This weeks #steammsunday isn’t an activity. For you parents it’s something to think about and perhaps begin to integrate into your week if you feel it’s right for you. The language and actions we present as parents. A lot comes down to you as a parent and how you guide your little one.
These are my top tips and hopefully little elements for you to add in;
Being conscious of how you speak to your little one. Giving them language which speaks about their actions rather than them as a person. Avoid using “good girl/boy” if possible, it tells them that them as a person is good/bad, rather than the action they’ve just done. By separating the child and the behaviour, you’re able to guide their actions without telling your child THEY are good/bad inherently.
“You worked so hard building that tower, did you enjoy making it?”
“It’s such a shame your tower fell down when you pushed it, perhaps you could build it again?”
“I’m not sure George is ready to stop playing with the blocks yet, I can see you’re feeling frustrated. We can ask him to give them to you when he’s done perhaps?”
If they’re set on an activity and not ready to move on, guide their play by describing what you see. Imagine you’re picked up and dragged away from something you’re not quite finished with, rightly you’d be pretty grumpy too! Allow your little one the time to master the skill they’re working on, if they’re in a flow you’re in a great place to extend their learning.
“I see you’ve used the block there, is that a wall?”
“I wonder how your cup will fit under that tap, lets see”
“Look at the way your fingers grab the play dough, can you make it look like a hand?”
Or if it’s time to leave or finish a session try giving them a 5 minute warning to begin bringing their play to an end. They’ll gain a sense of control by ending the activity themself rather than being told to stop. Potentially avoiding meltdowns.
“Just to let you know the session is finishing in 5 minutes, where shall we go next?”
“Our class is due to finish in 5 minutes, is there anything else you’d like to play with before we leave today?”
Putting your child at the centre of their own learning journey. When a child has a say in what they want to explore, the likelihood is that they’re more likely to be engaged and ready to learn. HOWEVER this comes with a word of caution. You as a parent have a duty to your little one. Would they be happy watching TV eating ice cream all day? Probably, but are they going to be progressing in their life? I’m being overly dramatic of course, but the point still stands; children don’t know what they don’t know.
Presenting children with options and choices to guide their learning and interests gives you a great opportunity to broaden their world. Give them the options to choose from and let them feel some autonomy in their learning journey.
There’s so much to consider day to day when you’re a parent. Loving our children unconditionally will always be number 1. They’re incredible little souls, just waiting for each opportunity to grow. This week, pick one thing to try if it feels right for you. Let me know how you get on.