Kids are sponges, soaking up every bit of information you feed them. How do you inspire an early love of learning so they continue to be sponges and continue to soak in information?
While a bit challenging, I have always considered the toddler stage my favorite. They are learning something new everyday. Whether it is new words, new likes, new dislikes, or new places, toddlers are on-the-go seeking adventure.
How do you integrate so deeply into them a love of learning that they reach adulthood and still seek to learn?
(our living Proverbs 31 linkup is at the bottom here)
3 Ways to Inspire an Early Love of Learning
#1 Associate Learning with Comfort
A love of learning needs to start very young. From the time he was an infant I would read books out loud to him. He had no comprehension of the book or words, but it was a special time. We cuddled, sang the songs, read the words and looked at books.
As a toddler, he will often bring me a book when he doesn’t feel well as he perceives sitting in mommy’s lap while she reads as a comfort. He will suck his little thumb and turn pages too early by turns. Usually 5 minutes or so of reading and he is happy and comforted; ready to go play again.
#2 Encourage Investigation
A child asking questions is good, it shows they are thinking and wondering. A parent always giving an answer may not be as good.
As a child care worker, and later a nanny, I liked to asked the kids what they thought. After getting their ideas, I could guide them in investigating whether their ideas were correct.
I felt that books were the best way to do that. We would look through available books for answers and even get messy while investigating certain questions. So many of these would involve basic science and kids are usually intrigued by science.
#3 Have LOTS of Books!
I’m not kidding on this one. 🙂 Mom bought encyclopedias, and while I know they are becoming a thing of the past, I plan on buying a set at some point too.
We would sprawl on the floor with these books and pore over the different subjects. I loved the human body section, one brother loved guns, one went for explosives, I forget what my sis liked, and the little boys (2&4) would talk all day about the “ai’ panes”.
I learned most of my history through books carefully chosen by mother, and my brothers had their own subjects they learned through books. Books encourage imagination and active learning.
Avoiding google and youtube for younger ages:
While I’m a huge proponent of using both along-side of books for myself, I don’t recommend them for younger children. There is a lot of false information out there, and as adults we learn to discern truth, but our children do not yet know how.
With books, a parent is able to quickly verify the truth within the pages before giving them to a child. However it is near impossible to filter the web. If using the web with a child under 10, it only makes sense that the parent should be there with them. Books encourage independent learning.
Inspire an early love of learning with Interactive books
A friend recently became an Usborne rep and asked if she could send me some books to review. Since my toddler loves books as much as I do, I of course said yes!
She sent a big book of farm words, Oh baby A-Z animals, a cool little stroller book, and a lift the flap construction sites book.
I sat him outside on a chair for best photography lighting and gave him two of his new books. His reactions and expressions over just the farm words book were so fun that I put them in a slide show below.
Even better was how much he loved the construction site book. This book has tons of little flaps to lift and discover what’s underneath, there is a bunny hidden on each page to find as well.
I filmed us reading the book together for the first time. It took almost 10 minutes to read this book and he stayed involved the entire time! I fast forwarded a lot of the clip below, and it clearly shows just how active a toddler is even while enjoying a book!
The up-down, up-down thing he does is especially comical!
He loved all the books we received and tried reading them all together at one point which totally amused me. The stroller book has a stretchy band on it and hooks on your stroller for on the go reading.
I actually plan on attaching it to his car seat somewhere to help ease the boredom of long car rides. It is bright, colorful and has a lot of textures for him to enjoy.
The soft back book with a-z baby animals is just beautiful and we really enjoy looking at it together and talking about each animal. In the big farm animal book of words, he points at each picture while I tell him the name.
Why don’t you inspire an early love of learning and check out the Usborne site for more awesome books! The sticker books for preschoolers look amazing too. 🙂
Now for the giveaway!!!
Laura is giving away a $25 credit to Usborne below! I am closing this giveaway on the 13th and immediately notifying the winner. Orders placed by the 16th are guaranteed for Christmas delivery, so enter below and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway