The early years are a critical time in a child’s development. Here at LAPMS we like to partner with our parents in their child’s education. Here are some tips that you may like to try with your child over the winter break.
- Encourage Independence
Our Montessori program helps to foster independence from an early age, and parents can help reinforce and build independence at home.
- Avoid jumping in and doing something for your child that they can do themselves
- Allow your child to make choices about what to wear, which book to read, which piece of fruit to eat
- Allow your child to take the lead during a play date and encourage imaginative and creative play
- Encourage your child to put away toys, take care of a pet, help set the table
- Read – Read – Read!
Read to your child every single day! Reading together creates a special bond, helps to develop language skills, and engenders a lifetime love of reading!
- Make it a special, uninterrupted time with you so your child looks forward to it
- If your child asks you to read to them, drop everything you are doing, and spend quality time together
- Build a home library with a variety of quality books, easily accessible to your child, so they can select a book whenever they choose
- Visit the library often and enroll in story time sessions. Allow your child to choose books to bring home and create positive associations with reading time
- Experience Nature and the Outdoors
Studies show that children who play outside are happier, more attentive, and less anxious. Children nowadays are spending an inordinate amount of time in front of a screen, and too little time outdoors experiencing nature. Nature creates a sense of wonder and encourages exploration and stimulates the imagination.
- Plant a garden together
- Take a hike or visit the beach
- Visit a farm or petting zoo
- Plan a “nature” treasure hunt outside
Play is essential to a child’s development and ability to bond, and helps foster skills in sharing, problem-solving and working in groups. It also helps to develop fine and gross motor skills, socialization skills and to communicate emotions effectively.
- Set aside individual time to play with your child, making it fun and engaging with lots of laughter
- Family board games teaches children sequencing, how to take turns, and how to win and lose
- Play or listen to a variety of music together – listen and identify patterns or rhythms in the music and sing along together!
- Allow play to be spontaneous and led by the child; this helps develop confidence, autonomy, and self-esteem
- Build a Daily Routine
Young children thrive on structure and consistency, and a regular routine helps them to feel secure and to know what is expected of them. Studies show that routines help to support social and emotional development and self-regulation skills in early childhood.
- Establish a consistent daily routine and set a schedule for mealtimes, nap times, reading and creative outdoor play
- Associate reading time with bedtime – a nightly routine creates a positive association of quality time with parents, and makes reading feel like a reward
- Establish routines and transitions: 5 minutes to leave the park, crossing the road safely, bedtime routine, transitioning from school to home
- Use routines to teach social skills: talking, taking turns, learning to wait, greetings and good-byes
Our time with young children is precious, and at LAPMS we are here to be of service to our parent community!