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Top 10 Ideas for Teaching Small Children

Written by: Editorial Staff

February 23, 2011
Filed Under Parenting 


Contributed by Staff Writer

Young children are delighted with real tools that let them handle age-appropriate tasks “all by myself!

Child-size items give children the means to pour their own juice or rake leaves by your side, purposeful “work” that supports self-confidence and independence. It is worth the effort to locate sources for hard-to-find games, toys, and resources that provide young children with enriching opportunities to develop the basic skills they need for later academic learning.

Here are our top ten ideas for teaching small children:

10. Provide child-size tools

Brooms, mops, yard and garden tools, woodworking tools, and kitchen utensils made to fit small hands are the stars here. Stock your child’s play space with a wide range of child-size dishes, pots and pans, garden tools and baking gear. Look for scaled-down supplies that are perfect for pretend play and made well enough for real cooking, gardening, and woodworking.

9. Stock up on learning toys

From classic memory games and fact cards to puzzles, blocks, models, and building toys, the range of choices for children ages 3 to 8 is amazing. These toys offer young children absorbing opportunities to learn as they play. Choices explore color, shape, size, pattern, geometry, gravity, balance, cause and effect, the seasons, nature, animals, geography, and more.

8. Collect books

Ranging from board books for toddlers to picture dictionaries for early readers to science books for elementary-age learners, an appealing collection of superior children’s books covers topics of keen interest to little learners. Books should be selected for their high-quality artwork (fine art, natural history style illustrations, or cultural photos) and engaging text (stories, verse, or fun facts.)

7. Study nature

Along with a worm habitat, for example, purchase magnifiers for observing worms. Add a story and fact books about worms. Children love to get up close to nature, and hands-on animal and nature activities are exciting and educational.

6. Explore science

The special emphasis on supporting hands-on activities with related learning resources makes science for children up to age 8 educational, fascinating, and fun. Kids love to explore resources about space, Earth, ecology, the seasons, and even physics. Find books, movies and equipment to assist explorations.

5. Enjoy cooperative games

Find out how much more fun games are when everyone wins! Seek out board games that present challenges players overcome most easily by working together. Children love the familiar game elements and they learn from creative problem-solving and collaboration, too. Hard-to-find guides and supplies for cooperative active and outdoor play are also available.

4. Play music

Listen to all types of music. Play instruments, sing and dance. Discover an unusual collection of scaled-down, child-size percussion instruments from around the world.

3. Make art

Look for art supplies, craft kits, and beautifully drawn (or photographed) books and fact cards for fine art appreciation. Keep art supplies on hand so that creativity doesn’t have to wait for anything! Art activities inspire freedom of expression, creativity and independent thinking.

2. Play pretend

Small children learn by watching and imitating during play. A little doctor will appreciate a working stethoscope that fits in his small hands, and a future chef will make good use of kids size kitchen utensils that really get the job done.

1. Experience the world

Real experiences are the best way to spur creativity and learning in children. Go places, see things, talk and explore. Visit museums, ride trains, learn from a variety of adults in widely varied settings. Children will use what they experience in their world during play to process, understand and create.

Resources, toys and tools to support age-appropriate learning and enrich the developing child will help you develop strategies for teaching small children.


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