Kids are curious creatures. They take note of things that us adults don’t even notice. They get mesmerized by the mundane. Their developing brains are high-functioning machines that retain a lot of the information that they consume. This is why toddlers pick up words and habits so easily from their environment.

Kids are curious creatures. They take note of things that us adults don’t even notice. They get mesmerized by the mundane. Their developing brains are high-functioning machines that retain a lot of the information that they consume. This is why toddlers pick up words and habits so easily from their environment.

Children learn from their environment

In this age when children learn so easily, it is important for parents to surround them with positive stimuli. Words, habits, thoughts, and actions that you wish them to adopt should be present in their surroundings. However, making them learn through rote is not the way to go. Habitual repetition gets boring easily. Children may start to run away from the very thing that they are supposed to learn. So what should you do as parents to ensure that your children have fun while they are learning?

Kitchen experiments

Innovation is key here. Feeding children’s inherent curiosity will help you achieve this. Make use of things you already have around the house. A great place to start is the kitchen. Let your child come into the kitchen and help you out. You can get some child-safe utensils for them to really feel the part. Make fun little games like helping them name and identify objects around the kitchen.

Learning in the kitchen

Similarly, fruits and vegetables can be a great resource for them to learn shapes and colors. You can also introduce them to new foods in this fun way. If they like them, you can incorporate them into their daily diet.

Use real food to engage them. You can give them a ball of dough to make whatever they feel like with it. You can then bake/fry/cook their creation to make it into ‘real’ food that they can enjoy. It gives them a sense of having created something real and important.

Be smart at play

Counting objects is a great way to learn and remember your numbers. While playing or bathing, or before going to bed, count the various objects around the room. See if your child can recall numbers by themselves. This exercise will also give you an idea of their progress, of how much are they actually learning and retaining.

Sounds are an amazing stimulus for children as they react to sounds speedily. You can help them associate objects, living and nonliving, with their respective sounds. This way they remember new objects by association through sounds.

Sound play is important

You can make a game out of this by making a sound and having your child identify the object it is associated with. Alternatively, you can show pictures of objects like cars, dogs, or water and ask your child about the sounds they make. Your child will have a lot of fun with this activity!

To stimulate their tactile sense, you can introduce finger painting activities. It is different from the usual coloring exercise, where they have to fill in certain spaces. Finger painting gives them creative freedom to make designs in colors of their choice. It is great exercise for them to unleash their imagination. Another game to engage their tactile sense is to fill up a balloon with some water beads. The squishy balloon makes for a great toy for your kid to have fun with.

Learn sensitivity but make it fun!

Keeping playtime gender-neutral is a positive step in making your child sensitive towards gender bias. Children are often introduced to gender roles very early on. They are given clothes and toys in colors that are considered masculine or feminine, based on their gender. So they learn to associate certain things as appropriate for their gender and others that are not. This limits their self-expression and keeps it from developing to its fullest. So let your boy wear pink or your girl plays with cars if that is what they feel naturally inclined to.

Gender-fluid dressing helps them learn sensitivity

An easy way of doing this is to let your child choose their own wardrobe. Let their imagination run wild while they put together their outfits. Let them be outrageous, let them have fun with it!

Practice and repeat what they learn with them, to ensure that they remember those things. Be open to feedback. Let your child tell you what he has fun doing, and which activities he does not like, and adjust them accordingly. Incorporating these activities into your child’s playtime will let them have good ol’ fun while learning new things.

What are some learning-while-playing activities that you do with your child?