If we’re honest, we all want our kids to grow into intelligent, fully-formed adults who are capable of getting good jobs and making a good life for themselves. Of course, we won’t love them any less if they don’t turn out to be academically inclined, but we know that being smart will make their lives easier going forward.
Luckily, there are lots of things we can do to at least encourage a love of learning in our kids, starting from a young age, encouraging them to grow up into smart adults. Here are some of them:
Invest in Multipurpose Toys
If you want to get your kids interested in learning, you don’t necessarily have to limit them to educational toys only. In fact, there are lots of toys for toddlers and older children, which foster their natural sense of inquisitiveness and adventure, which you can find in the average toy store. Things like crayons, playhouses and dress up toys, building blocks and even plush animals will get your kids using their imagination, thinking up new scenarios and exploring the world around them. All you have to do is let them explore and encourage them in their investigations.
Talk to Your Child
Talking to your child will not only help to build an unbreakable bond between the two of you and assist them with their speech and vocabulary, but it will help them to become more interested in learning about new things, especially if you share your own interests with them and have them share theirs (when they’re old enough). For example, if you have a pet goldfish your kid loves, talking to her about her fish and then fish, in general, could spark off an interest in the ocean, and then the wider natural world. All it takes is one little spark to get kids interested in learning off their own back.
Books are important. They contain all of the world’s wisdom between their collective pages, and if you can get a child interested in listening to and reading books from a young age, you’ll have them for life. So, stock your home with books – some aimed at children and some more general like encyclopedias and biographies – and let your kids read them whenever they want. Even better, read to or with them depending on their age, and always ask them questions about the books they’re into to ensure that their enthusiasm for the medium doesn’t die.
Use Your Child’s Natural Interests as a Stepping Stone
Perhaps most effective at fostering a love of learning in your kids is to use their natural interests as a stepping stone from which to explore interesting topics. For example, if your kid loves dinosaurs, take him to a museum where he can see one (well it’s bones) and he’ll probably find something else in the museum to spark a new interest, of if your daughter is always looking at the stars, buy her a telescope so she can see a bit further and answer a few more questions about the universe we live in.
Note: Although you want your kids to love learning and grow into intelligent adults, you should never push them too hard, this could end up backfiring and make them hate learning – the exact opposite of what you want!