Did you know by age 2 we lose half the neurons we were born with, but that 80% of the synapses made stay with us for life? Early Years Specialists, Blue House Nursery & International Preschool share here with us some of the benefits to children in joining the right Nursery and Preschool environment from 18 months of age.
“Children around 18 months – 2.5 years of age benefit greatly from being placed in a language rich environment. A skilled educator will pose questions that encourage children to explore, question, consider and test theories, their vocabulary and understanding of words, language and context growing each and every day. Children grow exponentially in an environment that invites their expression, that values and supports their individual voice – they grow in confidence, belonging, being and their desire to connect more outwardly to the community and environment around them is ignited – “I’ve got this classroom now, I wonder what else is out there for me that I could investigate?”
Children are highly social creatures with great desire to connect and make sense of the world around them. Around 18 months to 2 years old, we see children moving from solitary play to more parallel play or playing side by side of other children. This provides children with an incredible opportunity to drive each others learning. They will watch and inspire each other, demonstrating different ways of doing things that children may copy, learn from and test themselves. At this age it is also a wonderful opportunity for children to gain feelings of respect for others, and in valuing others ideas and opinions. Children very naturally gain a sense of “I can learn from others. Other people have something to teach me”. Blue House strongly believes children should not be isolated in their learning. Learning is not a process of digesting pre-packaged knowledge, is it an active process.
At this age, parents are used to making the majority of decisions for their children, however, this is the time along children’s natural stages of development that they realise they have a voice, they have the ability to control situations and take some power over their decisions (all of a sudden finding it hard to get your 18 month old to eat their beans, or get into their car seats??). Joining preschool at this age is a wonderful opportunity for children to take on some independence, to be tasked with small jobs that encourage their feelings of doing, taking charge, being effective. Jobs like carrying their back packs, hanging their bag on their hooks or taking out their water bottles and placing it in the baskets in the morning gives children such feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction. Their confidence soars, as does their appetite for learning. This is the “me do it”, “I do it” stage, so embrace it with confidence and allow your child’s voice to emerge”.
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