You as the parent engage in many of the activities that foster willingness to learn. Continue to encourage and support your child with her schoolwork. Point out and enjoy life experiences with your child. Most of all: Read! Modeling this good habit will not only benefit your child, but you will enjoy it.
Activities for Babies and Toddlers
Reading is the number-one activity for babies and toddlers. They can never have enough access to books. They love to hear your voice and even though they may not understand the stories, they do begin to have favorite books.
Music and children's music videos also stimulate early learning. Allow your child to dance around as she watches, and dance around with her. One of the joys of parenting is being able to act young again, so don't miss this opportunity.
Activities for School-Age Children
Reading is still the number-one activity for children as they grow. When children reach school age, they will begin to start reading on their own, although enjoying a book together is even more fun because they can follow the story and begin discussing it. Get your child a library card and start a routine of going to the library weekly. Get a list of recommended books from teachers or other parents. Use it to give out ideas for Christmas or birthday presents. Children this age love going to a bookstore with a gift certificate. (As an added bonus, this activity teaches them about managing money.)
Hands-on is the key phrase for this age group. They are getting enough memorization practice in the classroom. Promote more right-brain learning by offering your child craft kits, clay, paint, models, and so on.
School-age children feel a sense of accomplishment every time they bring a library book home, read it, and return it on time. Have a special place in your home to store library books so you won't be on a scavenger hunt every time library day rolls around.
Activities for Teens
Reading will remain the number-one activity that encourages learning throughout your child's lifetime. It will add dimension to his personality, as he becomes an individual. It will be his number-one source of information, whether he reads books, magazines, newspapers, information on the Internet, and so on. Encourage him to read for enjoyment daily, even if it's just the comics in the newspaper. A weekly library routine is still a great idea, but you can also offer to take one of his friends with you each week.
Experiences at this age are a must to promote learning. Encourage your child to become part of an active youth organization. Allow them to be on the go-go-go; they have the energy. The more involved they are in learning experiences, the less time they have for the troubling world to step in.