more about the curriculum to help you prepare for what’s coming next.
Do Not Brush off Their Feelings
Acknowledging your child’s feelings can go a long way to alleviate fears and stress and stop tears. Sharing and talking together can help your child express their feelings and release the pressure from the perspective of starting kindergarten. Words can help them move on. Therefore, listen and use words cautiously.
You may be inclined to brush off their feelings to help them with a generic “don’t worry; it’s going to be ok,” trying to calm them down or help them cope with stress.
Unfortunately, most of the time, it will stop any communication.
Instead, acknowledge their fear or anxiety: “You will go to kindergarten, and you are scared,” and follow with questions to understand why.
That type of acknowledgment helps the conversation to unfold. Practicing this form of communication as part of your family’s culture will help your child develop socio-emotional skills.
Sure, we are all tempted to encourage with overly positive praise when sometimes all your child needs is being heard, understood, and supported.
Preparing for kindergarten takes months of preparation on the academic and wellness side. Therefore, if your child goes to preschool this year, take that time to prepare and introduce changes progressively, keeping in mind the upcoming transition.
If you need support, engage with your current preschool teacher or director, or if you need to find a preschool to get your child on a good path, contact our team at Willowdale Children’s Academy.
Sometimes, your child will need extra support to master a concept, and every child reacts differently to new challenges, which is perfectly normal.
Therefore, one of the essential aspects of teaching math is creating a positive learning environment where young students feel comfortable, engaged, and motivated.
Four concepts can help you teach math outside the preschool classroom.
Teach Math in a Fun and Engaging Way
Young children learn best when they play. If you want to teach math to your child, remember that concept because it has been around for decades and promoted by the N.A.E.Y.C.
Hence, use their natural inclination to play and discover through play to teach age-appropriate math concepts.
Using games can help you naturally stimulate young learners to solve problems. One crucial point is to keep games short and multiply different games to help young learners acquire new skills.
One of the most important aspects is to keep games appropriately challenging as your child progresses and starts mastering new skills.
Remember that there is no fun when a game is too easy or complicated. Therefore, working through some level of challenge keeps games fun and engaging.
So, try to evaluate and adjust the game to the right level; that is simple enough to be engaging and challenging enough to be fun.
Games will help ease young children into math concepts without creating stress, fear, or sadness. Again, a play-based approach and a positive learning environment can help your young learners progress.
Make Kids Think Differently
It’s emotionally hard to see young children struggle, especially when you are the parent of a child starting with math.
Therefore, it is not uncommon to witness parents’ natural inclination to promptly give answers to their children when they perceive that they are stuck and cannot immediately find the solution to a math question.
Unfortunately, this will not help your child solve a problem when all they need is simply some more time and another chance to rethink before finding the correct answer.
Therefore, we always encourage parents to refrain from answering immediately.
Consider that if you answer, you eliminate the challenge for your child. Without an age-appropriate challenge, there is no learning possible.
Instead, try to ask open-ended questions.
Help your child rethink the problem and avoid the frustration of being blocked and not knowing the answer. Sometimes, asking different questions helps trigger new reflections and responses.
If, after two or three questions, your child has not found the answer, then give them some hints or guidance:
Helping them to think differently is a foundation of problem-solving.
There is nothing wrong with trial and error when practicing math. Remember your high school years; it takes practice, repetition, and patience to understand math and get it right. The same principles apply to your young learner. The most important thing is to keep the activity fun and engaging and avoid frustration.
Repetition is Essential
Repeating will help your child become more fluent and comfortable with math concepts and improve self-confidence and independence.
Playing the same game may sound boring and unfun for adults.
But young children love to manipulate objects and concepts over and over. It helps them progressively acquire new skills to reach new milestones in their cognitive development.
Rest assured that if your child gets bored and does not want to play the same game, they will move on naturally to something else.
Ultimately, if they have learned what they had to, they will be ready to learn something new, and if they have reached their limit, they will do something else.
Give A Meaningful Feedback
If your child demonstrates progress or mastery of a math concept, give them positive feedback.
It does not mean to praise with a vain and superficial “good job, you did it” but rather appreciate the effort or attitude.
In other words, explain what you like about your child working on a math problem instead of the result. We do not suggest offering an empty positive reinforcement for the sake of it.
