The Benefits of Making Learning Fun continued
Modern brain research concludes that fun is a requirement for true learning and for remembering information long-term. When we have fun: oxygen, dopamine and endorphins increase. We are more alert and information is stored as positive emotional events and more easily recovered by our memory system.
"The highest-level executive thinking,[the] making of connections, and “aha” moments are more likely to occur in an atmosphere of exuberant discover.” (Valerie Strauss 2010).
"Optimal brain activation occurs when subjects are in positive emotional states or when the material holds personal meaning, connects to their interests, is presented with elements of novelty, or evokes wonder. This is why attentiveness is so closely linked to positive emotional cueing and personal meaning. When there is connection to prior knowledge or positive emotional experience, new information passage through the limbic system will be enhanced. The thalamus will then “decide” to pay attention to the information." (Judy Willis, 2006)
When kids are experiencing stress, it affects their ability to focus and to learn. Fun leads to engagement, meaning, purpose and to real learning.
The Importance Of Reading To Children When They Are Young continued
One of the best parts about our game, BubbleTrails is the bedtime story, "The Girl Who Would Never Take a Bath." This story about Jessie and her Golden Retriever Riley, makes kids want to run from the bath and jump into bed to hear an enchanted story about a young girl growing up in the country with many animals, fields to run in and ponds where she can swim and skate. Jessie dreams of a magical encounter with a princess, pirate bubbles, a pirate ship and Bubble Island. She wakes up clean and no one can explain why.
Check out this article from the Early Moments website.
You can find this article and more here
"10 Reasons Why You Should Read To Your Kids"
"What’s the most important trait you’d like to develop in your child? If you’re like most parents, intelligence is probably at the top of your list. We all want bright, smart children, which is why we spend so much time choosing the right schools and making sure teachers are exceeding expectations. But remember: as a parent, you have the power to boost your children's learning potential simply by making books an integral part of their lives.
We all know reading to our kids is a good thing—but are you familiar with the specific advantages your toddler or preschool-age child can receive by being exposed to the merits of reading? Below are some benefits that highlight the importance of reading to your child between the ages of two and five.
1.) A stronger relationship with you
As your child grows older, he’ll be on the move—playing, running, and constantly exploring his environment. Snuggling up with a book lets the two of you slow down and recaptures that sweet, cuddly time you enjoyed when he was a baby. Instead of being seen as a chore or a task, reading will become a nurturing activity that will bring the two of you closer together.
2.) Academic excellence
One of the primary benefits of reading to toddlers and preschoolers is a higher aptitude for learning in general. Numerous studies have shown that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well in all facets of formal education. After all, if a student struggles to put together words and sentences, how can he be expected to grasp the math, science, and social concepts he’ll be presented with when he begins elementary school?
3.) Basic speech skills
Throughout toddlerhood and preschool, your child is learning critical language and enunciation skills. By listening to you read One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, your child is reinforcing the basic sounds that form language. “Pretend reading”—when a toddler pages through a book with squeals and jabbers of delight—is a very important pre-literacy activity. As a preschooler, your child will likely begin sounding out words on his own.
4.) The basics of how to read a book.
Children aren’t born with an innate knowledge that text is read from left to right, or that the words on a page are separate from the images. Essential pre-reading skills like these are among the major benefits of early reading
5.) Better communication skills
When you spend time reading to toddlers, they’ll be much more likely to express themselves and relate to others in a healthy way. By witnessing the interactions between the characters in the books you read, as well as the contact with you during story time, your child is gaining valuable communication skills.
6.) Mastery of language
Early reading for toddlers has been linked to a better grasp of the fundamentals of language as they approach school age.
7.) More logical thinking skills
Another illustration of the importance of reading to children is their ability to grasp abstract concepts, apply logic in various scenarios, recognize cause and effect, and utilize good judgment. As your toddler or preschooler begins to relate the scenarios in books to what’s happening in his own world, he’ll become more excited about the stories you share.
