What's My Child Learning?
Week of the Young Child at the Amazeum
by Kimberly Kay
Week of the Young Child is a national celebration of early learning, children, their families and caregivers that occurs each April. At the Scott Family Amazeum we join this celebration with new experiences each day during April 10 - 16.
From the moment your child enters the world they have an unbridled curiosity. Children use all their senses to explore and understand the world around them. The Amazeum believes that children are naturally curious and creates a play environment that engages their natural curiosity to build skills and take on new challenges. When driven by their innate curiosity, children grow emotionally, build self-confidence, and begin learning how to learn. Nurturing a child's curiosity also expands their vocabulary as they use language to share what they are thinking, seeing, hearing and experiencing.
When trusted grown-ups take an active role in supporting a child’s curiosity and interest, children are encouraged to build skills, become resilient, persistent, and activate their imaginations to discover new ways to overcome obstacles. Activities such as pretend play both spark your child’s imagination and can plant the seeds of what may become a future occupation or hobby.
Week of the Young Child Amazeum Style
This year we are planning a week of activities here at the Amazeum that focus on an aspect of early learning and how play supports learning.
We kick off the week with a fan favorite, Kookie Kitchen on our outdoor playscape! Your child will be using their senses in this activity, by feeling, mixing, and exploring the materials as they wish. Sensory play builds nerve connections within the developing brain’s neural pathways, this triggers a child’s inclination for and ability in completing more complex learning tasks.
You can create the same experience at home using this Amazeum YOU video.
We love exploring music, sound, and vibration at the Amazeum. On Music Monday, we will be making music and exploring sound in the Nickelodeon Play Lab. Music is complex and requires that all parts of our brain are used in a collaborative effort.
Making music, especially tapping, clapping, bouncing, and dancing help children develop both fine and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills are the coordination of small muscles in your wrist and hands. These small muscles are the same muscles we use for writing and drawing. Gross motor skills involve the movement of large muscles such as arms, legs, and torso. Gross motor skills are used for many everyday activities such as walking and playing sports!
Play with sound at home using this Amazeum YOU video.
Work Together Wednesday
We work together in Creativity Cubed in the Amazeum Traveling Exhibits Gallery to create a city! Through collaborative play, your child is able to practice taking turns, sharing, following rules, negotiating, and compromise. Something as simple as passing materials to each other allows for young children to strengthen their social skills. Through block-based play, children are engaging in both construction and de-construction; this type of play naturally leads to asking “what if…” questions and builds creative thinking and problem-solving skills.
Engage in constructive and de-constructive block play at home with this Amazeum YOU video.
Join us in one of our favorite process art activities, Pop-art! Process-focused art is all about discovery. The focus is exploring materials, being creative, and building confidence in learning and experimenting. Process-art also allows your child to build cognitive and language skills as they communicate what they are noticing and creating.
Create your own Pop-art masterpiece at home with this Amazeum YOU Video.
Bring the whole family together for some outside nature fun in the Amazeum outdoor Playscape. We will be investigating nature and creating mosaics! Children’s basic need for physical play, exploration, risk-taking, and discovery comes naturally while outdoors. Outdoor play creates an environment for intentional learning activities that are difficult to execute indoors all while helping your child form connections from their play to the real world. As your child is outside playing, they have the chance to develop more comprehensive knowledge about their world as they observe, predict and learn in the moment. This type of play supports the enthusiasm and joy in the process of exploration and discovery also known as scientific inquiry.
Discover the opportunities for learning in a park or your own backyard. Here is an Amazeum YOU video to get you started.
We like to think every week is Week of the Young Child at the Amazeum with so many opportunities to explore, discover, create, and play when you tap into a child's natural curiosity to spark their imaginations.