Have you ever found yourself saying “Wow, I wish I could just go back to being a child. . . no responsibilities, play all the time, no bills to pay, no car to worry about… ” and the list goes on!! Truly I think we sometimes forget to give these little humans the credit they deserve for this stage of life!
I remember learning about a child’s brain development in one of my classes during college. I was so fascinated by the fact that we are born with around 100 billion brain cells, and that in order for our brain cells to connect and develop to their full potential we must first have diverse interactions and stimulation to engage in. In early childhood this is called “play”, and we know that preschoolers learn by playing! We can talk through experiences and feelings with our child, listen to new types of music together, build with blocks, form caring and kind relationships with adults in their lives, and get out into nature. . . all of these interactions will help your child to make new connections and build onto what they know about the world around them.
Next time you are in your child’s classroom take a moment to look around at the learning that is occurring, even at drop off and pick up. You might see a handful of kids building a tower and as it tips over, they start again but this time with two blocks at the base instead of one. This is a problem- solving connection being made in their brain that they can use for life! You may see two kids at the sensory table scooping sand into a funnel with a shovel while one is trying to scoop it up with their hands, they are comparing strategies and learning about scientific reasoning. At the art table you may see students using crayons, glue sticks and Popsicle sticks to create free expressive art! This is helping your child with critical thinking because they have planned out in their head what they want to make and now they are finding a way to create it.
We are so blessed to learn alongside these amazing kids every day. Not only do we get to create a safe environment for them to build and learn more about the world God made for them, but we get to be reminded each day to never lose our child-like wonder! Seeing each new day through their eyes helps us to grow as well.