Your feedback is an opportunity to acknowledge an effort and establish that struggling is okay and natural, but the right attitude can make a difference.
When math becomes more complex during your child’s school years, being equipped with the right mindset will help them during challenging times.
If you want to teach math outside the preschool classroom, you have a unique opportunity to help your child progress and acquire new skills.
Remember that math is essential in developing logical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. Therefore, keep it fun to make it exciting and attractive and avoid unnecessary frustrations and anxiety, especially with young children.
Keep in mind our strategies:
If you are unsure how to teach math and need to prepare your child for kindergarten, please reach out to our team.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education clearly emphasizes communication skills with speaking and listening skills as standards. Hence, it is essential to introduce methods early to develop speaking and listening skills, and Show and Tell is perfect for getting your little learner started as early as possible.
That said, it is essential to keep Show and Tell at an age-appropriate level for young children and encourage and guide them to engage in the activity. Parental and teacher support is the keystone to helping children enjoy that fun activity that enriches their knowledge and skills.
What is Show and Tell?
Show and Tell allows young children to stand in front of their friends and speak about a topic, object, or person they love. Show and Tell can be about your child’s favorite toy or story, the class pet, or the introduction of a mystery reader. There are many topics to choose from.
So, a bit of reflection is involved, choice to make, and preparation to organize thoughts. Therefore, when parents know that they need to bring something to school for Show and Tell, it is better to prepare with your child beforehand slightly. Take this as an opportunity to learn and exchange and make it an enjoyable moment. Ultimately, it helps build confidence and develop effective communication skills that will last a lifetime.
Show and Tell is not an interview for a job application. Set the right age-appropriate expectations without adding unnecessary stress. Therefore, do not expect your child to stand up in front of you and make a speech like a professional orator. Instead, create a non-judgmental environment where your child feels well and is encouraged to share. Remember that regular practice can make it easier, and natural cognitive development also happens.
During Show and Tell, ask questions and get interested in what the child has to say. The most important thing is to keep it conversational to help your young learner acquire skills and keep their attention and focus progressively. Remember that the younger the learner, the shorter their attention span.
Why is Show and Tell Great?
It is an opportunity to practice vocabulary, morphology, and grammar and improve pronunciation and listening skills for all involved. Show and Tell helps prepare for speech development, active and respectful listening, enhances self-confidence, conceptual thinking, and storytelling, and stimulates socio-emotional development. It helps children to become independent thinkers and leaders.
It starts at the preparation phase when they choose the object they want to discuss. Hence, it is essential to involve them right from the start actively. Let them decide for themselves what they want to show and talk about. Once in front of their peers, they want to show it to everyone and talk.
In other words, Show and Tell offers children a chance to be in charge. What is more gratifying than being heard and respected for their choice?
When Should You Start?
Start as early as you want as long as you set the right expectations and understand that the method needs to be adjusted according to different age groups. In our daycare, teachers start with infants when they reach their first year.
For infants, teachers or parents play a significant role in showing toys or safe items in the house or classroom. Parents do the heavy lifting of describing shapes, colors, textures, etc. By all means, keep the activity short - just a few seconds. If the object selected is a plush, let the infant touch it and play with it. Do not hesitate to exaggerate the tone of your voice.
For toddlers, things start to become different. For younger toddlers, encourage them to listen, make choices, and introduce more directions they need to follow. Ask your toddler to pick an object in the classroom and have them show it to the rest of the class. Thank your toddler for choosing and showing the object. Positive encouragement goes a long way.
For older toddlers over the age of three, things change. They can make sentences and start making conversations with their friends. It is when Show and Tell becomes a weekly institution in the class.
For pre-k, children ask more and more questions. Show and Tell becomes a real interactive activity. It is a great age to introduce more vocabulary and coordinate interactions. The activity can be slightly longer as long as children interact.
Children will always benefit from age-appropriate experiences that are prepared, well planned, and based on their interests.
Introduce Show and Tell early enough to help young children learn at different stages of their development. Do not assume that children are too young to learn. If the activity is age-appropriate, you will notice positive changes over time that will last a lifetime. For any questions, please contact our team.
They are called “sight words” because children should immediately recognize them when they see them. The first step in acquiring reading skills in kindergarten and beyond will focus on sight words. Therefore, if your child is about to start pre-k, why not use this opportunity to begin teaching some sight words progressively.
