October 06, 2015
With constant debates about the correct way to teach early skills to toddlers, it’s no wonder that parents are prone to scrutinising, and even doubting their abilities when it comes to the way they approach the subject at home.
Preschool and early years teachers seem to be under more pressure than ever to produce results, measuring children against averages, and trying to hit targets much like in the later stages of education. Only then are children deemed ‘ready’ for reception year.
Despite a never-ending stream of new methods, it seems that there is one that has stood the test of time, and is the most natural of all – letting children learn through play! The first few years of a child’s life are the most crucial for their development and The Pre-school Alliance believe that doing and talking are “the means by which young children learn to think”. Children need to experiment and experience for themselves, and once they have established a meaning for something, they can begin to learn new ideas by following this pattern from memory.
The National Children’s Bureau’s research has interestingly found that as children grow, “their play grows in complexity and becomes more cognitively and socially demanding”. Children will always face new challenges in their day-to-day lives, in which they are prompted to make decisions and take action – a form of self-teaching that will affect the next judgement they have to make.
When it comes to applying this approach in the home, it seems that less is more. Let your toddler do (within reason) what they want to do, as this encourages expression and discovery. There are books and toys that can help to inspire and stimulate their curiosities. Our 3-in-1 Convertible books are one such example!
1. Board book – Children will love reading a giant book with a simple story, where they can spot different things on every page.
2. Play mat – Fold out the book into a long playmat with an illustrated story route. Children can follow the story with their own toys, helping them to absorb new ideas and spark their own inquisitiveness.
3. Sit-in vehicle – The playmat converts to a vehicle, complete with a door and realistic features that bring each mode of transport to life. Toddlers can have hours of role-playing fun, becoming any character they want to be!
Have a look at all of our Convertible books for kids here. Have you got a Convertible book? Let us know how they have helped your child's development, in the comments section below.
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