8.) Acclimation to new experiences
As your child approaches a major developmental milestone or a potentially stressful experience, sharing a relevant story is a great way to help ease the transition. For instance, if your little one is nervous about starting preschool, reading a story dealing with this topic shows her that her anxiety is normal.
9.) Enhanced concentration and discipline
Toddlers may initially squirm and become distracted during story time, but eventually they’ll learn to stay put for the duration of the book. Along with reading comprehension comes a stronger self-discipline, longer attention span, and better memory retention, all of which will serve your child well when she enters school.
10.) The knowledge that reading is fun!
Early reading for toddlers helps them view books as an indulgence, not a chore. Kids who are exposed to reading are much more likely to choose books over video games, television, and other forms of entertainment as they grow older.
Books have the power to benefit toddlers and preschoolers in a myriad of ways. As a parent, reading to your child is one of the most important things you can do to prepare him with a foundation for academic excellence."
This article and more can be found here
The Benefits of Starting Young continued
"There are incredible psychological benefits of learning another language. These benefits extend way beyond being able to order a cup of tea abroad. Longitudinal studies by Harvard University confirm that learning additional languages increases critical thinking skills, creativity and flexibility of the mind in young children." (Catherine Ford 2014)
"When children join the preschool class of Moreton First at three years of age, they are exposed to four languages. [...] why should learning another language be started at such a young age? Simply, the younger the learner, the better they are at mimicking new sounds and adopting pronunciation. The brain is open to new sounds and patterns in preadolescence." (Catherine Ford 2014)
"At this age, young children have time to learn through play-like activities. Language lessons can be informal and children’s minds are not yet cluttered with facts to be stored and tested. Before children become self- conscious they can try out their newly acquired languages without fear of embarrassment." (Catherine Ford 2014)
"Children who grow up learning about languages develop empathy for others and a curiosity for different cultures and ideas; prepared to take their place in a global society. Furthermore, in later years, career opportunities increase for those with additional languages to offer." (Catherine Ford 2014)
Here are some excerpts from an article titled “When to Teach What: A Guide for Colors, Shapes, Letters, and More…” by Kirstylee and Cassidy.
You can find this article and more here
This article tells the reader the best ages to teach kids some of the things they need to know before entering kindergarten.
“18 months is the generally accepted age for teaching colors. Some kids learn their colors sooner and some learn them later. 18 months – 2 ½ is a great age for specifically teaching colors. You should always be reviewing colors with your child though, all the way up to kindergarten. Also, be sure to use the color words both before and after the noun (this is a blue pen, this pen is blue). It is important to use the color word both ways so your child can better understand the concept of color."
"2 years old is a great age for teaching shapes. Start by identifying the shapes you see in the world around you. Your child should have a basic understanding of shapes by 2 ½ years old and should be able to identify many shapes by the time he is 3. Start by teaching the basic shapes (square, circle, rectangle, triangle), then continue to more advanced shapes (oval, star, heart, diamond)."
"I remember being so worried when Little Bear was 2 ½ that he didn’t know his letters yet. I tried teaching him letters in lots of different ways and honestly, he just did not understand the concept of letters. Well, I finally decided to give up for awhile and not pressure him. A few months before he turned 3, he suddenly got it and learned all of his uppercase letters in about two weeks. The point is, 3 is a good age to teach letters, but do NOT stress and pressure your child to learn them. Do lots of fun things to teach and expose him to letters, but don’t worry about it. Your child should know his letters by kindergarten, but there should be no pressure before that."
"3 is a pretty good age to teach numbers. I generally like to introduce letters first and then introduce numbers a little later. I think this helps your child understand that numbers are different from letters. I recommend 3 as a great age to start teaching numbers, but just like letters, there is no pressure to learn them all fast. Your child should be able to count up to 20 and identify numbers 1-10 before kindergarten. If you do lots of fun activities involving numbers, they should easily be able to do both of those things by kindergarten."