We love exposing our son to the arts and ways for him to use his imagination. Arts is an area of focus that seems to be underestimated in the value it brings to toddlers and young children in general. It encourages self-esteem, imagination, creativity, logical thinking and self-expression. Art can be a way of expanding literacy and comprehension and improve overall development and ways of children to use in expressing themselves.
In addition to scheduling time for our son to have arts and crafts activities at home we intentionally seek out opportunities to him to be exposed to art in other environments. There are lots of events in our area that are free, some that have minimal costs and some that may have membership fee requirements. We cover all the choices for him to be engaged in those activities and the one that has been most beneficial is the membership we have with the museum. The main benefit we love with the membership is that he can visit the museum 2-3 times a week and he can’t get enough because there are always new exhibits monthly.
He is able to use his imagination in and engage in some of the following creative ways: Ride a subway, design toys, animals or structures out of recycled materials, visit a cave and discover a dig in ArtScapes. Problem solving in water flow at the water table, play drums in kaleidoscope designed room that spins around, STOMP to the rhythm, build sand sculptures and recycled puppets in GreenScapes. Learn about faraway customs in CultureScapes. Explore the world of Alice in WonderScapes. He is able to create a masterpiece in every gallery.
We encourage our toddler to be interactive when we visit museums, art displays or read books that are from far off places and tells stories that they would not encounter in his environment. We are patient with him and allow him to make up his own stories based on what he interprets the visual means to him. Thought it is very hard, we don’t critique his artwork and say they are wrong in what he is making. We expect it to be messy and plan on everything getting covered with whatever he is using. Whoever at Crayola came up with washable paints and other washable coloring tools deserve my gratitude and a raise.
All the best until next time.
One of the areas we started to focus on with RJ early is his problem solving skills. He loves to work with puzzles and put thing together. Whether it was building blocks, putting together puzzles, building a toy, putting his Thomas train tracks together or with his playing cards he loves the challenge and always comes away with a new experience. We love that he is eager to learn and will challenge us if he thinks we don’t know the answer. His saying is “you didn’t know that”. We have been wrong at times and we can see how his self esteem continues to grow.
Another source we use for RJ’s development is interactive learning games on his tablet. He loves playing and learning on the tablet with the memory games, puzzles and other word and color games. We generally schedule for him to play with his tablet for designated periods after school or other times and find ourselves giving him extra time to play these games because he is having a great learning experience.
Some of the benefits of playing with puzzles and interactive games is that it builds and improves children’s: Problem Solving, Cognitive Skills, Motor Development, Hand and Eye Coordination, Social and Self Esteem.
What are some unique ideas you have used to help improve your child or children’s problem solving and cognitive development?
Here is a site that I have found as a resource. Hope you will be able to check it out. http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/stages-milestones/cognitive-development-3-5-year-olds
All the best until next time!
We were looking for additional learning resource with structure to introduce S.T.E.M. to our 4-year-old son. His older sister found Let’s Learn: S.T.E.M 1 & 2 and we love it. Our son has been glued to the videos and can’t get enough. He watches the DVD’s in the car, at home and asks for quiet time while viewing. We lucked out and found the double DVD set at Walmart for $12.98. They are usually retail for $8.98 each.
This Nickelodeon DVD set is the perfect STEM set for both boys and girls!
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education. It focuses on these areas together not only because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success, but also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the real world and in how students learn most effectively.
Let’s Learn: S.T.E.M. includes the following episodes: (Excerpts from Nick)
Blaze and the Monster Machines – Tool Duel
“Crusher steals all of Gabby’s tools, and Blaze must help her retrieve them so she can repair the Monster Machines.”
PAW Patrol – Pups Save an Ace/Pups Save the Wedding
“Skye and the Pups must save a stunt pilot and her plane; the Pups help Farmer Yumi prepare for her wedding day.”
Bubble Guppies – Build Me a Building
“The Bubble Guppies learn about construction while building a doghouse for Bubble Puppy.”
Team Umizoomi – Let’s Play Math Dragons
“The team goes into the video game “Math Dragons”. In order to win, they must collect three dragon eggs before they fall into traps. ”
Dora the Explorer – School Science Fair
“Dora and her new friend Emma are going to the school science fair with their model volcano. ”
Blue’s Clues – Contraptions
“Joe makes a crayon slide; everyone makes a contraption with a different function.”
All the best until next time.