Since it’s vacation time for kids, we had a very informative chat with two of our learning experts, Amruta Ramsubramaniam and Noopur Kanchan, on how should moms engage toddlers and pre-schoolers at home constructivel
Here’s an excerpt…
Q. Do you think summer camps are good learning experiences? Do you know what’s being taught in the summer camp your kid goes to? Is it age appropriate or are they just some activities to pass time? Is it pocket friendly?
Noopur Kanchan: There are many summer camps around. It all depends on what you are looking at. Any camp which encourages creativity, exploration or topics that are not addressed during the year is good. Camps that encourage reading, for example. We run a series that is based on popular fiction series like Geronimo, Harry Potter, Eric Carle, it encourages the child to pick a book and start reading.
Q. I have seen many posts on Moms being over involved with fancy activities. What is your view? Yes, my mom didn’t do alot but that’s the whole point of evolution. We become better and more informed parents. On the other hand, are we disabling their independent thoughts on the way?
Amruta: Priya, that’s a wonderful question- and the way I look at it is - strike a fine balance. We should 'listen' to the child, seek his cues and accordingly prepare the environment for him. This does not mean buying him toys, and giving him stimulus every single day. Practical life / life skill activities are most important. Like involving the child in everyday home chores, cooking, gardening - that's where the true learning begins it is so important to keep things open ended for the child - in order to let him explore and imagine!
Noopur Kanchan: Simple activities like peeling of boiled potatoes, sorting, scooping out the seed etc. Such activities give an opportunity to introduce textures, vocabulary and enhance observation along with enhancing the fine motor skills.
Amruta: I would suggest you to look up on the term 'senstive period'. This link truly explains it well ageofmontessori.org/sensitive-periods-in-development It talks about how a child is interested in a particular skill at a particular age.
Q. Are there any activities which you can suggest which are more physical in nature? Many activities are sitting down-table ones. My kid loves running around. Anything you can suggest?
Amruta: Outdoor activities - You can go for nature walks, biking, swimming, playing bat and ball / soccer with friends. Indulge in dance, Simon says, Obstacle course with pillows, blocks etc. We have also started doing yoga at home and my son seems to be really enjoying it -just simple basic poses, like tree pose etc
Q. I am a working mom and in the little time I get, I try to get some activities for my 22month old, it is difficult to get him to sit through the activities.
Amruta: At 22 months, they are supposed to explore and not stay still. So encourage him to play / explore, planned activities may not work always, so go with the flow. You can create discovery boxes and let him explore its contents. Say a discovery box full of musical instruments that he can hear and explore. You can also try involving him in your kitchen. Say give him potatoes to put back in a bin, let him empty the grocery bags.
Q (Contd). He just loves throwing things around and he keeps running. Any suggestions to make him more interested in planned activities?
Noopur Kanchan: At that age, you need to keep the time span short and opt for activities that allow exploration
Read the complete excerpt here.
The banner pictures in this article is by: Peekaboo