Anyone with preschool-age children will tell you that one of the toughest day-to-day tasks is keeping them engaged and interested in the topics at hand. Everything from brushing teeth in the morning to getting to bed at night can be a hassle at times, with young brains flying around from subject to subject without warning.
One of the areas where this is most noticeable is during child care. At KidsTown, our daycare program is designed with these natural tendencies in mind – our goal is to keep your children engaged during both learning and recreational programs. What are some of our tactics, and tactics child care professionals everywhere can use to help with child engagement?
Keep Them Active
The easiest way to invite stagnation and wandering minds is keeping kids sitting still for too long. Children need physical stimulation to complement their mental stimulation, and especially for younger children, this physical stimulation has to be pretty frequent. This doesn’t have to be a full-on recess every hour by any means, but in-class activities that get the blood flowing are another great outlet along with actual, outdoor recreation.
Whenever possible, trips to see or learn something new are a great way to promote learning while also keeping kids engaged. Young children will view field trips as exciting almost regardless of their subject matter, simply because they’re a change from the norm. These are great chances to add learning experiences to their body of knowledge.
On Their Toes
Keeping things mixed up and varied is a key factor to keeping kids interested. It’s always good to have elements of routine to keep things orderly and flowing, but mixing up activities and projects between those is the way to go.
If the kids have been doing individual work for a few hours, maybe transition them to a group activity. If they’ve been focused on language skills for most of the morning, spend the afternoon on numbers and counting. Too much stagnation in material is nearly as damaging as stagnation in physical activity.
Both as a motivational tool and as a way to break up occasional monotony, a bit of a party is never a bad thing. Maybe the kids get to pick a cake for a fun end-of-month party if everyone in the class completes their work on time, or maybe you just dangle these sorts of events as the carrot to help influence positive behavior and attention to lessons.
At KidsTown, we promote positive child care habits and themes that will keep your children engaged and learning. Speak with one of our educators today to learn more.