Why can’t children sit still? It’s warm, you’re tired, all the kids want to do is get up and go all the time. We’ve all been there. But it is only natural, and there is a reason for this. (And no, the answer is not because they have ants in their pants!!!)
Children learn through doing and they want to be active. They also have a natural desire to learn. Thus children want to explore and be active and will learn through many practical experiences.
There are many theories to support the claim that children learn through doing and many schools and teachers have thankfully adopted this approach. I encourage this love and provision of practical activity in the home too.
Just like the Chinese proverb tells us:
I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
In my experience it is true that children will learn from the experiences we provide for them and most certainly learn best when they are actively involved.
Quality experiences lead to quality learning. Play indoors and out. Provide movement and engaging practical and fun activities you can both be involved in. Look on the bright side for yourself too. With plenty of exercise for a few hours each day, which children need, they will tire out and thus a restful evening for all.
Fun ideas to encourage practical activity (inside or outside)
Hide some objects (clues are optional depending on your time) and have fun finding them. Engage in plenty of discussion about where they are looking and where they found objects. This will support your child’s language development and simple directional understandings.
2. Build a tent / hut
Build a tent or hut and solve the problems together. Talk about the materials and simple properties such as waterproof, transparent. This investigative style of learning is fabulous as it encourages the child’s natural curiosities and desire to explore.
Think back to when you were a child. Where are most of your memories? Are you sitting still and being told something or are you actively involved doing something? What is your first memory of something really cool that you learned?