I honestly cannot believe it’s September already. The summer just flew by this year at lightning speed. As sad as I am about warm weather coming to an end, I am so excited for knits and layers and pumpkin spice lattes! Plus September means back-to-school, which is extra exciting (and nerve wracking!) for us this year as Isabelle is starting junior kindergarten next week. (Don’t even get me started on how in the world I have a kindergarten-aged kid when it feels like just yesterday that she was a teeny tiny babe… insert ugly crying emoji.)
With the change in seasons also comes a renewed focus on learning. Isabelle is at that age where she wants to learn absolutely everything about everything, which I love so much. (Except when I don’t know the answer to one of her many questions. Good thing for Google, right?) If you’ve got a preschooler who is the same, here are 5 tips to help foster that curiosity at home.
[ 1 ] Get cooking
Kids learn well through concrete experiences and what better experience than cooking or baking? You get to prepare meals and your preschooler gets to learn in a fun, hands-on environment. Cooking helps kids learn in so many different ways – they hone their fine-motor skills through mixing and pouring, they learn to read by looking at recipes, and they learn the basics of chemistry (e.g. what happens when you heat a solid) and math (e.g. learning fractions through measuring ingredients).
[ 2 ] Get artsy
Any form of art helps foster learning – whether it’s painting, crafting, modelling with play-doh, singing, playing an instrument, you name it. All of these activities have one thing in common: they help kids tap into the creative side of their brains. Arts and crafts can also help with science lessons: learning what happens when you mix colours or mix certain household products (e.g. mixing flour and water to create glue).
[ 3 ] Get reading
Reading is such an important part of growing up. Books help kids develop a positive imagination and creative thinking – skills that will help them throughout their adult life. Creating good reading habits start when kids are young, which will in turn help them become strong readers and students when they are older.
[ 4 ] Get outdoors
Nature is essentially one big playground for kids to learn and grow. Going on a walk to learn about plants and animals, planting a vegetable garden in the backyard to learn about how things grow, heading to your local pool to learn to swim, grabbing a ball to improve hand-eye-coordination and muscle strength – the possibilities to learn in nature are endless. On top of all that, heading outdoors means getting some exercise, and staying active is essential for a healthy body and mind.
[ 5 ] Get techy
Technology can be such a great tool for learning. They key is moderation and finding great interactive opportunities that are age-appropriate for your kids. One of my favourite learning tools for preschoolers is LeafFrog Academy, which is an online guided learning program comprised of a series of learning adventures. It’s designed for kids aged 3-6, which is perfect for Isabelle right now as she heads into her first year of kindergarten. LeapFrog Academy offers more than 1,000 activities covering a wide variety of subjects and skills (reading, math, science, and creativity, to name a few). The program adapts to each child’s progress, which means it will automatically offer up new content based on their learning level.
If you want to give LeapFrog Academy a try (which I highly recommend!), you can now get it preloaded on the new LeapFrog Epic Academy edition (we have the pink!), including a free 3-month trial (you can purchase it at Toys R Us). Once the trial is up, it’s only $7.99 per month afterwards, which is honestly such a great deal for the number of learning activities kids have at their disposal within this program.
What are some of your favourite ways to help your preschooler learn at home?
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by LeapFrog Canada. All thoughts and opinions are my own.