Kathryn Lord is an awarding-winning author of two wonderful books: More to Books and More to Organising. With this guest blog, Kathryn offers five simple tips on how to bring more organic learning opportunities into your home and your child’s playtimes.
An Organic Learning Cross-Over Between More to Books & More to Organising
More to Books is about using children’s books to bring learning to life in the home, and by combining it with More to Organising, you can provide the best opportunities with minimal effort. Win-win!
Tip 1: Organic Learning Through Role Play
Let’s start with role play. Adding fiction books about food into your pretend kitchen, as well as non-fiction recipe books and menus, will create reading opportunities that inspire purposeful play.
Having notebooks for making shopping lists, writing their recipes down and taking notes when someone calls the pretend telephone gives a purpose to their mark-making and gives writing opportunities. And all achieved through the joy of play.
Tip 2: Labelling Things
Placing labels on their toy boxes and drawers with words and pictures means before your child can read, they understand what is in that box.
This prevents them from tipping the whole box out, and it also helps them know where to put an item back. Eventually, your child will connect the picture with those letter formations.
Tip 3: Themed Boxes
Using what the child already is excited about is a great way to add learning opportunities.
Creating themed boxes with small-world, jigsaws, colouring books, non-fiction, fiction books etc. adds reading and writing opportunities. It also supports fine motor skills and the use of imagination.
For example, you could have a box themed ‘All things DINOSAUR’. And then encourage your child to find all the things that belong in that box. And this is an excellent opportunity to share and discuss reasoning. And if that doesn’t create a giggle or two (for both of you), I don’t know what will!
A themed box is much more useful than a box full of jigsaws. While jigsaws are fun, it’s unlikely they’ll be motivated to do ten jigsaws in one go, but they might like the variety of a themed box of games.
Having themed boxes also means it is easier to tidy up.
Tip 4: Organic Learning Through Toy Rotation
If you have lots of toys out, it can overwhelm your child which can lead to boredom as there is too much choice or they can’t find what they are looking for.
Reducing what is available and rotating can support this. You don’t need the zoo and the farm out at the same time! The themed boxes can help here too.
Tip 5: Bath Time
Adding waterproof books, foam letters or numbers and bath crayons instantly creates an organic learning opportunity. And it makes bath time more fun while helping with letter and number recognition and mark-making skills.
Just make sure you add tidying up into the bath routine.
Making Organic Learning Fun and Easy to Achieve.
More to Books is about creating purposeful activities to make learning more fun and More to Organising is not only about sorting spaces, but also about creating routines and habits to support your child to become more independent and make your life easier.
To Purchase Kathryn’s Books.
The two books work together to bring learning to life in the home through books and organisation.
‘There’s More to Books than Reading’ is a multi-award winning book sharing children’s books and activities bringing learning to life in the home across the EYFS curriculum, with quotes from Children’s authors and TV/Radio personalities.
‘More to Organising’ is the newest book in the ‘More to…’ series which gives techniques to sort rooms and routines to help your child develop and make your life easier.