3 Ways to Encourage a Growing Mind in the New Year

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We’re almost at the end of 2016, and as I reflect on the year I can’t help but to marvel at how much my  Ayva has grown in the last twelve months. She started off the year as a 6-year-old first grader who liked reading well enough, but ended the year as a 7-year-old second grade bookworm who sleeps with a flashlight so she can read books in the middle of the night. She completed two major projects; a state report on Pennsylvania in the first grade, and a presentation all about manatees just a few days ago, and is proving to Terrence and me every day that her little mind is growing.

As Ayva gets older, it’s going to be even more important for us to stay in tune with what she needs to continue to grow. We’ve already discussed some of the things we can do to support her, and have fun in the process. Yes, we’re going to have fun while we’re learning because that’s important to our family!

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LISTEN

Ayva is at the age where she can tell us what she wants to know more about. Instead of pushing her into the things that we’re interested in, we’re making it a point to listen to her and do what we can to encourage her exploration of new things. Whether that means signing her up for a modern dance class, taking her to a writing workshop at the library, or buying things like the Play & Store Building Block Set from Lakeshore Learning because she wants to know more about how things are made, we’re committed to supporting her as she tries new things.

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Not only are we going to support Ayva as she finds new interests, but Terrence and I are going to be spending more time on the things that we like to do as well. I’ve been wanting to take a cake decorating class, and Terrence is interested in becoming a better photographer. If Ayva sees us being challenged, and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones, she’ll be inspired to do the same thing!

PARTICIPATE

I am the QUEEN of self-directed play. I really believe that children learn more when they have a chance to figure things out on their own instead of having an adult around to show them how to do everything all of the time. That doesn’t mean that we don’t ever need to participate, though. Sometimes kids do need direction, and projects like the Dazzling Butterfly Mobile or Picture-Perfect String Art Set allow us to make and figure out projects together. Of course, all of the board games that we love from Lakeshore Learning are a fun and easy way to participate and support Ayva’s growing mind, too!

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Are you looking for new ways to support your child’s growing mind? Check out Lakeshore’s 2016 Gifts for Growing Minds for age appropriate toys, games, and activities that are both fun and educational. The Gifts for Growing Minds catalog has over 200 items that inspire creativity, imagination, and discovery for children ages 0-11! Here’s a 20% off coupon to check some of the offerings out!

We love being blog ambassadors for Lakeshore Learning! Keep following us here on the blog, and on Facebook  as we continue to share videos and pictures of different products and activities in action. Head over to Lakeshore Learning on Facebook,Twitter,Pinterest, or their website for ideas on ways to engage your children in education and make learning fun

I am a blog ambassador for Lakeshore and am compensated for my work. I received product free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.