It’s almost mind blowing to me when i sit and think about all the things my son has learned during the first few years of his life- walking, talking, eating, playing, sharing, and caring. During this time, one of the most important things a child can learn is how to love the process of learning.
There are many ways to help build a lifelong love of learning in our children. One positive approach is to not only answer their many, many questions, but also accept and encourage them. Be sure to only give short and simple answers and at times even answer their question with a question of your own. If you think your toddler knows the answer even though they are asking “whats this?” turn it around by saying, “what do you think it is?” Of course in a loving manner! Right now my son, Liam, is exploring things in the house. He has free reign to the cabinets and drawers in the kitchen (I do have the chemicals under the sink locked though) So his favorite thing to do while I’m cooking dinner, is to play along side of me with his own pots, pans, spoons, lids, ect. I love it! Sure it can be a little cramped at times, but it’s a great way for him to learn about cooking, explore his surroundings, and of course be close to mommy.
Recognize and support your little ones need to explore and experiment with the world around them. What toddler can resist finding out what happens when he unloads a box of crayons on the floor? It may be messy, but exploring is how toddlers learn about the world. Of course always make sure the exploring stays safe. Some great ideas for places to take your little one to for fun exploring would be the playground, malls, museums, zoos, parks, outdoor concerts, or art shows. Talk to your toddler about what they see or smell around them. It’s always fun to try new things and learn together. Happy learning!
Khristian Kritz – Contributor