It's the thought that counts

First 5 Forever Cloud White

For little ones, learning about how the world works involves a lot of problem solving and exploration. In their first five years, millions of connections are made in a child’s brain through the relationships they form and the experiences they encounter. In fact, your child’s brain develops connections faster in the first five years than at any other time in their lives! So, this is the critical time when foundations for learning, development, behaviour and literacy are being laid. 

One of the greatest joys for families is seeing their children grow and master new skills. We celebrate when our children lift their heads, roll over, crawl, walk and talk for the first time. These milestones are visible and exciting achievements. Harder to see though is the risk taking, failure, persistence, concentration and resilience involved in these accomplishments – the process. 

The process of creating, building and exploring through play is where children get to solve problems, build understanding and make connections. And it’s this process that shapes the structural design of your child’s brain and potential for language development learning later in life. You can help your child by problem solving out loud while playing together …  

“Hmm, I noticed that …” or “What could we do to …” or “I’m going to try …” or “I wonder what would happen if …" 

It can be easy to get caught up in WHAT you are trying to do. So remember, the focus for your child is HOW they are doing it, which is where all the learning happens and where they will discover that wonderful 'I did it' feeling! 

Everyday activities at home can be opportunities for your little one to think as they do; to think about what they are doing, how they are doing it, how things work, how they can use this one or what could they make with that one?  

Allow space in activities for self-expression and creativity to emerge through open-ended experiences. It could be a basket of wooden utensils, soft balls, blocks, smooth pebbles or sticks - they're all full of potential for creativity and language development.  

This process of learning should be savoured and enjoyed. 

Recommended reading: 

  • Whatcha Building? by Andrew Daddo 
  • Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis 
  • What We’ll Build by Oliver Jeffers 
  • Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg 
  • A Little Bit of Oomph! by Barney Saltzberg 
  • The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds 
  • The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires 
  • What Do You Do with an Idea? by Kobi Yamada 

Check in with your local Queensland public library or Indigenous Knowledge Centre for availability. 

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