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.
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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.