How to Give Young Children a Great Start

How to Give Young Children a Great Start

You don’t need a curriculum or flashcards to “prepare” your preschooler or kindergartner for the learning to come. Children are always learning, and what they need most in the early years is open-ended exploration and hands-on activities. There are lots of excellent educational toys, devices, and media aimed at preschoolers, but you can do just as well with classic playthings, everyday objects, and lots of time to explore and observe the rest of the family in their daily tasks. Here are some suggestions for great ways to help your young children learn and grow at home.

It seems like in the U.S., kids are under pressure to begin reading almost as soon as they can talk. Meanwhile, in other parts of the world children don’t begin academics until age seven, and still manage to get a good education. The point of introducing young children to books is not to get them to read earlier, but for the many other wonderful things they can learn. When you read to children — and talk about the things you are reading — they become familiar with the printed page, the structure of traditional stories, and how to use language to create emotion. Picture books also expose young kids to great art and visual storytelling.