Young children learn through experience gained in playing situations. This play can be structured and aided by care givers or you can let the baby take the lead and you follow along to reinforce what they are learning.
Children are born knowing six to eight emotions
All the other emotions and feelings must be learned from the environment or directly from caregivers. Playing games is the best way to teach concepts and get their attention while making learning a fun and bonding experience.
Teach infants and toddlers to express the emotions they were born with.
The basic emotions we are all born with are:
You will have many opportunities to teach your young child to recognize and name different emotions as you are holding or sitting nearby. Begin with something as simple as opening your eyes wide. Now watch for the reaction and wait to see if he/she will imitate this expression.
Reward them with a big smile and see if the smile is returned. Naming the feelings is very important, because many adults were never allowed to feel or show deep emotions. Therefore, they do not excel at reading body language, a crucial part of communication, or are unable to describe accurately how they feel.
Playing Games with Children Helps Development
Games and safe interactions increases face-to-face interactions between children and trusted adults. This serves to build social and emotional development as well as brain activity.
When you play and learn with young children, they learn to understand a wide vocabulary. They also develop language and hearing skills which benefit them throughout life.
Movement Experience Develops Strong Bodies
Activities which include movement fosters development of strong bones, muscles and increasing brain pathways. Games that require children to use their hands can encourage small muscle control and eye hand coordination. This is a valuable tool when it is time to begin coloring, writing or using the computer.
Build Imagination and You Build Brain Power
Young children learn through experience and they experience night and day 365 days a year. Make a commitment to encourage imagination at least once when the sun is out and once when the sun is down and you will have had a significant interaction with your child.
As you help them explore different concepts, emotions or games twice a day, both you and your child will learn, grow and develop.
Good luck, you do an important work.