The Fall is a great season to enjoy the outdoors with your child. Fall is the perfect season to enhance your child’s sensitivity. While at the park or on a walk around the neighborhood, your child can stop to explore the fallen leaves and acorns around him/her. This experience with nature is an important part of children’s development. In addition to your regular outdoor play, try exploring the nature of the Fall season with your child as well.
We introduced 5 fun activities to try during the Fall season but there are many other fun things to do during this season. Parents should take advantage of the beautiful weather outside to expand their child’s imagination and learn about the natural environment around them. Attending classes where children can explore nature with children their own age is also effective.
Although adults are aware that reading has many benefits, in recent years we have seen an increase in the number of young people who do not read. In many families, parents read books to their child before bed. However, what can parents do to encourage their child to read on their own? In this article, we will go over the benefits of reading and what parents can do to promote reading at home.
Children with good grades are said to continue to read when they are adults and receive good salaries. People often think that the time available for reading decreases when study time increases. However, children who like to read tend to finish their homework more quickly so they have time to read. Reading is an important tool for improving one’s knowledge. Let’s try to encourage our children to get in the habit of reading from a young age.
Children’s games in Canada (which has different weather and environment) are different than the games kids play in Japan. Japanese animation and toys are popular as well, but in this article, we will introduce some popular games only in Canada.
How was it? In Canada, families enjoy playing outside in the park and going camping. The variety of nationalities and cultures make Canada an exciting place to live and visit. It is important for children to be exposed to nature and various cultures from a young age. In Japan, attending classes and international school will give your child the opportunity to interact with nature and people of various cultures and backgrounds. This will support their development and prepare them for the future.
There are many educational toys and lessons. However, there are also many kinds of play activities that you can do at home as a family which promote learning and communication.
In this article, we will introduce 5 activities that do not require special props and can be easily done at home. Please take them into consideration the next time you are looking for activities to do at home as a family.
Pretend cooking with clay
Most children enjoy pretending to cook with clay. You can try making fruits, vegetables and even bread. Then pretend to cut them up and cook them.
Depending on your child’s age, you can also prepare play knives, pots and pans to make the activity more realistic.
If parents start by explaining the recipe (steps) and ask their child to follow your instructions, your child will gain memory skills and learn how to listen and follow directions Also when pretending to cook for a group of people your child will be able to learn about numbers and counting when dividing the food among the people involved.
Creating “amidakuji” (ladder lottery)
Creating “amidakuji” (ladder lottery) is a traditional Japanese activity that is said to support the development of logical thinking.
It is an easy activity to learn. Simply write an “amidakuji” on a piece of paper then from the spot you choose determine which line you should draw to reach the goal.
Parents should add random lines and allow their child to decide which additional line is needed to win.
You can play with the same “amidakuji” more than once. All you need to play this game is a paper and pencil.
Sewing with felt
Sewing with a needle and thread requires children to use their fine motor skills and concentrate.
For younger children, it is a good idea to start with a needle with a larger hole.
For really young children you can make holes in paper or felt with a hole punch and have them use yarn to go through the holes.
Making and observing colors with paint
Prepare three colors of paint (red, blue, yellow) and explore mixing them to make new colors. Children can experiment to figure out how much of each paint they should add to make the color they want. After many trial and errors children will realize which color can be made by combining each color. This activity supports the development of imagination and exploration skills.
Make your own stories using the characters in picture books
Using the character from your child’s favorite picture book, pretend that your child is that character and have him/her make their own story. This activity will make your child excited about reading and books. You can ask your child what he/she would do if he/she was the main character. This will help him/her develop his/her imagination. By incorporating these activities into your daily family life, play activities can become more educational. On days that you are unable to go out please consider trying some of the activities introduced in this article.
We will be holding our popular Baby Events (for babies 6-10 months and their parents) on Nov 9 (Sat) from 15:30 at our Motoazabu site and Nov 10 (Sun) from 15:30 at our Jiyugaoka site. Please join us and find out how much fun you can have with your little one at Gymboree!
Most parents are aware that the use of blocks has educational effects.
A survey published by Lego Japan in 2018 found that about 70% of Tokyo University students played with Lego.
In addition, the majority of those 70% of Tokyo University students answered that they gained various skills from playing with Lego.
What educational effects can parents expect their children will gain from playing with Lego? Let’s take a look.
What are the educational effects of using blocks?
In a survey of Tokyo University students, when asked the question “what was the most important skill you needed to get into Tokyo University?” 75% of the students answered “concentration skills”.
A majority of the students surveyed also stated that playing with Lego as a child helped them gain “concentration skills”.
Playing with small blocks requires children to concentrate carefully and use their fine motor skills.
Memory and Cognitive Skills
Playing with blocks requires children to use their fingertips which is said to activate the cerebrum.
The cerebrum is in control of our memory and cognitive skills so while playing with blocks children can develop these skills naturally.
Chukyo Gakuin University Junior College Department of Childcare, Associate Professor Osamu Kawada found, according to his 2017 survey, that students who played with blocks when they were young have good spatial awareness skills. Playing with blocks requires children to build and consider how high and big their structure will get when adding more blocks.
When playing with blocks, children can build something according to the instructions or use their imaginations to create their own design.
It requires to think about what they can create with which combination of blocks and use their imagination and be creative while trying to build their design.
According to the survey results from Lego Japan, 90% of the Tokyo University students that played with Lego when they were young often made their own designs and creations instead of following what was written in the book. This type of block use supports children’s in developing creativity.
These skills will be helpful in the life both inside and outside of school.
Problem Solving Skills
When using blocks, children use trial and error to create the structure they imagined.
They learn to challenge themselves and not give up until the structure has been created correctly. This helps them develop problem skills.
Using blocks with peers helps children learn how to work as a team
Children can play with blocks on their own and in a group. At schools and during classes, children often work together to decide what to create and how to work as a team to create the final product.
Playing with blocks has many educational effects and we recommend that all children have the opportunity to use them while young.
When parents ask their child if they like science, some children say they love it and other say they hate it.
These days, it is said that more and more children dislike science. If children begin to dislike science in elementary school, they tend to be bad at it in junior high school and high school as well.
In science, through experiments and observation, children cultivate an inquisitive mind and creativity.
If possible, parents want to maintain their child’s curiosity and bring out their interest in science.
In this article, we will consider what actions parents can take to encourage their child to like science.
What parents can do to encourage an interest in science
The first step in gaining an interest in science is being given the opportunity to observe science in action.
It is a good idea for parents to go to the neighborhood park with their children and observe insects and other living things. Observing insects and plants in real life may encourage children to gain an interest in science and how the world works.
The second step is visiting the zoo or aquarium and observing animals or fish that children don’t see in their daily lives.
Through observing in person living things that they see in picture books and encyclopedias, children become even more curious about the world around them.
Once your child begins to show interest in science, it is a good idea to bring them to the museum for an event or special exhibit.
Parents should choose an event or exhibit that is meant for their age and that they can understand. Science experiments often catch the attention of younger children.
If it is hard to leave the house, you can try popular science toys and games at home. Watching science documentaries and doing experiments at home are also good ideas.
Whichever method, it is important to stimulate your child’s curiosity and encourage them to be interested in the world around them.
If you are not interested in science, it is a good idea to put them in a class where they have the opportunity to explore nature and science with their peers.