Children are always learning as they watch mom and dad or siblings, their brains are processing, organizing and storing this information. This non-traditional learning can have a huge impact on the development of your child. There are countless ways children learn by helping around the house and in family activities.
My husband loves to build things, especially using wood ~ whether its a coffee table or chandelier for the porch, bookshelf or picture frame. He is always inventing ways to make things easier such as fastening a pipe up a beam to provide water to the top porch. I always tell people he is too handy because his projects can be time consuming, but the end result is always beautiful! Plus, Jim almost always enlists the boys help and he patiently teaches them what he has spent his life learning. Our kitchen island was painstakingly built by Jim and the boys. They glued strips of wood together, sanded and painted it for the island top. The cabinets were cut and sized to the right dimensions, sanded and painted. I feel things that are personally made have more significance and a higher value is placed on them. The boys are learning life long skills and spending quality time with their father at the same time! They are developing their passion for making things, solving household problems and building creativity.
Spending time teaching kids to perform household chores and help on projects will teach them responsibility and it gives them valuable tools that can be expanded upon as they grow. Hands-on activities like cooking can teach a child math facts as you use measuring spoons and cups. Plus, they can learn the effects of leaving out ingredients or supplementing and how that alters the taste of food. Sorting socks or sorting dishes can help children learn to compare objects and see how things differ.
Encourage the kids to use their imagination and ask questions. As you walk the yard or the neighborhood, tell your child the names of bushes, plants and trees. Have he/she think of and describe what they imagine the bushes to look like in different season of the year. Why do leaves fall off the trees, why do certain plants bloom only in the spring? What causes allergies?
Children can learn valuable and lifelong skills simply by watching, listening and asking questions of parents and siblings around the house and during family activities. Parents ~ make use of those opportunities to teach and be a resource for your child’s growth!
All opinions are my own. Article written for North Fulton Family Life Publications magazine.