01 April, 2009

How can I make learning fun for my 2-year-old?

Q:How can I make learning fun for my 2-year-old?

Learning is inherently fun if we are allowed to have some choice in what we learn. And 2-year-olds are the hungriest learners in the world! But sometimes, we parents become overly anxious about our children’s own internal pattern of exploration and development of their skills. If we push too much or give too much direction to young children’s play—which is the way children learn—they will refuse to cooperate. Think of how many millions of children forced to sit on a piano bench and play scales who now refuse to go near a piano as adults! Do not interpret this example to mean that encouragement from the parents is not important, for it is crucial. But there is a fine line between encouragement and pushing, and we often step over that line with little awareness that we are doing so.

My guess is that your child is already learning a great deal—and enjoying it. Supply him or her with toys that allow skills to develop, and offer praise when you see progress. And be sure to play with your child some of the time; solitary play is not as appealing as play that is enjoyed with another person.

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