So, I'm taking this great class at my church. It's called Tools For Motherhood. I've taken a quick day class overview of it, but this is a more in depth 7 week class that is just wonderful! It basically gives us stats of children and how they learn and how their little brains work. It's mainly geared toward mothers of preschoolers and teaches us how to use everyday items in just 10-15 minutes a day and give them a firm foundation for the schoolyears! We are soo indisposable to our children right now. It is soo true that we are indeed our childrens first and most important teacher! We give them their attention span, their respect for others using eye contact, their love of reading etc...
We learned that a childs attention span is 3 times their age! So I can't expect my 4 year old to sit through and pay attention to an hour long church service. It's been very good to know this info! I learned that in between the ages of 0-4 they will learn 50% of all they will learn in life! Wow! If that's not pressure I don't know what is! By the age of 8 they will learn 80% of all they'll ever learn in life! Wow! Who knew?
Anyways... along with this our teacher, Mary Duncan, gives us ideas of using everyday household items to teach our children through play. What a great way to learn.
This week our class was on Pre- Math skills. Now, really, can a 2-4 year old grasp the concept of multiplication? No, we all know that, but did you know that just by talking about things, i.e... when shopping at the store and just saying out loud how much something weighs and the price and then doing the math, this is laying a foundation later for those children. By doing something as simple as a 1 year old putting golf balls in a muffin tin and teaching one to one corrospondance also lays the foundation for great math skills during the school years. It's like reading to a baby. They don't necessarily understand it at all, but they are getting to hear the words and thus their little brains are developing. This is just wonderful. My favorite game that I took away from class this week was the simplest game ever and honestly most of her games are and I sure feel stupid that I didn't think of them myself, but this game is great for those days when you are trying to get your grocery shopping list done and you've got the ads spread out on the table and your child is, the dreaded word, "bored. So, you take a dice or even just shout out numbers and let them circle them in your ads. The first person to get say 5 or 10 of those numbers can win. It's obviously geared toward the 3-5 year olds, but wow! How easy. It keeps them occoupied and no longer "bored" and lets you still get stuff done.
There are soo many other games too. I like the one that teaches shapes and burns off that energy. Cut big shapes out of material ( we all have that old shirt that just has to go) and then on a block draw the shapes and take turns rolling and running to get the shape. The first person to get 2 matches or one of each shape wins! I mean, really how easy! Then I just put all the little pieces in a ziplock baggie to save for another time when I'm going insane with all the extra energy they seem to have that I never do! I can also make this game grow with the child by cutting the shapes out of different colored cloth so they can learn the colors and then the shapes later on! And when they know their shapes and colors then I'd write the shape word on the block for them to "read" and then go get their shape! The game that just keeps growing and growing.
So, next time you find yourself at a loss for what to do with those little ones yet you still have stuff to do and you've already let them lick the cookie dough utensils while you ate the cookies remember that there are a lot of ideas out there if you just get a little creative! Enjoy and happy weekend to all the "teachers" out there! Feel free to visit www.toolsformotherhood.com for more info and ideas for each age your child is now!
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