There’s so much for your little one to learn about. Now that Junior is older, he can explore even more complex activities that will see him pretending to be a chef or maybe even exploring the great outdoors on this tricycle. With some planning and imagination, get ready for some fun!
WORDS CINDY KRISTEN
The world is so magnificently big and there are a myriad of things waiting for us to explore. Children need to be given a chance to step into the world of unknowns and go on an exciting physical journey to learn more about their surroundings.
No idea where to start? Read on about the various types of exploration as well as suggestions on the possible activities that you can engage in with your lil’ ones!
Singapore is a gastronomic heaven and we are often spoilt for choices as there are so many delectable local dishes that suit different palates. Why deprive your children of the chance to get a piece of heaven? Take them on a food expedition around Singapore, from the hawker centres in the suburban areas to the high-end restaurants (if your pockets permit). Many of us are not adventurous when it comes to food and we tend to reach for familiar dishes that we love dearly. This suggestion is not only for children but for adults as well: Go adventurous on the food and be sure to add more to your long list of favourite foods.
Some parents restrict their children’s diet and refuse to let them try foods that are unhealthy. Many of you probably face this dilemma: As much as you want your lil precious ones to explore the things around them fully, you wouldn’t want to expose them to harm. However, if your children do not have any food allergy, it is perhaps okay to let them try new dishes once in a while. Remember, the more you confine them in their protective shell, the more they would want to break free from it.
As much as you wish to let your loved ones roam about in the park freely, you cannot disregard the fact that there are dangers lurking out there and it is only natural for you to be protective of your children. However, who says that you cannot be involved in your children’s exploration process? You could be their guardian angel while they venture into the natural environment and explore the different habitats of the flora and fauna around them.
If possible, let your children run about freely but keep a close eye on them and
ensure that they are not too far away from you.
You could also grab your spade and dig through the soil for earthworms and let them wriggle on your children’s palms. There are so many things that your children could do to align themselves with nature.
Exploration through Imaginative Play
We have all been through this. You will be hit by a wave of nostalgia when you come across the words, “masak masak”. Children in this generation are not any different. They enjoy immersing themselves in different roles and engaging in “pretend play” by themselves or with their peers.
However, these days, children are constantly glued to their gadgets and do not spend enough time exploring their imagination and creativity. You should provide your children with opportunities and tools for imaginative play rather than only feeding them with the latest devices in the market. This would allow them to build their language, social and problem-solving skills. You could even join them in their mini role-play! Offer to be a patron in their make-believe restaurant or a patient at their clinic. You will be surprised at the amount of knowledge they possess for the various occupations!
Exploration through Inquiry-based Learning
If your children are curious about something, encourage them to form questions on a topic of their interest and conduct an investigation to find out the answers. This promotes a more authentic learning experience for them and it facilitates better knowledge retention.
Rather than telling your children about the life cycle of a frog,
buy them a tadpole and teach them how to raise it. Tell them to
document the growth of the tadpole in their notebook and
observe the changes in its appearance.
Children are very inquisitive and they would always ask “Why this? Why that?” Instead of showering them with answers, tell them to explore the answers on their own. However, be sure to guide them through the exploration process! You would not want to leave them hanging there.
Advice for Mums and Dads
Preschoolers are at the age where they are constantly curious about everything they see and they yearn to find out more about the things around them. As parents, try to create moments of exploration for them to spice up their childhood. Give them the opportunity to explore the limitless possibilities and unleash their hidden potentials. You will never know what amazing people they would become with the enhanced experience that you provide for them. What are you waiting for? It’s time for them to explore!