Spaghetti Box Kids

Strategies, Tips and Activities for Learning

learning through play

Search the world over and you will not find a better resource than playtime to guide and strengthen your child's ability to learn. . .

Your child comes prepared everyday to absorb the wonderful benefits of playtime. Your job is to be ready. Think in terms of lifestyle. Have a plan.

Good playtime activities are not emotionally intoxicating. Rather, they are fun for your child because she is registering intrinsic rewards as she advances her skills and understanding.

It is often said that reading opens up worlds. It is more accurate to say that reading opens up drawers: it offers what is necessary to get by on a daily basis. It’s the love of reading that opens up worlds. The same principle applies to learning.

If you make good old-fashioned activities the preferred recreation in your house, your child’s ability to focus and learn will flourish. That’s worth more than boasting she learned her ABC’s at 2 ½.

In the long run, a healthy diet of imaginative play will strengthen your child’s ability to tackle difficult, non-linear problems both academically and in the real world.

There is no replacement for spending good, quality time with your child. It assists her in focusing on a single idea, event or activity.

When your child is coloring, for example, that’s the most important thing in the world to her. It’s not often that we, as adults, can say that something we’re doing is the most important thing in the world to us. But your child is at eye level with an activity, zeroed in, considering the possibilities. That’s a powerful resource to have on your side, if you see it that way.

If your goal is for your child to reach your abilities, you’re missing the point. Right where your answers are withheld is right where your child will pass you up.

If you think your child is too young to learn to play rummy, then start with go fish. By the weekend she’ll know how to play rummy.

Parable: the more candy is around, the more eating healthy becomes one big burden.

Ideas perform better in reasonably calm conditions. That's why so many people study at libraries.

If you take curiosity out of learning, you’re left with memorization. By contrast: when curiosity is present, learning becomes personal. Emotions are attached to information. Personality takes shape.

If you don’t think it’s possible, what do you suppose your child will think?

A secret to keeping pace with your child’s development---that is, allowing your child's curiosity, interest and motivation to rise to their natural level---is to forget about the age factor. Think instead of the skill factor. What is your child capable of right now?

Your child has almost no chance of learning how to play checkers, chess, chinese checkers, mancala or othello by herself.

The best part about parenting is being there.

Children have an extraordinary capacity and desire to learn. It only stands to reason that we would want to fill their environment with great activities--in particular: the ones you don't have to plug in. The ones that run on imagination.

There’s a considerable difference between learning skills and learning information. Learning skills speak to ability, capacity, limitation. How will your child use, interpret and organize information—now and for a lifetime? If you’re not sure which activities build learning skills, stick with simple—simple activities usually require the greatest level of creative participation.

(Speaking of habits---) With simple activities, there is no mistaking the source of stimulus. Your child is at the helm, creating, imagining and exploring possibilities---things she can do anytime, under any circumstances. With electronic gadgetry, the gadget is always required.

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of self-motivated learning. Why? Because it’s habitual. It shows up again and again. Where does it start? Playtime: when a child enjoys advancing the meaning of the task at hand.

What do you do when your child passes you up in an area--in mathematics for example? Ask lots of questions.

Homework for parents: Invent an art project that uses letters.

I read somewhere long ago that it's better not to rush to a crying baby in the night. Rather, it's preferable to let the infant at least briefly experience how to independently cope with the event. The same principal applies to boredom.

Your child's favorite activity makes an excellent reward.

Toys are nothing more than activities. They’re side by side with charades, coloring, reading, mazes, puzzles, rock-paper-scissors, card games, painting, rhyming, measuring, sorting, etc.

A useful strategy is to shift the focus from toys to activities. Now the question is: what activity is this item capable of generating? From this view, almost anything can become a toy.

Counting is an activity. It starts in the toddler years. When does it end? Some of the world's leading mathematicians are still advancing theories of numbers. The point is that the activity doesn't necessarily have to be new—just the perspective.

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