What Are Sight Words?
Sight words are the most commonly used words, and most of them are short one to two syllables.
Although children will learn many different sight words during their elementary school years, 100 sight words in our language are commonly used and that you can start focusing on if you are in pre-k.
Here is an example:
These words are easily recognizable, and most of them cannot be associated with pictures and do not follow the basic phonics principles. Hence the need to memorize words the way they appear at sight. The goal is to recognize a sight word within three seconds.
Why Are Sight Words Important?
Sight words can boost self-esteem and confidence to ease into reading smoothly. When children become more comfortable with sight words, they can recognize them faster and spend less time on those once they learn to read. Hence, they can devote more time to decoding more complex words.
Therefore, learning sight words during pre-k can help prepare for kindergarten and offer a smoother transition and slight advance in the kindergarten curriculum if it emphasizes reading.
Although young children can memorize and recognize some sight words, there are ways to help this apprenticeship.
How to Learn Sight Words?
Make it fun and keep it like that.
That’s the best tip for learning sight words.
Children engage and learn better when they have fun. So, use the entire toolbox of fun activities and do not hesitate to create some of your own.
Use flashcards, blocks, cut letters, or other manipulatives, and play games. If you run out of ideas, try to browse Pinterest, there is a lot of age-appropriate content that you can use for young children.
The most important is to multiply the activities but keep them short, not more than five to ten minutes - Young children have a short attention span. Do not try to learn too many sight words at a time. Instead, focus on one sight word.
The other good advice is to practice and practice again.
As mastership comes with practice, the more you practice, the better you become. It is also true for sight words.
Therefore, creating a routine and opportunities around sight word learning is your best bet. The most important is not to overwhelm young children.
If a child struggles to remember a newly introduced sight word, continue practicing that sight word until it is mastered. By all means, refrain from introducing new sight words that will produce confusion and stress.
Young children can start learning sight words and build knowledge and skills that will help them learn to read. However, keep your objectives and expectations age-appropriate, respecting children's cognitive development.
Introduce sight words progressively in a fun and engaging manner using fun games. Keep the games short and focus on one sight word at a time until that sight word is fully mastered. You will be surprised by what young children can achieve with the proper support, and if you need help, connect with our team.
Whenever images or videos of violent events around the world invade your home through the news, social media, and press, adult conversations start around the dinner table.
These events echoed in the family environment have the destructive power to confuse, worry, and scare them. One thing is sure; children will turn to their parents and caregivers and look for explanations and help to make sense of what they witnessed.
It is an opportunity for adults to help young children.
Establish a Sense of Safety
Young children depend on adults to feel secure and well. But, if adults are subject to anger, fear, and other strong emotions, how can they help children?
If you have anxiety, feel depressed, anxious, or angry, you will emotionally affect your child. Therefore, practice self-help first. Turn off the news, find inner peace and strength to move on.
Make time to discuss together and listen to children. Sometimes, conversations are triggered during activities or playtime. Hence, engage in activities like drawing, painting, or cooking with them.
Depending on your child’s age, help them share their feelings and reinforce the idea that it is good to share them. Young children may express fears and certainly ask, “why?” Therefore, take the time to observe, listen, and think about your answers.
Your answers should be simple, age-appropriate, and ultimately reassuring. It is essential to emphasize that your family is safe and that nothing will happen. It will help you reinstate a sense of normalcy because it is fundamental to young children’s wellness.
Some Young Children Do Not Speak
If children do not express themselves verbally, it does not mean that everything is OK. They may have a different way of expressing themselves.
Hence, you should observe any behavior change over time. Does your child cry at the childcare drop-off? Is there any change in appetite, sleeping patterns, or concerns with other children during playtime? Some new behavioral patterns, like intense reactions, can mean that something abnormal is going on.
It is crucial to assess the emotional impact that events may have on children and never believe that what they see and hear has no consequences because they are too young to understand. If you observe anything, contact your pediatrician and caregiver and team up to discover the root cause of the issue.
Limit The Flow of Continuous Information
Switch off. It is that simple.
If that’s too hard, try to do your best to limit TV viewing, tablet use, and compulsory phone swipes. In other words, reduce the source of ongoing depressing or violent information.
