We learn when we experiment, and during early childhood exploring new environments and having a chance to understand them is key to learning. When you are a parent, you are responsible for your little one’s safety and sometimes you may forget you are also responsible for her learning. If a child stays curious, she will continue to explore and discover the world around her. This positive cycle of learning is fueled by curiosity and the pleasure that comes from discovery and mastery. In early stages this is so important that we need to help our children discover everything around them!
However, at times, you might find yourself restricting for your daughter’s learning without even noticing it. Maybe because she is making a mess that will be very hard to clean up or perhaps because you feel a little apprehensive when she is on the loose.
How to stop yourself from restricting her?
- Avoid words like “don’t”, “no”, and “stop!”. Instead try using words like “careful” or just a simple “move to the right”.
- If you think what she is doing is dangerous, explain why. When you help her understand why she should stop or be more careful, you are also contributing to her self-care skills and fostering her independence and learning process.
- Try not to forbid.
- Analyze why you feel overwhelmed by some of her actions and try to overcome your fears.
How to help her explore?
- Let her loose: Let her crawl around the house freely, once it has been child-proofed. She will explore everything she finds in her way by touching, grabbing, holding, etc.
- Art projects: If she likes coloring, cutting, and pasting, making art can be a great way to explore new materials. Provide her with some cool paintbrushes or different kinds of fabric, this way she can experience new objects and textures.
- Dance: Let her move around and explore her body movements with different kinds of music. Research shows that music is a great way to create joyful experiences and foster a higher motivation to learn.
- Nature: Let her walk on the grass, pick some flowers, or interact with the animals you get to have contact with. If she has any questions, take the time to explain and solve her doubts. This is a great way to foster your little one’s problem solving skills.
- Play: Give her different kinds of toys, so she can analyze how they work. If they move with wheels, fall, make sounds, etc. Manipulative play (hyperlink a https://blog.kinedu.com/object-manipulation-learning-how-the-world-works-part-2/) fosters your little one’s sense of exploration and new forms of communication.
- Magic tricks: Show her some magic tricks and allow her to explore the materials. She will love the element of surprise and start exercising her cause and effect abilities.
Remember to have fun with her and color outside the lines together! You can also help her develop a more flexible mindset by not restricting her surroundings.
Whole Child Parenting by The Whole Child Parenting Program was consulted.