Brain development is at its peak during infancy. And that is why the first three years of a child are crucial. It is at this time that children develop their cognitive abilities. To help children develop comprehensively, it is necessary to build strong cooperation between parents and educators. A supportive learning environment at home and a classroom filled with innovative learning materials is an ideal learning environments for children.
Drawing from various research on early childhood education, the below techniques for teaching preschoolers will give you some excellent jumping-off points to fully support children in their learning development as an educator or a parent.
What are innovative learning techniques for young children?
Innovative learning techniques are not something completely new, the learning materials may be similar to those that we already know before. But the innovation here is the techniques that educators, parents can use to help children to utilize multi-sense and gain knowledge from their own experiences.
1. Labelling Photos and Symbols
Research shows that translating picture to word is an effective way to help in language development. One of the typical speakers for this theory is Dr. Elaine Fogel Schneider, director of Touchtime International. According to her, one way to promote everyday vocabulary is by having students verbally label common brands and symbols.
She suggests making this activity more interactive by having the students and their parents take pictures of logos or symbols from the surrounding environment. The children can then bring the photos to the classroom where they can label them with their classmates. This labelling practice can add layers of complexity as kids learn. For even more layers, you may even introduce colours, shapes and numbers to the mix.
Learning through photos is not new, but taking pictures of things around and bringing them to school to work and learn with peers is one innovative learning technique for children. This teaching method is widely encouraged to apply in pre-schools around the world.
It will be more realistic and interesting for kids to learn from their own environment.
This learning technique has been developed successfully by alphaTUB through TUB Sheet, TUB Card, TUB Sign. With these learning tools, parents and educators can freely engage in children’s learning by unlimited learning resources from the surrounding environment.
2. Sound recognition & matching
In her research, Dr. Elaine Fogel Schneider also says that sound recognition and matching letter are student favorites. These activities allows them to be hands-on in their learning.
To implement this activity, letters should be mixed with a few large ones and several smaller ones. Students will match these letters with objects nearly that begin with those letters.
For example: if your letters are “C” and “P”, you might have a pile of Chairs and Pencils. Start by having the child say the sound that the letter makes. Then, encourage the child to find an object beginning with the same sound and paste it to the letter.
One of the reasons that make this activity listed in innovative learning techniques for young children is the creativity it brings to each student. The traditional learning technique is teaching students with available names of objects. This learning technique requires students to recognize letter sounds. The child says the word aloud then uses their understanding to match it with appropriate names of objects.
3. Switch out activities
Children tend to have short attention spans. Especially with young children, staying focused for 20-30 minutes on a lesson is really hard. Scheduling long lessons is out of the question for children that young.
A great way to have a better learning experience for the child is to switch up the activities every now and then. Nancy Gretzinger, Ed.D, and former teacher suggests beginning with a sedentary activity—such as listening or reading—and then following up with a more lively activity—such as a music lesson or art project. If the child feels bored from all the “studies”, they can simply distract themselves with something more fun and rejuvenating. This way they can return to their learning with renewed interest and energy.
Similarly, after learning a new vocabulary, some motor games can be played to help children warm up their bodies as well as refresh their minds to get the energy to move to the next lessons.
Teaching young children can sometimes also be a handful when they are far too energetic. They are easily distracted or disruptive. It can also help to have a few quick go-to activities that will help kids release a little energy if you find they’re too wound up.
4. Get the senses involved in science
As an educator, you must get your students to use all five senses in science and observation activities. This might sound a bit strange to you at first. We don’t generally think that very young children learn about science in their early years. But you will be persuaded by the below realistic evidence from a teacher with many years of experience in ECE.
“Getting [kids] to be still for a moment and focus on what they are discovering helps you learn what they know,” Helen Meissner, ECE teacher, says.
Meissner explains, for example, when planting a class garden they can discuss how the soil feels and smells and what colors we see in the soil. They talk about how the different plants will taste and what they will look like as they grow from a seed into a plant.
She strongly believes that getting all 5 senses involved in science and observation activities is very important to children. Immersing all of their senses into the learning process helps them to experience what they learn. It helps them form a deeper understanding of what is being taught to them. This is an innovative learning technique for young children that is sure to inspire a whole new interest to learn in the child.
Books are never old. Learning from books is a traditional method of education for generations. But books are synonymous with boredom for many children worldwide. We must know how to fully exploit the tools in a classroom.
For children, picture books are essential learning material. Picture books hold deep philosophical curiosities. Pictures engage the child where words and in interesting story may fail. Try to acquire vibrantly illustrated books with a good balance of image and learning content for an engaging teaching session. Through meaningful stories in books, children can learn to understand and share with others. The basic philosophical meanings apparent in the illustrations will remain under children’s awareness as useful lessons to apply in daily life.
Parents and educators should give them a healthy environment and the freedom to change their minds when new information arises. With time and ongoing discussion, you will witness your students’ thinking evolve.
Hopefully, you have gained some useful knowledge in early childhood education after reading this Blog. To know more about innovative learning techniques for young children as well as join free training courses for parents and educators, feel free to visit and be a member of alphaTUB .