If the media can create depression, confusion, anger, and fears in adults, children can suffer from that same exposure. If they are exposed to inappropriate language or behaviors they observe, children will be confused or believe that it is customary to adopt the same behavioral patterns.
Therefore, make sure that the content they are exposed to is age-appropriate and mindful of your words and acts because they will replicate them.
What Are Your Takeaways?
How about creating spaces in your home without any technology? Or, take the time to engage in playtime and age-appropriate activities?
Ultimately, remember that some content may hurt or disturb young children. So, be attentive to what you view and remember that they hear what you say.
If your child loves pretending and engaging in dramatic play or games, they are learning and developing. Pretend play is an excellent way to learn to solve a problem, socialize, cooperate, use intellectual flexibility, and boost creativity.
Indeed, pretend activity offers all these benefits. Yet, pretend play’s educational value is often devaluated because it is fun, although many studies have proven that children learn better when they have fun.
What’s more beneficial to cognitive development than using imagination to create situations, become someone else, alleviate fears, develop communication, thinking strategies, and cooperate to achieve a goal?
Pretend Play is Learning
Pretend play is more complex than it appears. Where adults would see a game, children actively learn about themselves, others, and their environment.
A child engaging in pretend play is intellectually multitasking, experimenting with making sense of the world around them. It is a hands-on experience of the world, an opportunity to come back on patterns that they observed, memorized, and try their own version.
Ultimately, your child learns essential skills, like distributing roles, leadership, developing a scenario, clarifying expectations, and how to deal with different opinions or ideas.
In other words, pretend play helps them to learn how to interact with others. It is an essential skill that helps us evolve in society in any aspect of life. While maturing knowledge and emotional intelligence, your child learns concepts and symbols by using imagination.
Once involved in playing, they will learn to take turns and self-regulate emotions even without adult intervention to regulate and direct them into behavioral patterns.
Pretend play helps children cope with scary or emotionally involved events. For instance, your last “scary” wellness at the pediatrician can become a play from the child’s perspective.
Have you ever observed your child pretend that a toy is sick and give it an injection?
It is how pretend play can be cathartic for specific life events. In a way, adopting the parent or pediatrician’s point of view, in our example, can help them prepare for future wellness visits.
Pretend Play is Simple
You do not need to invest in extravagant toy sets. Although many online shops sell pretend play playsets, all you need is imagination and eventually cardboard boxes and a doll or stuffed animal.
Anyone can turn a cardboard box into a spaceship, a car, a storefront, or a pirate ship with the strength of imagination. If you run out of ideas, take some pillows, blankets, or chairs and create a fort together, and you are good for hours of fun.
The most important is to engage with your child. Trigger the game, and why not be part of the pretend play? It is a great way to bond with your child while helping them to learn.
It is also an opportunity to reverse the roles.
Let them lead the game and try to follow their instructions. It is an excellent way to develop their sense of independence, self-esteem, and leadership.
Adults tend to regulate the activity and guide children. Sometimes in excess. Unless they ask your specific input to generate prompts or an idea, let them come up with the ideas and create their scenario.
Let Children Be Children
It is important to keep these islands of fun and pure imagination in a schedule timed with activities. If you see your child creating a universe of fun, do not interrupt them; just let them carry on. No guided activity or practice can replace minutes of pretend play.
So, next time you see your child play pretending they are grocery shopping, enjoying tea time, or pretending they are superheroes, join them. Be part of the fun.
Routines for babies are essential to create a sense of comfort and safety. Predictability for playtime, naptime, feeding time helps your baby anticipate what comes next.
We do not suggest to control and plan every minute of the day. Leaving some flexibility in your schedule and that of your baby is healthy.
Yet, consistent routines for babies help them bond with you and connect with the world.
How is it done?
What Do Routines Do for Babies?
All our lives, we learn patterns, and it started during infancy.
Babies are exposed to social interaction. First, with mommy and daddy, siblings and then friends, and caregiver.
Say “Hi” and waving to someone, smiling, sharing a toy, waving “Good-bye,” are ways to bond and connect with people in our environment.
Through exposure, repetition, and consistency, social interactions can become routines.
Establishing routines early in a baby’s life can help with transitions, especially if you plan to integrate a caregiver into your family life.
