Keeping students engaged and motivated as they learn isn’t an easy experience.
Even if you’re an amazing teacher, they lose focus quickly, and it’s easy for valuable lessons to go un-absorbed.
While adults and older students can have a hard time learning, making learning fun for very young kids is particularly challenging.
The Challenge of Teaching Young Kids
Young children have very short attention spans. They’re still moving through a period of their lives when they’re exploring and getting to know the world around them.
Complicated lesson plans simply won’t appeal to younger children.
These youngsters need to learn through play, variety, and a wide range of unique experiences.
It’s also worth noting that school isn’t the only place where learning takes place. When your child is at home, you’ll be acting as his or her teacher.
During the early years, parents have a fantastic opportunity to introduce their children to new and exciting things.
Here’s how you can make learning fun for your younger kids.
#1 Give Them Plenty of Choices
Kids often have a lot of routines baked into their schedules.
From an early age, it’s often a good idea to make sure that your children are waking up at the same time, going to bed at the same time, and even eating at specific moments of the day.
However, this focus on schedule can become exhausting and monotonous for children in a learning environment.
Offering choices is a great way to help your children feel more passionate about what they’re doing.
Letting students pick what they want to learn about each day will give them a sense of ownership over their experiences.
For instance, you might ask your child if they’re going to spend some time learning in the kitchen, the garden, or the living room today.
You could also ask them if they want to learn about colors, shapes, or sounds.
#2 Tailor the Lesson to the Student
Every child is different. Your child will have their own unique attention span, and you’ll need to structure your lesson accordingly.
For instance, you might have the most attention from your youngster early in the morning, before the food from their lunch makes them want to take a nap.
Alternatively, you might find that they pick up new ideas better later in the day.
Build your lessons around the student you’re accommodating.
While you’re at it, remember that many young children like to feel a sense of accomplishment when they learn something new.
Find ways to reward your child for their hard work by celebrating together with a little dance, some positive reinforcement, or even a big hug.
Your child will let you know how they prefer to celebrate.
#3 Make Learning Practical
Practical knowledge is often more important than theoretical knowledge throughout our lives. This starts when we’re young, and we want to learn through action.
Younger children don’t want to listen to their parents telling them about numbers and shapes, they want to explore those things for themselves.
From birth, babies and toddlers love getting their hands on things and exploring different shapes and textures, use that fact to your advantage when it comes to teaching your little one.
With that in mind, find ways to bring as much touch and play into the lesson as possible.
For instance, if you’re teaching a young child about sounds, you could use farm animals and get the child to match a picture of the animal to the respective noise that they make.
There are plenty of fun and practical learning tools out there today that make this kind of education easy.
Even a basic wooden block game where a child places a shape into the right hole can help them to learn while doing.
#4 Explore Different Mediums
Classic educational toys are great for introducing very young children to new concepts – but they’re far from the only thing available to parents and teachers today.
The rise of new technology means that we can teach younger children in a host of exciting ways.
For instance, you could introduce your child to new concepts through videos and cartoons you can watch on YouTube Kids.
Even better, you can teach them valuable lessons with educational apps you can install on your smartphone or tablet.
There are hundreds of apps out there today that can teach your child everything from basic spelling to counting skills and so much more.
Many of the apps available today are custom-made to suit children of specific ages, so you can download new games as your child grows.
#5 Pay Attention to Their Interests
Finally, make sure that you’re paying attention to the kind of lessons that your children enjoy the most.
Some children will be naturally drawn to spelling and numbers, whereas others will prefer music and science experiments.
Even at a very young age, your child can begin to show you the interests that may guide them through their lives.
Paying attention to these interests and nurturing them ensures that your child will feel comfortable embracing their passions as they get older.
As you work on helping your child to learn, remember to give them the freedom to explore and try new things for themselves.
Let them choose the next video they want to watch after you’re finished with your daily lesson, even if it’s not relevant to the subject you were covering that day.
A little freedom can go a long way.
Remember: Everyone Learns Differently
In their early years, children are constantly learning. They absorb everything around them. They’re beginning to understand their place in the world around them and discovering endless new things about life.
Parents have a unique opportunity at this stage in their child’s life to give them a head-start on their formal education with some interesting educational strategies.
Remember that everyone learns differently, and your young child will need a different kind of education.
Follow the advice above and create a fun and engaging environment where your little one can embrace learning as something awesome and exciting.