Everybody knows that a child is an excellent sponge. That is why we’re encouraged to take up exciting new hobbies or pursuits at a young age, and it is why we go to school from the age of four or five rather than when we become adults at age 18. Where the world would be if the latter was the case, we can only speculate; perhaps it’d be better, because children would have the chance to be children, and people wouldn’t get jobs with a lot of responsibility until they were in their 30s and mature, but we digress.
The ability of a child to learn can have a direct influence on where they are destined in later life. Thankfully, this isn’t something that you have to leave to chance. What can you do to increase a child’s ability to learn?
For some parents, playtime is the time of day when they get a break or are able to get on with tasks around the home. For children, it is usually most fun and looked forward to portion of the day, as well as being a fantastic opportunity to learn. The trick to mastering this is to give your children as little structure as possible when they’re playing. Yes, there needs to be rules and boundaries, but go for open ended toys that you child can do what they want with, so they are not bound by the rules of a board game, for example, or a remote controlled car that only has one function.
Specifically, toys such as dolls for girls and construction toys for both genders can have a huge impact, helping to develop emotional and social skills, problem solving skills, and simple logic. These are all relevant to other areas of learning and prove to be especially powerful for a child starting school.
While we have focused on music, you could, in reality, apply the reasoning behind this to any of the arts.
Various studies have shown music and art activities, such as drawing and painting, to change the way in which the brain develops, allowing children to take in information easier. The feelings of expression that one gets with these activities also help to develop confidence and self-assurance, both of which are important when it comes to learning.
One final benefit is that music can be very detailed in terms of what needs to be achieved. A child with exposure to music from an early age will have a firmer attitude to learning and understand the importance of always looking at the wider picture.
We always hear about the importance of exercise and physical activity in respect of health benefits, but less often with regards to how it has a knock-on effect for children learning.
Not only can physical activity be great for focusing the mind, it also trains the body to send more oxygen to the brain, allowing information to be processed quicker and the ‘sponge’ that is a child’s mind to be as open to new learning as it possibly can be.
Playtime, physical activity, and creative hobbies are all fun, accessible ways to ensure your child is able to learn to the best extent.