Children are born to learn. They come into the world, ready to absorb as much as they can to understand the strange and new environment around them. Children learn through stimulation, such as taste, sight, smell and touch. And so, parents need to understand the importance of how early educational stimulation can have a significant impact on any child's future development.
Early childhood education is a term used to stimulate a child’s brain within the years before they go to preschool. These years are important as they are critical in developing a child’s social and emotional skills to name a few.
Many parents have questioned the use of early childhood development, but researchers and experienced parents alike have testified to the benefits of early education.
Some benefits of early childhood development include:
● Socialization: kids learn how to interact and properly communicate with other children, their parents and their teachers. Socialising a child from a young age will help them form better and stronger bonds.
● Learning to Love Learning: When children are stimulated in a fun and exciting way at a young age, they learn to enjoy learning new things and see learning as a rewarding activity.
● Concentration: Early childhood development can be great for a child’s concentration, as they learn to listen and focus at the task at hand, learning how to follow directions, complete goals and how to master the lifelong skill of concentration.
● Teamwork: Young children who do activities together learn from a young age what it means to have teamwork. They learn how to work together and how to help each other.
● Exposure to Diversity: It is important to have children understand that every person, place or situation is unique on its own. Having children exposed to different environments and people will help them to understand and accept diversity.
There are many different ways any new or experienced parent can stimulate their children to help them develop and learn new things. Some of there methods include:
● Introducing your child to different sounds by singing songs or by mimicking animal noises. This will help your child to learn how to identify different sounds and how to match them to their origins.
● Taking children to different environments can be a great learning experience e.g. taking them to the beach or park to learn about all the different colours, sounds and people.
● Experimenting with textures, such as water, dirt or paint, can be a great learning opportunity to help them identify the things around them.
● Encouraging your children to ask questions. Having a child repeat the word ‘why’ is not always a bad thing. This will encourage children to ask questions and learn new things on their own.
● Have your child do simple things around the house with you, such as picking food to cook for dinner or having them watch you as you write or read. This will encourage the child to participate and will help them to learn about the basic tasks around the house.
Childhood development can be accomplished in so many ways and can have a wide range of benefits. Learning how to stimulate and expose your child can be crucial in shaping the way they see the world and showing them that learning and exploring new things can be a very exciting opportunity. If you don’t know where to start, speak to your friends or ask your local preschool or primary school for some advice. Whether you are a first time parent, or you’ve been around the block, early childhood development and education is definitely something to look into.
Author: Izana Coetzee