Children deal with more distractions today than they ever have before. They’re surrounded by internet-connected devices that offer unlimited entertainment. One of the biggest challenges for parents is keeping a child off an iPad and getting them to do, well, anything else!
But there are ways to make child engagement less of a chore. Whether you’re with a group of kids in Indianapolis, IN or just trying to teach your toddler the ABCs, there are some tricks of the trade that can help. Here are our leading tips for keeping children’s attention.
Start with what they know
Before you start teaching an idea, ask the kids questions about it. This will get them curious as to what they’re learning about. It also gets them involved right away with building knowledge instead of being lectured about a subject. Plus, you’ll discover how much the kids understand already, giving you a better idea as to what they should learn about.
Keep the kids active
Whenever possible, don’t just talk to the children. This is especially important with young kids who have zero interest in sitting still. Instead, find ways they can learn through doing. Whether it’s singing, building, dancing or playing a game, find ways to teach that get them involved.
Find their level
In education, there’s a concept called the “zone of proximal development.” This is just a fancy way to say that you need to find the child’s level of understanding. In other words, teach them about subjects that aren’t too easy or too difficult for them.
For example, a four-year-old who has a fairly good grasp of the alphabet might be ready to learn some basic sight words, but the same child won’t be ready to read a chapter book yet on their own. Giving the child tasks that are too difficult will result in frustration. Giving them tasks that are too easy will make them bored. Finding that middle ground is key.
Children sense how enthusiastic you are about a subject and respond to that. Bringing a high level of energy is an easy way to engage them. Children live in a perpetual state of amazement at the world around them. Try to see the world through their eyes as you teach them a new concept, and they’ll follow right along.
For whatever reason, the human mind is much more likely to remember information if it’s delivered via a narrative, a fact that’s been demonstrated in scientific research. So whenever possible, find ways to teach that involve story. If you get creative, you can make almost any subject into a narrative with a beginning, middle and end. Add in some characters and you’ve got a story the kids are bound to remember.
When you’re looking for high-quality child care, turn to My Second Home Early Learning Center. Established in 2007, we’re a child care and engagement center located in Indianapolis, IN. We specialize in providing a variety of services, including before- and after-care services and much more for children from newborns to six-year-olds. Contact us today to learn more and set up an appointment!