Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Sky is the Limit!

Children love to learn and have fun while they are learning, and as therapists, parents, and teachers it is our job to make it fun.  I was working on vertical lines with a child just this week, and I kept showing the child the stroke over and over again, and saying “line down,” but the child continued to scribble on the board.  I then began to make it a game, and said “zip down!” And, just like that, the child repeated after me, and said “zip down!” and drew a vertical line.  This little moment, reminded me how important it is to make learning fun and engaging for children.  With just a little more effort, we all have fun and learning takes place.  Not only does the child more quickly acquire the skill, but it will stick too! So, the next time you are frustrated with homework, teaching your child a new skill, or the day to day routine, just stop and ask yourself, “How can I make this more fun for both us?”
It may be…
·         Writing spelling words in shaving cream, finger paint or pudding
·         Singing a song while cleaning up the toys
·         Involving the whole family in the activity
·         Allowing the child to be the teacher (to younger siblings or his/her stuffed animals)
·         Acting out stories
·         Using whole body movements when learning math problems (hop forward for addition  or backwards for subtraction)
·         Going on nature walks to talk about science
The sky is the limit, and so is the learning!                 

Amy Bumgarner, MS, OTR/L

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