When my daughter was a toddler, like all parents, I secretly hoped I was rearing a little genius. The first clue was that her first word was “hello” — surely, a sign of an outward facing, philosophical approach to life.
So with little need for encouragement, I began to feed her genius tendencies. I enthusiastically talked her through everything we were doing each day, and reflected on what we’d done at the end of the day just to top up her vocab. (A little embarrassing in the supermarket queue, but still, genius child in the making here.)
I read her books that were slightly ahead of her reading age, you know, just to keep the momentum up. I may have made her memorise who the Prime Minister was to impress friends and relatives. Ok and I taught her how to count to 10 in Japanese because you know, global village and all that.
Kate and her daughter in more recent years. Image: provided.
But there was a method to my madness. In reality, like all parents, I just wanted her to thrive. As a first time parent, soon I began to realise that even if she wasn’t a fully certified genius, she loved being challenged, stimulated, and immersed in tasks she could exercise a little control over. I realised that trying to raise a little genius was not so crazy after all.
Here are some of the key genius activities we partook in in the early years.
All mini geniuses need to understand ecology, and water seemed an excellent entry-level activity. Water had always mesmerised my daughter from a young age. Bath times became longer as she grew, and she would giggle, play and sing endlessly with her beloved bath toys. Even simple stacking cups or plastic spoons were enough to occupy and engage her.
Bath time is the best time! Image: iStock.
Although as parents we’re not always welcoming to the onslaught of noise, one simply cannot get in the way of a mini Mozart in the making. Again with my daughter, because she was in control, she was very happier to engage with musical instruments and looked proudly to me for applause and recognition of her accomplishments. Crash, bang, ding! Brilliant.
Painting is a great way for your child to express their creative side. Image: iStock.
My daughter was always a huge fan of having her own version of anything that replicated something key to the adult world. Her favourite was her mini laptop, as mummy was often on her laptop doing lots of very important things… Ahem.
IT skills are so important in this day and age, and helping kids become familiar with various technologies that helps them learn and create will foster a love of IT in your little cherub.
The Fisher-Price® Laugh & Learn® Smart Stages™ Tablet is a great example of a toy that does just this. This tablet includes Smart Stages™ technology, an exciting new way to change the learning content as your baby grows. Because every baby develops at their own pace, Smart Stages™ technology gives you the ability to select the stage that’s best for your child.
The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Tablet. Image: Fisher-Price.
Kids these days can even chose from “app” buttons (of course they can!) to activate sounds and music – and unlock learning about letters, first words, animals and more.
In an ideal world, they’ll be creating their own apps in no time.
My daughter also loved unstructured play outdoors, in a toddler Bear Grylls sort of way. Shoes off, grubby hands scrunching up leaves and chasing our cat, helping mum and dad in the garden with kid-sized gardening tools. Even just simply running around in circles and letting some energy out – my daughter loved a bit of Outdoor Education, devised by her own whim.
My daughter loved to emulate me, and what I did day-to-day around the house. She loved nothing more than to pretend to be an adult – pretend phone calls to grandpa, pretend cleaning up the house, even pretend looking for the keys… Things she associated with being a grown up like mummy. This is clearly a sophisticated analysis of our culture what it is to be a grown up human.
So if you too have an active, curious little genius in the making, remember to give them the tools they need to run the world. Or at least, your lounge room.
What activities have you found helpful in aiding your child's learning and development?
Fisher-Price™ is one of the leading infant and preschool brands in the world with over 84 years’ experience and research in making the world’s leading baby gear and preschool products. Fisher-Price™ brings to life the benefits of play based learning through the celebration of your child’s milestones . It is a brand built on the simple honest principles that our products must be playful, imaginative and trust-worthy. Fisher-Price™ gives your child the best possible start.
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