Sunday, April 27, 2014

Counting: 2 Books to Help Children Learn by Doing

I think that we grandparents have a wonderful opportunity to give our grandchildren some unique experiences. Because our home is different from the one that the children are being raised in, we can offer them a chance to change their routine and learn while they are at it.

But first I want to visit the concept of "learning by doing versus learning by learning". Text books and books in general do offer some wonderful learning experiences for children.  However, doing what the book is talking about offers a totally different look at the world.

Dr. Seuss's Beginner Book Collection

 (Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish, 
Green Eggs and Ham,
 Hop on Pop, Fox in Socks)

I remember back when I was teaching kindergartners we would celebrate Dr. Seuse's birthday each year. I think that more often than not we would start with Green Eggs and Ham. The book always symbolized for me the idea that trying new things can be a little bit scary but if we can find the courage, scary things can turn out to be a lot of fun.

Eggs are eggs but GREEN EGGS just don't look like something you would want to put in your mouth. But when the child cracked the egg, stirred the egg and then added a drop of green food coloring they were very tempted to take a taste. The taste showed them that eggs, even green eggs can taste very good.

Now I am retired and I get to spend time with my three smallest grandchildren ages 2-6. We do all those things that they DON'T DO AT HOME. We don't talk or read about doing things like cleaning a park. We actually go to the park and pick up litter. We take a few of the beans we are going to have to dinner outside and plant them. We take a sack on our walks and see how many different things we can find...a treasure hunt of sorts. Puddles are splashed in and ants are stared at. My grandchild learn by doing.
Little Blue and Little Yellow

Even the idea of recreating the art work used in books can be fun.  Leo Lionni books like Little Blue and Little Yellow can bring alive the concept of color and how they can be put together to make an absolutely new color. A little tissue paper or water colors can become an afternoon of fun. The idea of tying a book to a learning activity as simple as that and it brings learning by doing alive.

I don't know why I wanted to talk about this today. I read something recently I suppose and thought I could learn by writing about my thoughts. Learning by doing works no matter your age.

Have a wonderful day.

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