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Learning through play

I started school again and this semester I am taking early childhood education and infant and toddler development. There are several blogs that I frequent that have such cute ideas for activities to do for your baby, toddler, preschooler and beyond. I have done a few of them with Isabella here and there and now as I get farther into my semester I am learning why these sorts of activities are not only fun for them but are learning experience. The first two years of life the brain grows faster than at any other time in life. Young infants and children learn through experiences and through play. One child development theorist thinks of children as little scientists. They innately have a desire to learn and any parent of a child knows that they are constantly experimenting with their environment to learn. What happens if I throw my food over my highchair? What happens when I bang these blocks together? Through play they learn so much.

With this being said I think it is so important to provide children with many opportunities to use their senses and play to learn. I am going to use what I learn in my class and the blogs I frequent to do some of these activities with Isabella and post them here in case anyone is interested. Some are kind of messy and it makes me wish I had a back yard. If you are not too scared of the mess, you could give your child a fun experience that they will also be learning from.

 Here is a simple one that kept Isabella’s attention for quite awhile, which is quite the feat!

You simply take an empty spice container and cut some colored pipe cleaner into small strips and let them try to fit them in the hole! When they are older you can add colored stickers around the holes, so that they have to match the colored strip to the colored hole. Super easy and super fun! This would also be a good quiet and portable activity for church or on an airplane.

 With this activity they are building fine motor and visual motor skills. They are also learning problem solving, sorting and colors!

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