I want to share with you all the ways I have been able to make learning fun and effective for Elizabeth. Essentially, as soon as your baby is brought home she is learning new things. I believe it is our responsibility as parents to be our children’s first, and most influential teachers.
They learn from us. They learn how to behave, how to communicate, manners, and all the new things like colors, shapes, numbers, and letters… I love working with Elizabeth and the sheer joy that comes when she gets something! Currently, we are working on identifying her letters, she knows a good handful of them and constantly asks, “what letter is that” when she sees words. She mastered colors and shapes a long time ago, but I wanted to share this for any other mama out there looking for a great way to teach their baby.
When it came to colors, I basically focused on one color for a few solid days, and then I would move on to another one. You could do one a week, or one a day depending on your child.
After I showed her the color and we talked about it briefly, we would go around the house (or even just her bedroom) and collect items that were the color we were learning.
We made a game of it. Throughout the day I would ask her, “what color is this”, or, “can you find something orange”. And she picked up on it relatively quick and loved bringing me things that were the color of the day. We even took the learning into the bathtub at night.
I didn’t take pictures of this, but we also did a lot of coloring and painting with the color of the day. I would usually give her a little of the specific color craft paint and card stock and let her go to town. She still loves painting.
I also tried to incorporate food into the color guessing game. We would have extra strawberries, pineapple, smoothies, berries, cheeses and she’d have a whole plate of one color. Being a foodie, this was fun for her.
My advice, regardless of what you’re teaching, is to have fun! Make it hands on, and let your child be your guide on how much you do and how in depth you take it. I found, that children are much more capable of learning and retaining new things than I imagined. Elizabeth craves learning new things, and if I don’t keep her engaged, she gets into other things. You don’t have to keep a strict curriculum, just do something and make it fun! And keep in mind that what works for some may not work for all, you know your baby the best. And, please don’t compare your children to others. As moms, this is so hard, but as long as you are doing your best, there is no need to compare, every child is different – they grow and learn at different paces. This is one reason I love the Montessori approach at learning.
How do YOU incorporate learning new things into your child’s day?