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Teaching Young Children Through Work and Play - All about Parenting Toddlers , Issue #009
April 10, 2003
Shaping the life of your precious onesAll about Parenting Toddlers
9th April 2003
In This Issue:
1. Teaching Young Children Through Work and Play
We all know the importance of play for young children but we may have overlook how meaningful work can also nurture development.
Young children flourish when allowed to enter the world of real work that surrounds them - from picking up toys or feeding the cat to grating carrots for salad. In the company of family or other adults, children eagerly engage in work. They want to 'help' with the pursuits of adults, and this work can be a crucial part of their early learning.
If you shield young children from a whole category of activity simply because it is called 'work' and not 'play,' you may be limiting their developmental opportunities. On the other hand, if you invite children to participate in work and play, you give them many more ways to grow and learn.
Through work that is meaningful and a real contribution to the family or group, even young children can gain a sense of purpose, and come to feel more a part of the family. With proper adult supervision, there are many types of chores that families can consider for young children, which can help them begin learning about responsibility, independence and caring for themselves. Here are a few examples:
Gathering, preparing, and cooking food
Caring for younger children
Caring for animals
In all of these activities, it's important to remember several points:
- Keep in mind what your children can accomplish, and how much you need to supervise to make sure the activity is safe.
- Even young children can tell the difference between busy work and real work.
- Also, remember that many chores actually take longer with the help of young children, but a little patience and a few extra minutes lets them reap real benefits from assisting the family.
By matching your expectations to their abilities, encouraging and approving their efforts, and allowing plenty of time for the performance of each task, you can give your young children many opportunities to learn and grow through work.
Excerpted from "More Than Line Leader and Door Holder: Engaging Young Children in Real Work," by Christine A. Readdick and Kathy Douglas - an article in the NAEYC journal, Young Children.
Teach Me, I'm Yours - by Joan Bramsch
Some creative tips to encourage milk drinking in children
PICTURE this: "Tommy please come here and drink your milk!" cajoles his mother for the umpteenth time. When Tommy can no longer run away from mummy’s clutches, he will either reluctantly drink the milk, moaning and groaning all the way; drink a bit and pour the rest away when mummy turns her head; or rant and rave hoping to get away without drinking his milk.
I am sure your child does that to you, too. These days, with so many types of drinks in the market that are a whole lot more exciting than “plain old milk”, one can hardly blame children for not wanting to drink milk. Milk inadvertently ends up being last on the list of preferred beverages.
Yes, as parents we have heard it many times: milk supplies all the essential nutrients needed by our children and it’s probably the best beverage for them. But think about it, just because milk serves to build strong bones, helps in brain development, aids in growth of body tissues, and has many other benefits, do our children really understand all this or even bother at their young age?
So parents, you are in quite a dilemma, but all is not lost. As in all things, there are ways to get around the problem.
Make milk more creative to get children interested.
Put on your creative caps, aprons and think about this? Why not make your child's milk drinking a fun and tasty activity for them?
How do you do that? Here are some simple yet creative ways of convincing your child to drink milk. Your children are going to enjoy these simple yet nutritious delights. Furthermore, you can even involve your kids in the preparation and spend quality time with them.
Insert a toothpick into each triangle to make little sails and add them to the top of your boats.
Be sure to put on a blue plate to create a water affect. Watch the children dive in.
These four recommended recipes will tempt your child's palate. They certainly won’t claim that milk is boring anymore.
How to become parents of readers
WHAT are the secrets of parents whose children are avid readers? What do they do that sets their children off on a life-long love affair with words and books?
Preparation and accessibility
Readers themselves, they read to their kids
Parents of readers are excited about books and give them as special gifts – they are desirable, anticipated with eagerness. The child catches this enthusiasm.
Parents of readers talk about books and the child sees a strong connection between the world of the book, and the ideas and feelings inside a person. What a critical realisation this is in the development of reading motivation – “Books have ideas inside them. They make me happy or sad, angry or giggly”.
Parents of readers read to and with their children, making reading a warm, loving and joyful experience. It is this feeling that keeps children connected to books and reading. Also, children have rich imaginations well before they read independently. It is vitally important to keep that imagination alive by sharing books with them; the death of imagination is the sure death of reading motivation.
Writing and communicating
Let the children have their very own books
So there we have it: how to turn your children into devourers of books, assimilators of ideas. How many of these habits do we have? What does it take to build all these habits into our own lives and busy schedules? Is it possible? Practical? Absolutely.
Get 5 books for $2, plus a FREE gift and give your children the best reading choices at Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club®. Click for details.
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See you in the next issue. :-)
All the best,
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