Children learn through play and socialization. They discover their world through experimentation and observation.
Play goes a long way in teaching a child creativity, problem solving skills, and critical thinking skills. Several games exist on the market (and you can even make up your own!) that challenge the child's brain. Such challenges, and the rewards that follow them, enhance a child's sense of well-being, developing confidence and leadership skills, skills that will go a long way in every facet of life. The sooner such education starts, the better the child will do in school - one of the most important areas of any person's life. Also, using their hands to explore the world, the child learns physical dexterity. Several games for physical activities exist as well. They in no way exert a child, but do challenge athleticism.
Play with others is especially important. With others, communication is tested, and as such, the child's language-acquisition skills and vocabulary will improve exponentially. Yet another vital life skill, as a high vocabulary not only increases intelligence, but makes a strong impression in such situations as job interviews and college application.
Never discount the importance of play in a child's imagination. Much is said about how our current educational system does little to inspire creativity and independent thinking, but these are skills a child can learn at home through play.
Of course, toys play a vital part. As mentioned, several interactive toys are out there that provide positive feedback in the form of fun lights and sounds when the child "figures it out." These toys will help in teaching a child those important mental skills, and make the child feel good about using his or her brain.
Most important, parents are the first, most vital playmates. A parent has tremendous responsibility in making sure that the child learns to enjoy learning. No better positive reinforcement for a child exists than the warm, happy embrace of a parent. By providing such feedback for success in learning, the child will go through life with a positive perception of learning and education. Of course, the more a child enjoys school, the better he or she will do.
Research games and activities for your child and yourself. It is important to give the child the right level of challenge; you would be amazed at how capable children are, given that you work within their range. The more you do this though, the faster you will see that range increase.
Please be aware that the articles on this site are written by mothers who are discussing their own experiences and their own opinions. They do not, and are not meant to, represent professional advice and should be read with that point firmly in mind.
Our children’s welfare is paramount; if you are ever in the slightest doubt about any aspect of caring for a child you are urged to seek qualified, specialist advice from a professional advisor.