“Tell Me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I will learn.” -Benjamin Franklin
One of the things with having small children is their need to follow us around. Maybe it’s just mine… but if I walk out of the room, they typically drop what they are doing to see what I am up to. Sometimes I receive this well and other times, I would just like to go to the bathroom in peace. You know what I mean?
I try to remind myself that their curiosity is a healthy thing and that I should be capitalizing on their teachable moments. Not to the point to self-exhaustion, but rather just making a point to be a little more intentional.
I’m always thinking about all the things I want to teach and pass down to my children. What better way to kill two birds with one stone, than to slow down and go about my daily tasks with the goal to give my children opportunities to learn?
Here are some of the areas that I am working to intentionally involve my small kids.
Create learning Experiences with Reading
We do a lot of reading at our house. We have a structured reading time where I read to the kids, as well as give my daughter a reading lesson. But there are also times that I have content that I am personally reading and if they are in my presence, vying for my attention, I will read it out loud. Whether it’s the Bible, a cookbook, or instructions, (With the exception of material that might not be kid-friendly) I’ll share it with them.
There are lots of wonderful book lists to get you started reading aloud to your kids. You can check out our book list page or jump straight to one of the following:
- 10 Great Poetry Books for Kids
- Picture Book Treasuries for Kids
- Vintage Book Collections for Kids
- Picture Books About Rocks
There are numerous times throughout my week that I have office work of some kind. This includes doing our finances, blog brainstorming, planning, things of that nature. If it requires a paper and a pencil we sit down at the table and do it together.
They each have their own notebook where they take notes, doodle, or color while I get a little work done. Most of the time we chit-chat about what we are doing and show each other our work.
Create Learning Experiences with Cleaning
I have begun the chore train. I think giving kids responsibility teaches them that their contribution is important and vital to our family. Not only does it teach them how to do tasks but why we share the responsibility.
It teaches that we all have a part in keeping our home functioning well. It also gives them a sense of ownership toward their family, as well as, their belongings.
Our kids are really little so these are very simple: making beds, folding washcloths, picking up, or just following me around with a toy broom.
We have a super small kitchen, but we have a little bar that they can pull the kitchen chairs up to so they can watch what I am making. A lot of times, I have them help by pouring in the ingredients, reading me the recipe, or sampling the goods.
There have been times when my kids will ask me something like, “How many teaspoons should we put in here, Mom?” and I know it’s not something I’ve officially taught them, but rather what they have picked up from their experiences with me, in the kitchen.
Here are some recipe ideas you can do with your kids to create a learning experience that is not only fun but tasty as well.
- How to Make Carved Apple Mugs
- Easy Fruit Kabobs
- Frozen Fruity LaCroix Ice Pops
- Easy No-Bake Nests
- How to Make Ice Cream in a bag
- Sandwich Kabobs
Create learning Experiences with Crafts
I usually have some sort of craft going that I pick up when I get a chance, and my kids are inevitably always interested and wanting a hands-on part in the process. Sometimes I’ll give them a ball of yarn and a crochet needle and let them go to town, and other times I’ll just pop a movie in.
- DIY Bird Feed Ornaments
- A Simple Guide to Rock Painting
- DIY Fingerprint Ornaments for Kids
- Intro to Sewing for Kids
- Five Kid-Friendly Crafts Made From Yarn
- How to Make Yarn Wrapped Hearts
- Easy Handprint Heart Tree Craft
- Easy Flower Silhouette Craft
- 3D Paper Heart Flower Craft
I’m working on being better at involving my small kids. I’m seeing that it takes a little extra effort, but it also makes the day to day a lot more enjoyable. Little people are filled with wonder and excitement about those things that have long lost their luster for me. Who knew that laundry could be so much fun, or that cooking makes you giggle?
I’m also hoping they are learning a little something from each experience that I allow them to have. Just knowing that not everything they will learn will come from a spoken word or a text book, takes a lot of pressure off of me. Sometimes its just taking their little hands and bringing them along.