Through the course of a typical day there’re many chances to share activities with your kiddo that will help them grow and develop. Every day Life presents learning opportunities. Even chores like setting the table provide learning opportunities! Find another idea here.
Of course, if you’re trying to work from home per coronavirus in addition to raising your children sharing learning opportunities just need to be strategically implemented.
An (uneducated) view of PLAY is it’s frivolous time or time spent doing nothing of import. Nothing can be further from the truth! Playing and learning coexist at all times; PLAY doesn’t happen without learning. In fact learning in a PLAY setting is the best way to learn.
What’s that? A Learning Opportunity!
One of the reasons is because PLAY facilitates learning in all developmental areas. Oftentimes you’ll find yourself being lead into a new direction too! That’s what happened when I cut strips to practice going over and under to weave. In my mind I thought this would be a good first step to lacing— would’ve just needed to add crossing. Instead my mind went to positional words and using that to work on creating opposite pairs. Feel free to check it out here.
Learning opportunities always are floating about in my head, the particular one I settled on this time has a nostalgic feel to it. Think Sesame Street. In fact, this vintage video highlights another feature I wanted to do with my Grandbub #1. If you looked carefully during the video you should see that not only are there circles of 2 sizes BUT also circles made of curves with 2 different thicknesses. In the video they focus on the size aspect only.
How This Learning Activity Came About…
I was looking for some fruit to accompanying lunch. My options were: apple, satsuma, banana, or grapes. Note: The grapes were a special variety—mango grapes! I know I was like WHAT?! It’s crazy—they don’t taste like you’re regular grapes and Mango grapes are not shaped like your typical grape either.
Now I could’ve stopped right here and said ‘one of these things is not like the other’ BUT you know when LIFE presents a problem there’s usually more than one solution to resolve it. So I wanted to add another item to give my Grandbub the chance to solve for something the way he saw 1st and then work on looking for a 2nd option. I was so curious to to find out which way he would go!
Presenting the bowl of items to my Grandbub, I pointed to, and named, each item. Then I explained there was 1 item in the bowl that didn’t go with the others. Suggesting he look over the items, I then asked if he could point out which one didn’t belong.
He promptly pointed to the ball. I asked “Why that one?” It’s a ball and they’re fruit. Very true.
Going on to the next option, I explained the items could be sorted in another way. Again his response was quick. He pointed to the banana. I asked “Why would you pick the banana?” He indicated to the others that they were ‘round’ and the banana isn’t. (Would you say it’s crescent shaped?)
Why it’s Important…
Sorting and classifying are important activities towards developing problem-solving skills. Sorting, grouping items with similar attributes, and classifying, grouping items into pre-determined groups. Children learn via their senses. Developing the ability to classify the things they see, hear, taste, smell, touch…in other words, experience, and learn about helps them understand the world around them.
Learning opportunities don’t have to take long or require a lot of materials. When opportunity knocks take advantage of it and make it PLAY-based learning funPLAY-based learning fun!
Yours in PLAY!