The way that children learn is fascinating to watch. To see a person in miniature progress over the course of the years from a screaming, infantile bundle to a capable, functioning child who can read and write, stage plays for their parents and friends, climb trees, jump on a trampoline, and cut their own food is nothing short of miraculous. They seem to soak up knowledge like little sponges, drinking up all that they see around them.
But a recent study by Deramores has shown that the way children pick up these skills is changing. Where once they would have been passed down through the generations by parents and grandparents, now, they’re picked up through television shows, the internet, and social media.
There is something tragic about this. The knowledge of these lost interactions has the same melancholic whimsy as ancient ruins left empty and abandoned, or old, unloved toys in museums. Yet there is a difference: we can reclaim and recreate that which seems to be slipping through our fingers. If you want to teach your child something special today, then here are a few ideas to inspire you…
Children love to hear stories; even more, they love to create their own. Tales of their devising are the perfect outlet for their imaginations, and storytelling is something that you can teach them. Take a fairy tale and read it out loud, substituting the names of the main characters for theirs. Then ask them to make up their own versions. You’ll be surprised by how imaginative they can be, and this creativity will serve them well as they grow.
Children are going to be limited in what they can create, but lots of little ones still love to give knitting a try. Although they might not be capable of anything more ambitious than a scarf, you can learn alongside them, and help them to give it a go. It will be something special for you to do together, and you’ll find that they delight in helping you to pick out brightly coloured yarns to use in your endeavours.
Not every child will be a natural born artist, but most of them love to give it a try, and if you provide a couple of books to help guide their attempts, and supply them with the necessary paper, coloured pens, and glitter, you’ll find that you have some acolytes all too eager to listen to your teachings. Open their minds up to the things that they can create, and they will thank you for it as they grow and evolve into their own people.
What will you teach your children?