Reducing anxiety, building self-confidence, improving self-control, and enforcing socially acceptable behaviors are all the fruits of daily routine activities that will accompany your child for their entire life.
Can you control tantrums through routines?
If you cannot eliminate them, you can reduce their occurrences or the time they last.
And it goes the same for hitting and bitting.
In other words, routines offer opportunities to learn and integrate concepts by using ordinary moments and turning them into teachable moments.
So, ultimately they influence the cognitive development of your child.
That’s for the learning part.
Now, routines for babies can also do more than that.
How About Cuddles and Love?
Cuddles, expressing feelings, demonstrating love for a family member can be part of a routine. It reinforces a sense of security and helps strengthen a connection.
Ritualizing a connection through a cuddle will not transform your child into a weak individual.
It does quite the opposite.
A cuddle can go a long way in your baby’s brain chemistry. If you do not believe us, try to think last time you got a big bear hug from a loved one.
How did it make you feel?
It helps relax, communicates affection, and strengthens the feeling of safety.
If your words are important, so do your actions.
Therefore, forget the old ways of letting a baby cry to teach them that they have self-control. If your baby has a hard time, pull them close to you. You will observe the almost instant calming effect of touch.
Anxiety appears because of a lack of security. Ritualizing cuddles help to enforce a sense of security.
Your child will understand that they belong to your circle.
So, when they wake up, say “Good morning” or “Hello” and give a little cuddle.
Hold their tiny hands when you read them a story.
In other words, multiply the demonstration of small gestures of affection. If they consistently happen during the day, they will go a long way.
Routines for Babies Are an Opportunity
Routines create a rich context for learning skills. They help make the ground for social skills, self-confidence, and self-control.
We do not realize the importance of the little things. We often also diminish the value of the “daily routine” verbally.
Yet, these ordinary moments are a source of learning for babies and young children and a way to bond for adults.
So, embrace the ordinary moments with your baby because they are actively learning from them.
Therefore, start introducing numbers consistently in their universe and make them part of a daily routine like brushing teeth.
Typically, you can start teaching them numbers very early. As your child grows up and reaches preschool, numbers will not be something new in their life and daily routine.
Remember that children learn better when they have fun, and their attention span is short at a young age.
Therefore, keep it short and entertaining, and here are some fun activities you can try at home.
Teach Numbers Every Day
Consistency is everything.
The more frequently you practice and establish a routine, the better.
Therefore, exercise every day with games.
For instance, go on a scavenger hunt, and ask your toddler to bring “one stuffed animal,” “two books,” “three blocks,” etc.
We do not suggest to go on a scavenger hunt every day. Try once or twice per week.
Then, try to vary the activities:
There are many activities that you can do with your child. Only imagination is the limit.
Teach Numbers With Songs
You do not need to be the best singer; you need to be a fun one. Therefore, bring on the joy and sing songs like:
If you are tired of singing the same songs, and if you have no idea what to sing, check YouTube, for instance. The platform has thousands of kids’ songs about numbers.
What is essential is to be consistent and entertaining for your child.
Do not forget to show the numbers with your fingers. Ask your child to mimic what you do.
Ultimately, your child will start correlating and associate what they see with what they hear.
Teach The Number of the Day
Do you remember The Count Von Count from Sesame Street?
That’s the best example of what you should try to do.
You can focus every day on a different number and organize your toddler’s activities accordingly.
Let’s assume you try to teach the number four. Here’s an example of what you can do:
Of course, each child is different, and some exercises may be easier than others. We all have different paces when it comes to learning. It’s not different for your child.
Therefore, do not lose your patience.
Successes and failures are equally important to learn, and sometimes, it takes more than once before you know a new number.
What Have We Learned?
Children have the immense ability and willingness to learn.
If you introduce numbers early enough and create routines around learning numbers in a fun way, they will memorize them.
At an early point in the learning process, repetition and mimicking will help them integrate something new.
Ultimately, with hands-on experiments on various activities, they will make sense of the numbers and understand their meaning.
At Willowdale Children’s Academy, we use Singapore Math to teach numbers and mathematics.
Are you interested to learn more about this methodology? Click here.
There are different ways to teach your toddler to read, and you do not have to wait for Kindergarten.
Well, it depends on how you define “reading.”