It’s never too early to introduce your baby to new experiences and begin their informal education, says Dr Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett. Even while you are pregnant it’s possible to begin the interaction with your child by reading and singing to them. There are obviously many structured activities available for parents to do with their children, but there is no substitute for spending time with your child, talking to your child, playing with your child.
We live in such a hurried and competitive environment that many parents feel they need to hothouse their children. Cathrine says that psychologists recognise that developmental play is incredibly important to a child’s learning experience. In fact, 1 hour in play can be equivalent to around 5 hours in a structured and scheduled program.
Tracey’s children are not involved in structured programs but they have a varied day and learn through their experiences that they have in the garden, home and when they are out and about. Integrating learning into everyday life is easy to do; in fact you have probably already been doing it without even being aware.