When kids go to preschool and kindergarten, and even around home too, instructions can be a challenge. My friend, Blythe Lipman, has 2 and almost 3 books about kids and instructions: Help, My Baby Came without Instructions, and Help, My Toddler Came Without Instructions, soon to be born April, 2013. She has a radio show called Baby and Toddler Instructions on Toginet, which gave birth to RockStar Radio where I have my show Learn and Play with Mrs A. She has sent along an idea for helping kids have fun when they practice following directions. This is her suggestion:
When it comes to your little ones and instructions, giving them more than one at a time can sometimes be challenging. For example; asking them to put away their toys, come brush their teeth and get ready for a bath is too many words. Most children will only hear the first request, especially a toddler. Try this instead, “It’s time to put your toys away. Let’s sing the clean-up song and see if you can put all your toys away before the end of the song. Great job! Now it’s time to brush your teeth. Help mommy set the timer and I want you to brush your teeth until you hear the bell ring! Look how clean those teeth are!” Now, it’s much easier for your child to listen and to follow the instructions about toys, teeth, and bath because all 3 were divided into steps, 1…2…3.
Here’s the other letter I. Even though we all have imagination, it needs exercise, too. At some point in your day, you may want to include some imagination fun. For example, when serving a snack, be the voices of the plate and the snack as they meet each other. Or you may want to imagine all the places a lost sock could be visiting before it comes home. Imagination is a powerful learning tool, but best of all, it’s great fun. What will you and your child imagine today? Will it need any instructions?