How Children Learn (Early Learning and Teaching): Planning Developmentally Appropriate Activities

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Planning Developmentally Appropriate Activities for Different Domains/Areas

Providing children with regular everyday rhythms foster emotional security. However, children have a unique pace as well as they have short attention spans. Caregivers need to be open to flexibility in their transaction as well as to modify for specific children.

  • Health and Physical well-being: Physical and motor development of children is crucial to their learning and is influenced by many factors, such as genetic inheritance, nutritional status, general physical conditions as well as opportunities for movement and exercise. Milk, sprouted pulses, protein biscuits, green vegetables with porridge (Dalia), idlis, fruits can be suggested for the school snack. Helping children develop good food habits through songs, rhymes and stories will increase their orientation to nutrition and health. Health is also dependent on preventive practices such as immunization which is a schedule of preventing different diseases. Good health ensures that children stay healthy and active. There is a need to monitor physical, health and motor development on a regular basis.

  • Motor Development : Motor development depends on neural and muscular maturation. Children cannot learn any skill until they are ready for it. Motor development follows a predictable pattern. There are individual differences in the rate of motor development. Though the sequence remains the same, the specific age at which different children reach different stages differ from child to child depending upon the experiences and opportunities.

  • Language Development : Learning language is crucial for children in early childhood since it provides the foundation for later learning. Children learn language through imitating others around them, encouragement from others and opportunities for listening to and expressing ideas, thoughts and feelings. Given the right experiences and environment, their vocabulary increases steadily and rapidly. Educated parents, exposure to toys, pictures, storybooks, newspapers and a variety of objects around them, opportunities for listening good quality conversation, stories, rhymes, songs, etc., opportunities for talking and expressing their ideas to adults and other children, opportunities for play, exposure to television, radio, puppet shows, outings and excursions extend their experiences. As far as possible, the medium of interaction in early childhood must be home language of the child. Simple tasks of picture reading, helping children follow simple instructions, spotting the odd man out are good for recall and expressive vocabulary.

  • Activities of performance: Children must be encouraged to speak without too much correction. If children’s sentences are incorrect, they should not be immediately stopped, Repetition or rephrasing keep children confident. Sharing stories as daily schedule of the ECCE programme helps build communication. Stories need to be short, age appropriate and be narrated with both facial and voice expressions.

  • Development of Reading and Writing Readiness: Readiness is a stage when children are mature and ready to learn something without any stress. Reading and writing readiness refers to the ability of children to profit from any reading and writing instruction. Some amount of visual and discrimination activities are conducted with children right from three years onwards. More systematic focus on specific activities for reading and writing readiness is needed by the time the children are four-and-half to five years and ready for these activities.

Planning Developmentally Appropriate

Planning Developmentally Appropriate

  • Cognitive Development: Cognition refers to the process of knowing and understanding the environment around us. Cognitive development is the development of observation, classification, sequential thinking, and problem solving and reasoning which are basic to get to know the environment. Providing mediation with dialogue, action and direction by adults make children curious, with a desire to explore and experiment. The thought process of children keeps getting evolved as they grow. Children between three to six years of age are at pre-operational stage of cognitive development.

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