There is a saying that the years before the age of five will last the rest of their lives and this is very true for children. All years are formative but the first five are extremely important to the development and self-esteem of a child. Early childhood educators all agree that when a child is put in an enriching learning environment from a young age, this can translate to happier, more secure and confident individual.
Mothers who choose to keep their kids at home rather than in a daycare setting can educate and socialize their children. Here are a few ideas explored that can help you to provide your pre-schooler with a great foundation for learning.
Everything from building and exercise as well as music in early childhood education programs is recommended. Many parents choose to read books and watch videos on these subjects so that they can maximize their baby’s early development possibilities.
The Baby Years
As a baby, we sponge information and absorb it really well. Today’s babies are even doing sign language to communicate with their parents before their vocal chords have matured enough for speech.
Play and communicate and talk and sing with your baby. Touch and exploration is how they’ll learn. You can find activities to do at home to help your baby define their large and small motor skills. Take the baby out into the world and let them safely discover the outdoors as well.
Babies love music and when you get onto the floor with them and show them how to build a tower with blocks. Story time can be a great time for cuddling and showing as well.
The Toddler Years
Toddlers love to get into things and explore. It can be trying for a parent but this is the time they learn that they can do things with their hands and they want to reach for everything to discover what it smells like and tastes like. Of course safety and child proofing is a big concern but early childhood education advocates encourage letting your child explore safely through play. Let them build things and set up a craft station at home. Let them “help” wash the dishes and give them little chores to help you with. It’ll help them learn and contribute.
Toddlers love to ask questions once they are verbalizing and figure out how stuff works. All babies and toddlers develop at different stages. Verbalizing starts at various stages and while some toddlers are talking before the age of two, many are not. If you have concerns about development with walking and talking, talk to your pediatrician.
The Preschool Years
A preschool education can happen at home and outside of the home. Some parents go to play groups or enroll their kids in a part time or full time preschool program so their children can interact and socialize with other children.
Whether you go to a play group or swap having it done at various houses, it’s important that preschoolers can interact with other kids their age in order to help them get ready for school. Some parents enroll their kids in preschool at age two or three on a part time basis to introduce structured learning but you can also have structured and unstructured play at home and help them learn to write their name, identify numbers and alphabet letter as well as do pattern matching and problem solving.
Issues, Concerns and Early Intervention
Children develop at varying rates and if you’re concerned that your child might be developmentally delayed or have a delay in their motor skills, it’s important to identify any problems early. Very often, early intervention for development can result in a child getting “caught up” to others in their age group by the time they are in school.
Well baby checks are a good idea on a routine from infancy and in terms of early literacy and development of social skills, it’s never to early to sit down and play with your children in a way that helps them develop social skills, language skills and self esteem. You’ll find many programs free on the internet as well as groups and courses that you can utilize that will help you. You can find early education catalogs and early education videos and many therapists that specialize in helping with early intervention programs.
Learning through play can help the child in many ways for their future education plus help build a bond with their parents where they have open communication and get to have fun with parents as well.