6 Ways to Inspire Children’s Learning
Young minds are always picking up new information, and the more we can inspire that process the better equipped children will be to develop a lifelong passion for learning. Here are six simple yet effective ways to motivate a child in their learning processes.
Explore concepts in multi-sensory ways
We all have unique minds, and there are several different ways of learning. While some children will learn easily through verbal or visual explanations, others will learn better through hands-on activities. As such, multi-sensory methods can be highly useful and engaging. Baking together with children can be a wonderful way to learn about counting, sharing, patterns and listening, for example, while singing songs together can boost literacy and language skills.
Set achievable milestones (and celebrate them!)
Whether it’s within structured learning programs at their early learning centre or a lesson at home, children can find topics easier if they’re broken down into progressive and achievable steps. Setting attainable milestones will help a little one to focus on their next step rather than feeling overwhelmed by the bigger picture. One example might include counting from one to five, and then extending this to ten.
Engage with the child’s natural questions and interests
While a child’s learning programs cover a range of topics, children are naturally inquisitive. Anyone with a toddler who keeps asking ‘why?’ can attest to this! These questions can provide the perfect opportunity to explore topics that personally interest your little one. A great response is to ask them what they think the answer might be and to follow this up by reading a book or searching online together. Whether it’s about dinosaurs or the colour of the sky, they’ll be able to learn that discovery is rewarding.
Praise efforts as well as abilities
The expectation of doing things ‘perfectly’ can stifle the joy of learning, which is why it’s so important to focus on the journey as well as the destination. We aim to encourage enthusiasm and participation when children are learning, because it’s this enthusiasm that will foster a lifelong openness to learning and new information. A study involving older children showed that praise for hard work was more likely to encourage ongoing improvement and a higher level of persistence, producing better outcomes than praise for intelligence.
Fill their world with learning opportunities
By surrounding children with learning opportunities, they’ll be able to turn their inherent curiosity to these resources. This might mean having plenty of books at home and a regular time before bed to read through their favourite stories. Weekends and days off also provide a great opportunity for fun science experiments and museum visits that can offer a multitude of learning topics.
Encourage free and natural play
It might seem counterintuitive that free play helps children to learn, but unstructured play can be an incredible way for growing minds to develop critical thinking, lateral thinking, physical coordination, social and emotional skills, and a healthy imagination. It’s so important to leave plenty of play time to unlock children’s natural learning potential as they interact and invent their own games.
Here at Bliss Early Learning centres our learning programs are based on play-based and interest-led learning, aligned with the national Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF).