Spontaneous learning opportunities can come from anything from the simplest of daily chores to large community events. For a child, the world is a magical place full of new and exciting experiences, even if it’s just discovering where rain comes from!
Spontaneous learning opportunities are easy to recognise if you know what you are looking for. A few examples of simple situations that can be turned in to fun learning experiences include: playing in mud and cooking dinner.
Playing in Mud
It’s the morning after a large rain storm and your child insists that you go outside despite your reservations – because you know there is going to be wet mushy grass outside and of course MUD. Embrace it! This is the perfect opportunity to allow your child to explore the world around them and connect with the natural environment. You now have the opportunity to teach them about the weather, creatures that live in the mud and plants that grown in it. A nice soggy morning in the mud will not only create the opportunity for your child to have fun but also to achieve the second EYLF learning outcome 2: to feel connected and contribute to the world.
It’s Tuesday night and you need to start cooking dinner. Your child is bored and beginning to whinge that they’re hungry. This is your chance! Despite the fact that cooking may be a chore to an adult, to a child it is a fun experience that can encourage the children to take increasing responsibility for their own health and become stronger in their social and emotional wellbeing – achieving learning outcome 3: Sense of Wellbeing. If you take the time to teach your child about cooking, allow them to wear the “chef’s hat” and incorporate measuring cups and proportions into the recipe you can also encourage them to become confident and involved learners (learning outcome 4) and introduce mathematical concepts too.
By learning from everyday situations, children are able to achieve several of the Early Years Learning Framework Learning outcomes, including:
Outcome 1 – Children have a strong sense of identity
Outcome 2 – Children are connected with and contribute to the world
Outcome 3 – Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
Outcome 4 – Children are confident and involved learners
Outcome 5 – Children are effective communicators.
Take a moment to see the world through the eyes of your child and try to remember just how amazing and special every new experience is. No matter how much you may try, you cannot relive the precious moments that you have now – the opportunities for your child to learn are endless.