*The required FTC disclosure: Awesome news here—I am now a Better Beginnings ambassador! I do get paid to write an article for them once a month, but the best thing is that I get to learn, and in turn share with you, great information about how kids learn and helping them learn through play. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I believe in the mission of Better Beginnings.
Back to Basics: Learning Size and Capacity
I write a lot about hands-on learning and all the ways we do that in our home, but I have neglected to write about the way that all children learn, whether they have special needs or not, especially in the early years. They learn through play!
I was reminded of this last week when my younger daughter brought me a small plastic pot with a plastic hamburger patty and bun inside. They were stuck, and she had already broken several toothpicks in an attempt to dislodge them, and the hamburger patty also had a significant gouge from a pen. I used a butter knife to get both items out of the pot and briefly explained to her that something that is almost exactly the same size as the container she’s putting it in is likely to get stuck. She nodded, took the toys, and went back to her play kitchen.
I was fascinated moments later to realize that she was still playing in the kitchen, but this time she had several different pots and pans out and more plastic food items. She was putting different food items into various containers, testing to see which ones were big enough to hold the food, how much they could hold, and which food items would fit in which containers.
I was reminded of the times when she was younger when she would play in the bathtub until her fingers and toes wrinkled and the water got cold, pouring water into and out of various containers, seeing how many times she would have to pour one cup into another to fill it up, pouring everything out again, and starting over.
Then it hit me. Children learn about size and capacity through play! I also realized that, because she’s older, I don’t give my daughter enough time to explore these concepts through play, even though she still struggles with them during math assignments.
I would have missed this revelation that will help me teach my daughter more effectively if I hadn’t just heard the Better Beginnings philosophy explained. Better Beginnings wants families to realize that learning often looks much different from the textbooks and workbooks we were given. Children in Better Beginnings programs don’t bring home worksheets. They spend their days in hands-on exploration, and much of it looks just like . . . play!
While Better Beginnings provides a ratings system for child care programs (both in-home and day care centers) in Arkansas, they offer resources and information about child development that are helpful to anyone who cares for children! Be sure to visit their website and social media channels for more information.
Are you in Arkansas? Want to know more about the Better Beginnings program? Here’s a video that explains it:
Other articles in the Learning Through Play series:
- Why My Child Almost Failed Kindergarten – And Yours Doesn’t Have To
- Playground Safety for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder
- 5 Apps My Kids Love (and I do too!)
- 4 Tips for When Your Child’s Best Friend Moves Away
- 7 Life Skills Kids Can Learn through Board Games