This is a partnered post.
Most parents are aware of the importance of reading to their children, teaching them basic manners, and encouraging them to play well with others. But even when you aren’t trying, your little tiny tots are acting like sponges, and learning about the world around them in more ways than you can possibly imagine. With this in mind, here are a few ways your kids learn life skills that might well be surprising for you.
These days, a lot of parents feel under pressure to make sure their kids are doing something exciting or exciting every second of the day. However, allowing your babies and toddlers to experience boredom is not actually a bad thing at all. In fact, child psychologists are convinced that doing nothing is essential – and productive – for your kids. It gives them the opportunity to see the world at their own pace, start imaginative play, and even start developing interests. So, be wary of filling every day of the calendar with entertainment – your kids, just like you do, also need time to themselves.
Eating in the high chair.
When you ask yourself which high chair would you buy, education probably isn’t anywhere near your reasoning. But it should be. Once kids start sitting in their chairs and feeding themselves, they are also learning through play and visceral experience. Yes, it’s messy – but there is a point to that mess. The smearing, mushing, and throwing everywhere is all part of their way of exploring new things, and, even more surprisingly, kids that play with their food often grow up to have excellent vocabularies.
It’s not just eating food that makes your toddlers messy, of course. They love mud, dirt, and mess of all varieties. And while it’s important to make sure your little ones are clean and healthy, there is no harm in allowing them to get filthy every so often. Not only can dirt help with the immune system, but it also teaches your children conceptual ideas about the world in general. In real life, the decisions you have to make are rarely clear-cut – most things are ambiguous, and there is no certifiable correct answer to most questions. And believe t or not, all that messy play helps your children understand it a lot sooner than kids that are wrapped up in cotton wool.
Playing with pets
If you bring kids up around animals and domestic pets from a young age, they will start learning a lot about the natural world and the environment. Encourage them to get involved with caring for the pets, too. Toddlers will love to help you feed them, and bringing them along for a walk with the dog is an excellent way for them to start feeling responsible, too. As they get older, your toddlers and little babies will end up being mindful, appreciative, and protective of wildlife and the environment as a whole.
So, there you have it – everything is a learning experience for your tiniest tots, even when you don’t realize it. Do you have any more to add?