The value of education undoubtedly depends on the purpose behind it. Activities also give the child new abilities, and allow him/her to discover abilities never known to have existed before, or strengthen skills that naturally exist in any human being. When a child is born, the child learns by interacting with the world around him/her, and this is the foundation for building the child’s intellectually abilities as well as the child’s personality, emotionally and socially (Mahapatra, 2009). This paper focuses on the learning experiences that a child acquires from various activities, as dictated by the child’s age.
In this study, there are 5 age groups that would be considered. The first stage is the stage of ‘younger babies, the ‘older babies,’ the ‘toddler stage,’ the ‘kindy stage,’ and the last stage, the ‘preschoolers. ’ In this paper, the researcher would like to discuss the teaching strategies to be used, including all the considerations to be involved when it comes to teaching organisation.
Young babies • Young babies are children whose age is categorized as babies who are of 6 months old from the time when they are born.
• During this stage, the baby shall learn basic activities such as learning to sit on his/her own and learning to explore the world using his/her hands. Other senses are also at play since the child is naturally curious about the world and will use his/her sense to learn. At this stage, babies tend to use their mouths as well to explore things, which is why it is important that they be given toys that are not hazardous and will not cause choking. Some toys have been specifically designed for a baby’s learning purpose and these toys are safe to be kept in the mouth.
• Activities that can benefit a child’s learning experience can be aided by toys. Learning resources can start with toys that can be placed in the child’s crib, such as colourful mobiles, as well as toys that can be squeezed, such as musical toys. Other toys can be toys that require the child to use his/her body muscles to push and pull, in order to stimulate the child’s grabbing and grasping skills (Henig, 2008). • As a teacher, it is important that the child be given materials to encourage him/her to be aware of his/her senses, what they are for and how to use them.
For instance, the child can be given a musical ball, which the child has to squeeze in order for sounds to be heard. • The learning experience of the child can be evaluated by the kinds of toys that stimulates the child’s brain. For instance, the teacher or the caregiver can provide a variety of toys for the child to play with, and depending on what toy the child picks up the most, the teacher can decide what toy appeals more to the child. If the child picks up the musical toy more often, it means that the sound that the ball makes appeals to the child’s senses. Older Babies
• Older babies are approximately aged from 6 to 15 months. • At this stage, babies are able to develop their problem solving skills as they continue learning about a variety of new objects. They are also more able to understand people, and at this stage, the child starts to constantly seek for independence, and they try to develop their own self-esteem. Toys are also more played with, since the child starts to learn how to play ‘properly. ’ For instance, when a child is given toy blocks, or toys such as Lego, the child is actually able to build ‘something’ out of these blocks.
In addition to this, the child is also more curious, so providing the child with a play area complete with swings, slides and other play structures encourages active play. • Activities that could be advised for a child of this stage could be providing a child with a puzzle to complete. The teacher could provide the child with a cardboard jigsaw puzzle where the child has to form the pieces together in order to make a picture. This activity helps stimulates mind activity in the child, while wooden puzzles also stimulate sensory discrimination as well as the development of the child’s eyes and hands.
An environment such as a playground could give the child enough room to set up his/her own dramatic scene, along with his/her own playmates. The teacher can provide the child with materials such as costumes in order for the child to be more creative in role playing. • The teacher’s responsibility at this point is just to observe the child’s activities and not to actually help the child to do the right thing. This way, the child can have more freedom to express himself/ herself. Toddlers • Toddlers are aged from 15 to 36 months. • At this stage, toddlers are fascinated by household objects, the different shapes of objects and their textures.
It is also at this stage where the toddler’s motor skills develop at a fast rate, and this is the stage where the greatest changes in a child’s life and the child’s mind happens. Furthermore, the child is able to express himself/herself more (University of Georgia, 2007). • For this stage, the teacher can coordinate an activity that allows the child to use his sense of sound better, while also developing the child’s creativity level at a faster rate. The teacher could create a fun experience for the toddler by allowing the child to use a variety of cooking utensils for the child to play with.
Pots, pans, and cans can be used, and the child can be given wooden utensils so he/she can make a personalized instrument and bang the items together to make his/her own rhythm. A rhythm game can also be played where the teacher can play a certain rhythm and have the child copy it and repeat it accordingly (Tomlinson, 2008). • This activity stimulates the child’s response to sounds, and the teacher can begin to teach the child new words such as ‘beat,’ or ‘drum,’ to talk about the activity itself, or the teacher can teach the child descriptive words to allow the child to express his/her feelings while performing the activity.
