Small children play all day long. They explore and try out, experience, and discover. In this way, they continuously increase their intelligence. They are not even aware that they are learning in these moments. You, too, should see play as part of your child’s everyday life and learning process because real learning is impossible without playing. Your child can only achieve a sustainable learning process through play. Therefore, the “learning plan” for your child should not look like a schedule or a to-do list. You can design a learning plan as we know it from adult life in a child-oriented way. Still, such efforts often do not take enough account of the individual child’s needs, individuality, spontaneity, and creativity.
Free playtime for your child is important
Of course, there is nothing to be said against allowing your child to discover and develop its abilities and talents in particular children’s classes. Music courses, painting lessons, or English get-togethers offer a wide variety of possibilities here, which – depending on your child’s inclinations and interests – can undoubtedly give your child a lot of pleasure. But do not overdo it. Free play should be the most significant part of your child’s daily routine.
Watching videos is great fun for most kids
Often they do not want to stop watching them. Brain-Friendly offers language courses, which are based on videos and the brain-friendly Birkenbihl method for language learning. In a few weeks, we will release the new children’s language course series – exciting stories from all over the world, animated in a child-friendly way. Sign up for our newsletter so that we can inform you about the product launch by email.
Meaningful videos can be watched several times by children with a clear conscience. However, exceeding 60 minutes per day for children over three years is not recommended by the WHO. An exciting tip: Let your child set the timer/alarm clock himself. This way, they learn the time, get a feeling for periods, and expand their technical know-how.
Here are our tips for a child-friendly (learning) everyday life, which puts the play in the foreground:
Freely select learning units:
As mentioned above, your child learns best when he or she chooses the time, length, and learning manner. So offer your child access to the learning materials at any time. If your child is not interested in a few days or even weeks, keep the materials within sight and reach. Your child will undoubtedly become curious again and will start using them again. For smaller children under three years of age, there will be moments when they ask for the materials and start talking about them – especially when it comes to exciting and funny stories. Get involved whenever possible.
Adults, we advise: Divide your learning time into 10-minute units. During this time, your brain can concentrate optimally on the content, and you benefit from the relearning effect: After each intake phase of about 7 minutes, your brain learns and processes the information passively and unconsciously for another 7 minutes – it compares, repeats, and stores information without us noticing. To simplify the division of time, we recommend 10-minute units.
You can also use this suggestion for children, especially when it comes to learning units from school material, for example, and there is less willingness to do so. Then it is up to you as a parent to make it “palatable”. However, the following applies: Children can also spend hours doing something without becoming boring. Small children should decide how long they want to occupy themselves with something – this can be a minute or even two hours. Since discussing and answering questions reinforces the learning process, in any case, a “round of questions” after each “learning unit” makes sense. You will soon find out to what extent your child enjoys it.
Free choice of learning materials
Children play and learn on their initiative. Because they are curious by nature and want to discover the world, they get to know the world if we let them. They find out how things work, what they are used for, and their meaning. There is no better support for children than giving them enough time and space to play early.
In addition to the time and duration, your child should also be free to choose the learning material. Would he or she prefer to watch a video, which story is exciting today, would he or she like to draw, listen to the story or re-enact it himself? As adults, we should only offer them options.
Repeat a hundred times
Adults must be told that everything new must be repeated several times. Children do it by nature. Everything that seems exciting and useful, they repeat a hundred times, test, and try out. So if the learning material is interesting enough, your child will repeat the videos and other materials often enough of his own accord.
Use media as motivation
Digital media are the most incredible cultural asset of our time, and they have many advantages. Among other things, we can use them to illustrate contexts better than a book ever will. Especially computers, smartphones, and videos help to motivate children to learn. They also make learning more varied and exciting. You are guaranteed some aha-effects. The film language courses of Brain-Friendly are particularly much fun: Watching a series and learning a foreign language on the side!