When you follow a child’s interest it can lead you anywhere. You can find interesting preschool crafts, activities for kids, play games, have great family travels and family fun. You also build your child’s self worth and belief that their thoughts matter and that someone is listening to them.
How do these interests come about?
These interests can come about rather innocently, from watching something on TV, reading it in a book or even from the fun remembered on a family vacation.
How do you make an interest become something more?
Give your child/children the reins. Don’t be afraid to follow their lead on an interest. It can be hard, as we may also get excited, but really try to allow your child to give you the answers and not impose your ideas onto them. Ask them open questions, research the interest and if the excitement remains or even grows, then by listening to your child and implanting their thoughts and ideas it will grow.
What if they don’t come up with ideas?
When I notice a child has a specific interest I begin the process slowly. I watch them, see what they are excited about and then will provide a picture book that supports it, or maybe something on the internet. Then we start the research:
“What do you see in this picture”
“What do you think it is used for”
“What would you use it for”
Each question may lead you to another and so forth. The learning may take off in a completely different direction, but run with it.
What you are giving is invaluable. You are teaching your child to be a critical thinker, to ask questions and find out the answers. More importantly you are giving your child your attention, your time and the opportunity to share what matters to them.
I have made my first you-tube video that will show you the awesome power of following a child’s interest. It briefly tells the story of why the interest happened and one preschool craft we did with it.