The natural instinct of all parents is to ensure that their children get the best opportunities at being a success in life.  That kids perform better academically and in other areas from a young age with greater parental involvement is no secret.

Football players, musicians, decorated academics, and many other successful individuals attribute their achievements to parents who helped and pushed them from a young age.

One key concern for parents is ensuring that children are prepared to be the best ‘sponge’ they can be. This ensures that children maximize learning opportunities, whether it is on the sports field, in the classroom, or with the after-class music tutor.

How does this happen? Parents do not simply make their children great learners because they tell them they have to be. Indeed, preparing a child to be great is something that we do without them actually realizing what is going on.

How can you help your children to be the best learners they can be from a young age, and leave them perfectly set up to make the most of all learning opportunities through their educational years?

Creative Play

Most people know that playtime is an effective learning tool for children, but some ways that are more effective than others are. The common denominator is, unsurprisingly, you, the parent.

The trick is to find toys that you and your child can use in four or five different ways as an effective learning tool.

Take a simple pairs matching game as an example. The primary purpose of such a toy is memory development, but the potential is far greater. Depending on the type of game it is, you could use it for learning the alphabet, numbers, animals, colors, early reading, or many more things.

Another example would be a toy doll. The child sees it as a doll, but again you can ask questions around the color of clothing, what the doll did today, where they live, and many others that will help to develop your child’s imagination.

All of these encourage your child to take things at more than face value, and to delve deeper into things. Immediately, you have made them better learners and interested in detail without them realizing.

Making Music

Learning a musical instrument has long been a favorite way for parents to help bring out their children’s creative side. Various scientific studies have also shown that learning an instrument helps children to develop in other ways and helps to prepare their brains to take in information more effectively.

Does the instrument in question matter?

Generally, any instrument can help, although it is often natural to begin with percussion instruments from a young age as these are all relatively simple and appealing to youngsters. If there is a downside, it is the inevitable noise children make when playing drums of the xylophone!

Just playing the instrument and ‘self-learning’ can help. Do not think you need to be able to access an expensive private tutor to help unlock your child’s potential.

Reading Together

The award-winning children’s author Emilie Buchwald is perhaps more famous for something she said rather than her novels.

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents” is something Buchwald said many years ago, yet it still rings true today.

The difference between reading a book to a child, and sitting with them on our laps or next to us so they can follow the words themselves might seem innocuous, but in fact, it can be huge. Even if all your child picks up is how to follow what you read, that can have a positive impact on their learning at all ages.

Getting Ready

All of these techniques to help children develop and prepare them for further learning are well known, yet still parents choose the easy option of leaving children to play alone or parking them in front of the television or games console.

If you have been guilty of this at times, explore how you can better help to engage your child, and increase their chances of success in later life, whatever path they follow.

This guest post was written by Kate at A Girl For All Time who specializes in unique dolls for girls.