By: Dr. Pratiksha Rigley
Franchise Owner, Primrose Schools of Frisco West, Park Cities, Plano at Preston Meadow, Prestonwood, and Waco at Woodway
Children start learning from the moment they are born, soaking up information from observing, discovering and eventually exploring the world around them. Research shows that the first five years of a child’s life hold the most potential for development. During this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for learning, parents, caregivers and educators can help children build a foundation for future success by providing a rich balance of learning experiences.
“The first five years are the best time to engage children’s minds and help them develop skills that will allow them to thrive later on in life,” says Gloria Julius, Ed.D., vice president of education and professional development at Primrose Schools. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to teaching and learning, so an ideal learning environment for young children balances purposeful play with nurturing guidance from adults and offers a variety of experiences.”
Learning occurs as children play freely and interact with their environment, as well as through guidance and modeling by adults. Child care and preschool environments that blend both approaches to learning while balancing different skills and subjects – from science to music to lessons in kindness – help ensure every child reaches his or her full potential.
Of course, learning is not limited to the classroom. The following fun at-home activities also nurture important skills and developmental areas for little ones. Best of all, you can do them together!
- Exercise decision-making and critical thinking skills by playing with puzzles together. Let your child try out different pieces rather than showing him or her the right ones.
- Build language and literacy skills by writing a story with your little one. Let your child add the illustrations and contribute to the storyline.
- Develop important motor skills by tossing a ball with your child or chasing each other in a game of tag. Being active together helps children build a love for physical activity.
- Explore science and nutrition by planting a fruit and vegetable garden together. Your child’s natural curiosity will spark questions and exploration as the planted seeds grow and transform.
- Model important character traits, such as compassion, kindness and generosity, for your child. Volunteer at your local animal shelter or share veggies from your garden with a neighbor so your child can witness and learn firsthand the joy of giving back.
Every experience can be a learning opportunity for children. Encourage them to explore, observe, investigate and ask questions. Allow lots of time for play and provide guidance along the way to take learning to the next level.
To learn more about Primrose Schools or the Rigley Dream Team, follow us on Instagram @RigleyPrimroseDreamTeam!
For more helpful parenting tips and information, visit our blog at www.PrimroseSchools.com/blog and sign up for the Pointers for Parents newsletter.