A year is almost over and a new year is about to begin. «But … what is a year?».
For us adults, days, months and years are intuitive concepts, which we have internalized and made our own, but for children it is not so automatic! For them the world is what they live and see right now. How, then, can we help them to have an overview as concrete as possible of this dimension?
Thanks to these 3 simple activities we can begin to make the concept of time for our little one more concrete, always having fun and spending quality time together:
MODIFY OUR LANGUAGE and accentuate the concepts “before”, “after”, “now”, highlighting the causal relationship between events
To do this it is important to take advantage of everyday life! Here are some examples: “First we have to set the table and then we can eat.” or “Let’s put our boots on first and then we can go out and walk in the puddles.” They are all simple and daily actions, but above all very concrete and easily visualized, which follow one another in a precise logical sequence and of which the result can be seen in a short time. These observations, which may seem trivial, will allow us to guide the child as an observer of events to help him grow temporal awareness within him.
GO BACK IN TIME to develop children’s storytelling skills
Go back over the past months and remember the events you have experienced, the activities you have done, what you have learned and the emotions you have experienced. Which activity did you enjoy the most? Which, on the other hand, was less engaging? What is the best memory linked to each month? What event that you had forgotten came back to your mind while browsing through some photographs? Were we on a beach holiday before grandma’s birthday? Does my birthday come before or after yours? Give your children time to look for the photos related to the event and help them with a timeline or calendar to rearrange the events in the right order. It doesn’t matter if they’re wrong or confused, you’re learning together and it’s important to celebrate every little victory and correct answer.
PLAY WITH THE CLOTHES OF THE DIFFERENT SEASONS
The cycle of the seasons is a natural phenomenon of great importance, which involves the whole world around us and in particular brings with it great changes in our daily life. Prepare a basket with objects and items of clothing that are characteristic for each season: snow gloves for the winter, a sweatshirt for the spring, bucket and shovel for the beach for the summer, a basket for mushrooms for the autumn … the more you manage to compose a varied selection of clothing and objects, the greater and more challenging the game will be. It might be interesting to be able to represent food as well, in particular fruit and vegetables, perhaps helping you with the feint that the child uses to play. Show the basket to the little one and take out the objects one by one, always with surprise and in a fun way. Look at them together and ask the little one to name everything. Then guide him in matching each object to the right season. For example: “It is autumn and we use the umbrella”; “It’s spring and we’re eating strawberries.”
The QUID + editorial line, published by Gribaudo-Gruppo Feltrinelli, offers a useful tool that can be downloaded free of charge that will accompany us for the whole year: ‘My first calendar – 2022’ will allow our little ones to build a representation of their personal history, which it will help to improve the cognition of time and to become aware of what is happening.