Nurturing your child's interests at home
The London Early Years Foundation has 23 nurseries in London. Here are their tips on encouraging learning in toddlers outside the nursery environment.
Why is the home learning environment so important for children?
The phrase 'home learning' basically covers just about anything you do at home that supports your child's learning and development. Of course most parents naturally help their children learn about the world around them, for instance through simple day to day conversations.
Even more quality time
If you do want to take your child's home learning to the next level, research carried out at Oxford University has identified a few points as to how you can make your time spent together more effective in regards to their learning and development.
- Reading with and to your child
- Visits to the library
- Playing games with words and letters
- Teaching your child the alphabet and counting
- Singing to and teaching your child nursery rhymes and children's poems
- Painting and drawing activities
Encourage your child's interests
If your child is at nursery why not ask staff what your child has shown interest in during the day? This will then help give you pointers about how best you can extend their learning at home.
If on the other hand you are a stay at home mum or dad, the same rule applies. For example if your child is interested in trains, you might help build cardboard trains, play train games or encourage them to spot differnet types of train at the train station. Whatever their current interests, think about all the opportunities such simple activities will give them to develop their knowledge around vocabulary, counting and developing their creative side.
Make learning together fun
The key to a good learning environment at home is to make it fun, relaxed and enjoyable. Suggest an activity that your child is happy to take part in, and is easy for them to understand, and remember with a little creativity any day to day routine can be turned into a fun and vaulable learning experience.
For more parenting tips and advice visit www.leyf.org.uk/parents.
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