As a new parent we are bombarded these days with the importance of ‘tummy time’ ‘story time’ ‘rhyme time’ ‘play time’ time time time! Parenting has become a compartmentalised agenda but why?
Why do we need to plan our day with our children as if it were a schedule. Our children are in a continuous learning cycle whether we plan for it or not. It is our job, however, as parents to provide a Onlinewirtschaft: play and learning enriched environment for our wholesale jerseys little ones and to also take the ‘time’ ourselves to observe and realise the wonders of learning are intertwined with the wonders of play. To see that these wonders are occurring naturally, effortlessly and incidentally through the curiosity, exploration and wonders of our children.
For example earlier this week the Hurricane was ‘helping’ me in the kitchen, we had been baking (another fantasticway of learning through play but I will go into detail on that later) and it was time to wash up. As I loaded the dishes into the sink and started to run the water he hurriedly ran to get his bathroom step and excitedly jumped up on it. He then began playing with empty bowls, bottles and canisters. There was splashing and stirring, bubbles and dripping, pouring and filling all the key elements of a structured water play learning activity but the beauty was I hadn’t planned it! Using his own curiosity and ingenuity the Hurricane had taken a tedious, mundane chore and turned it into a fascinating and enriching activity.
As a teacher looking in too it ticked all the boxes of an educational experience, there was copious wholesale jerseys amounts of chatter describing the tactile stimuli he was feeling (English), pouring, filling, floating, sinking (Mathematics) bubbles, hot and cold, motion and movement (science, design & technology) and just for good measure we started from singing songs and rhymes about water and boats which heaven forbid were not in the stipulated rhyme time allotment for the day!
What a moment! He left happy as a pig in mud and I left feeling like super mum for something I didn’t actually plan to do!
The trick is to see these opportunities and just go with it. Yes there will be mess and I have many mummy friends out there that struggle with that, me included! But remember mess can be cleaned up. Just breathe and try to look past the chaos and focus and be present in the moment with your little one. It’s what your child takes away from it that’s important!
Please don’t get me wrong Test tummy time for your infant is important, but why does tummy time, reading time, song time Welcome! etc have to be a strategically planned action for the day. My little ray of sunshine is 6 months old now and happily rolling etc so yes when she wakes I put her on her play mat and she puts herself on her tummy but as a younger baby time on her stomach was just a normal action for the small parts of the day she was awake, she would be on her back, she’d squark so I’d put her on her tummy, she’d squark again I’d flip her back, it was more to keep her entertained if anything. On that note too entertaining your baby does not need to cost an arm and a leg and does not need to involve flashing lights, whizzing and buzzing loud noises or cheap jerseys a robot voice speaking to them from a plastic toy that when they push the bright button it lights up with a whiz and a bang.
As one of my favourite early childhood specialists, Maggie Dent (if you don’t follow her you really should) once said, a baby will easily be entertained by staring at a light bulb!
Your baby is learning environmentally by what’s going on around them, yes on their play mat give them points of curiosity, tactile toys they can pick Het up and play with, but their most important learning tool is you. You talking, you singing, what you are doing is their experience and these things are continuous, you are continually talking to or around your baby, when you’re changing a nappy or playing in the bath sing and rhyme don’t block out a time for it, if they are fussing when you’re busy cooking bring them into the kitchen with you and let them watch what you do. It is the best and most enriching gift of learning you can give them.
We get so caught up on what is expected of us as a parent to provide for our child that we are missing the joy and the wonder of being in the moment fully with your child as they play, learn and grow. Stop worrying, stop compartmentalising and cheap jerseys just be. Be with your kids, be open minded and opportunistic and see the active learning they are constructing all by themselves. They really are amazing.