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The Fun Side of Learning

 

Hello to my Colors Are Magic friends! I’m so excited to be guest posting for Nickey today!
I’m Stephanie from The Nanny Journals.

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That monkey on my back is my bff, M. He’s two-and-a-half and we spend a lot of time together.
We basically tell each other everything.
Now, if you couldn’t tell from my blog, I’m M’s nanny.
I’ve been with the little guy since the day he was born and it’s been the best 2.5 years of my career.


Before my life as M’s nanny, I earned my Associate’s in Early Childhood Education and spent 8+ years using that degree as a preschool teacher. I had every age from infant to school-age and one of my favorite things to focus on is fostering each child’s creativity and imagination!
Oh and one more thing you should know about me… I’m a Potterhead (aka I love Harry Potter)!

So let’s talk creativity and imagination for a little bit.
Why are these skills so important for our little ones to learn?!
Imagination doesn’t just play a part in our childhood; it’s beneficial throughout our lives!

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Architects must be able to visualize a building before it’s even drawn up.
Authors need to be able to come up with new and exciting storylines.
Scientists need to be able to think outside the box to create new formulas.
Doctors need to think creatively to come up with new medicines and procedures.
Teachers need to teach each child in a way that they will understand.

Encouraging creativity and imagination is something that needs to happen daily!
Read out loud and read often.
Ask questions.
Don’t put stipulations on their creative process.
Move art or play time to a new environment.
Allow plenty of independent play.

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Read stories out loud from the very beginning. Even if they don’t sit quietly and listen, I promise they’re listening.
(M has already learned to love Harry Potter because of reading out loud!)
Offer toys and experiences that foster creativity and imagination.
Watch and listen to how they’re playing.

Easy peasy, right?!
Not always.
It’s easy to stifle their imagination without even realizing it.
“Cars can’t park on the roof, silly! Build a garage for them to park in.”
“Careful to keep the paint on your paper.”
“Don’t mix those two things together. That will make too big of a mess.”
“You need to color more than this. This is a waste of paper.”

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If the mess bothers you, take precautions to save your sanity and to allow your littles to have free reign!
Cover the floor and table top with old sheets or an old shower curtain.
Put the kiddos in old clothes.
Move the science experiment outside.

But most importantly, pay attention to your words.
If they want to park their car on the roof of their Lego house, ask how they’ll get it down.
If they start mixing dirt into their pink paint, talk about how that will make an awesome new texture to work with.
If they scribble all over their paper, comment on all the beautiful colors and ask them to tell you about their picture.
If they dip their orange slices in their ranch dressing, ask them to describe the taste they experience.

Focusing and changing your wording and how you interact with your littles takes practice.
It takes a whole mindset change.
But if I can do it, you can do it!
Encourage them in all the silly, creative stories they come up with.
Follow their lead.
You’ll learn more about yourself in the process!

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Fostering these important skills is so important early on in life.
They’re the building blocks for future learning.
Besides, it’s never too late for us to grow as adults!

Thank you for letting me take over for a day, Nickey!
Please hop over to my blog, TheNannyJournals.com and say hi! I always welcome new friends!
You can also stop by our Facebook page, The Nanny Chronicles, find me on IG (@nanny_steph) and Twitter (@NannyJournals).

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