Have you ever stopped to think about all the opportunities there are each and every day for you to take advantage of teachable moments with your children?
According to Samantha Stern, “When you really stop think about it, almost everything you do in a day can provide an excellent opportunity to help your children better understand the world around and how to become independent young adults.”
In the Kitchen
As a parent, you spend a lot of time prepping meals in the kitchen everyday. This time doesn’t have to be viewed as a chore. Rather, by actively involving your children in meal preparation, you care share some quality time with your children and also teach a variety of life skills and lessons.
Stern recommends that you have your children help you measure out items for recipes and use the opportunities to educate them about how fractions work. “Baking offers a real hands-on way for children to be able to understand fractions,” she says.
Stern also recommends that you show your children how through team work you can work together to cook a meal, prepare a table, serve the meal, and clean up afterward.
“By getting your children involved in the process of cooking,” says Stern, “they learn that cooking is fun and that math has everyday applications that are easy to grasp and understand.”
When Grocery Shopping
Grocery shopping too can be viewed as a chore. However, if you take your children along with you, it can be a great way to teach them about budgeting and nutrition.
“Start off your shopping experience by telling your children how much you have budgeted to spend. Then ask your children to help you get items on your list and have them compare the prices of different brands to determine which is the best deal,” says Stern.
“Show them how you can stretch your budget by using coupons or buying things that are on sale. And when it comes time to check out, give them the money to pay the cashier for the bill.”
Stern also recommends that you talk to your children while shopping about healthy eating choices versus unhealthy choices. Teach them how to read labels and look for things that are high in fiber and low in sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
All parents find themselves traveling with their children more than they might like to. However, when you think about it, being caught in traffic is a great time to teach children about rules in society, safety, and directions.
“Use your drive times to talk to your children about the importance of wearing their seatbelts, following the speed limit, and why we all must obey stop light signals,” says Stern.
“Explain why you need to watch the road, what happens if you are caught going over the speed limit, and why fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances have sirens.”
Finally says Stern, “Use longer trips as opportunities to teach children about directions and how to read a map. Involving them in the traveling process will minimize the drive time for them and may actually eliminate the question, ‘Are we there yet?'”
Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart.
The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere, individualized, nurturing care, and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage. Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social.
The agency has locations in downtown Milwaukee, on Milwaukee’s southside, in Greenfield, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. For more information please call 414-643-5070 or visit the agency’s website at https://www.ebenezerchildcare.com/