At this stage, the teacher helps the child be more familiar with shapes, textures, smells and even taste. Kindy Stage • This stage is concerned with kids who are aged approximately 36 to 52 months. • This is the kindergarten stage, where the child has begun to talk, sing and dance. This is also the stage where the child is supposed to be taught how to read since the child can already understand some concepts about the world. Children at this stage may start to struggle at first with reading. Therefore it is advised that the teacher or the caregiver read to the child every day.
This way, the child can begin to realize that reading is a fun activity, and the child is also able to use his/her imagination as the adult reads to him/her. • Learning how to read starts with a child’s ears. An activity that a teacher can do for the child would be to read a story to the child and to ask the child questions regarding the story. For instance, after reading a story about animals, the teacher can use the help of pictures with animals on them, as well as cards containing the names of these animals. The child’s task is to attach each word card to the picture it corresponds with.
• This way, the child is able to be familiarize himself/herself with new vocabulary, new situations and experiences, and the child can even match what he/she learns from reading to what he/she sees, hears, touches, and taste in real life (Cooper & Cooper, 2008). Preschoolers • Preschoolers are from the age of 48 to 52 months old. • At this stage, children can recall concepts easier, and also familiar words. They can also understand new words and new concepts better and can understand the meanings of basic words such as ‘over,’ and ‘under’ (Child Development Institute, LLC, 2008).
When it comes to mathematical concepts such as addition and subtraction, there exists a pervasive relationship between a child’s understanding and the child’s procedural skills. Procedural knowledge refers to the child’s skills that are required in order to solve mathematical problems. • For this stage, the teacher can do an activity by using materials such as marbles. The teacher can lay out the marbles on the ground and ask the child to count them. The teacher can then take away a number of these marbles and ask the child to count the marbles again.
This way, the child can understand the meaning of subtraction, while the teacher can teach addition by adding more marbles to the pile and asking the student to count them. The teacher can first demonstrate how it is done first so that the child can easily follow. • Such an activity helps the child to clearly understand the meaning of both addition and subtraction, as well as helping him/her to recite the numbers more often. This way, the child is also made familiar with more numbers. • The teacher’s duty is to ensure that the child is able to count properly, as well as add properly and subtract properly.
Previous stages allowed the child to have the freedom to perform in any way the child wants. At this age, however, the teacher should introduce the child to correct mathematical concepts so the child is able to retain in his/her mind such information (Geary et al. 2000) • Such mathematical drills should be performed time and time again so that the child will not easily forget. The teacher can evaluate the child’s performance by repeating the exercise again and again, giving way for the child to make mistakes.
For all the activities mentioned, it would help the teacher as well to use the reward system when a child performs well. This is especially advised for children who may be stubborn and require a little ‘pushing’ in order to perform accordingly or better. It must also be noted that children cannot be expected to learn quickly so the teacher must be patient and should help the child do so (Fendrich et al. 1993)
References Child Development Institute, LLC. 2008. Language development in children, on January 15 2009, from http://www. childdevelopmentinfo.com/development/language_development. shtml Cooper, T. & Cooper, S. (2009) Teaching reading: Part One, retrieved on January 15 2009 from http://www. teaching-children-to-read. net/ Fendrich, D. W, Healy, A & Bourne, L (1993) Mental arithmetic: Training and retention of multiplication skill, Cognitive Psychology Applied, pp. 116-133. Geary, D, Hamson, C & Hoard, M (2000) Numerical and arithmetical cognition: A longitudinal study of process and concept deficits in children with learning disability, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 77, pp.
236-263. Henig, R. (Februaru 17 2008) Taking play seriously, New York Times Magazine, p. 38. Mahapatra, A. (January 11 2009) Activity leads to learning, The Hindu. Tomlinson, P. (2008) Psychological theory and pedagogical effectiveness: The learning promotion potential network, British Journal of Educational Psychology, 78, pp. 507-526. University of Georgia (2007) Learning and development: infants birth to 12 months. Better Brains for Babies, retrieved January 15, 2009 from http://www. fcs. uga. edu/bbbgeorgia/childDev_00-12. php