Wednesday, October 6, 2021

We're Looking At Some Exciting Ways To Inspire Learning

This is a contributed post

While all kids are born natural learners, as they age, sometimes it can be a challenge to  inspire your children to take on a new task or skill. As modern parents, we have access to learning platforms that our parents and grandparents could only dream about, and we’re going to introduce a few of them to you.


“Children are not things to be molded, but people to be unfolded.” - Jess Lair

Those words are some of the most inspirational we’ve ever read, and they really hit the heart of what it is we’re trying to accomplish here. Generationally, so much of what we thought we understood regarding early childhood development has been either drastically challenged on one end or wholly changed on the other. Now that’s not to say that everything that came before is wrong or bad, but there are some exciting ways that you can embrace childhood learning that takes the groan and moan out of learning at home.


We all know that one of the most important (if not the most important) foundational requirement to effective learning is practical reading and comprehension, and this starts with you. If you regularly read as a solo practice and then read to your children (remember those days?), you’ll already begin instilling some solid habitual practice. You might even go so far as to teach your baby to read deliberately.

But to take your child’s love for reading and expression to the next level, you simply have to inspire good writing skills, and it’s (almost) never too early to start. Start with having them dictate stories that you write down for them and they can illustrate. Write short stories about their days and dreams and get them to play with writing games for kids to make this element of learning inherently fun.


OK, so the title of this section can sound a little scary, but it doesn't have to be. There are always hacks to make something that can be pretty challenging for many kids, fun, educational and practical in a way that instills excellent habits before the more significant challenges of “big school” start.

Now, when you hear the words “hands-on learning,” it’s easy for your mind to go to subjects like music, art, or the more creative parts of schooling, but you can just as easily use this method to help teach mathematics. “Hands-on learning” creates vital links between functionality and “muscle memory,” and by using some clever tricks, you can teach your kids the fundamentals of math so that by the time they hit the big leagues, they’ve already developed solid learning habits.


We’re all about using resources intelligently, so when teaching your kids basic math and counting, start by using items that they’re likely to see being used in their everyday lives. Coins are great tools for counting games (monitored closely, of course). You could also use Cheerios, toy cars or blocks.

Want to add an educational element to bubbles? An easy and fun way to get your kids playing outside is to carefully blow out one or two bubbles at a time have your kids count them as they try to pop them. This works on multiple levels and also reaches them on a cognitive level.

Invest in an abacus. Yes, really. The mind-body connection between physically counting out numbers while “handling” them is fun, practical. It inspires a little “alone” time for your toddler while you give them fundamental problems to solve.


Involve your kids in your baking activities, but do it with a plan. Get them to “design” a house or an animal that you’ll bake for them later on, and then they can decorate it once it’s out of the oven. This simple exercise teaches them how to understand spatial reasoning and offers a malleable way to express what makes sense in their imaginations.

Here are a lot of other hands on math ideas


Over time, we’ve learned that as much as we like teaching our kids, we learn just as much from them in return as they have a fresh perspective on life - obviously, most of what they’re experiencing they’re experiencing for the first time. So take the opportunity to indulge your inner child and get creative! It doesn’t have to mean significant investments in the latest gadgets and tools; there’s a “home hack” for just about everything because it’s the learning intention that you’re after, not necessarily the conduit - that can be improvised.

Think sensory play and writing in the sandpit, treasure hunts with numbered clues, and a playroom where all manner of painting and mess is permitted. 

The walls you can clean, but the memories will last a lifetime.

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