When we decide to have more children, we still put a lot of pressure on ourselves to teach them the basic skills most children learn before the school years approach. There are some crucial ways to find out if and when your child is ready for preschool, but parents feel the need to prepare them and help them retain some information before jumping in. Most subsequent babies won't receive as much attention from their parents and/or guardians, considering their time must be divided for each child.
With this in mind, putting some responsibility on the older sibling(s) can relieve you from having to sit down with your youngest to teach them some basic (and fun) skills. Allowing your older child to be the teacher will be both rewarding and encouraging for both children, for years to come. Here, we have gathered 10 simple and easy lessons that your older child can assist in teaching your younger. Make it fun, educational and practical. They'll be sure to enjoy every moment!
As simple (and fun) as this activity may seem, colouring is not only great for practicing fine-motor skills, but incredibly therapeutic. Colouring may seem like quite the elementary skill to learn, but it can be calming for truly any age.
According to an article within Science Daly, more than 1 in 20 US children are diagnosed with Anxiety. Colouring can actually help relieve some of this tension. There also may be nothing sweeter than watching your older child(ren) teach your younger how to pencil-grip, then go to town by allowing their creativity to flow.
Encourage your older child to have fun with this type of lesson. Spelling can come very quickly to some, and somewhat slower for others. Every child learns at a difference pace, and having an older sibling assist with this type of skill may aid in their confidence and capacity to learn quicker, since their comfort level will presumably be higher with their sibling.
Begin with the easy words that they already know. Then, allow the older child to choose which (appropriate) words they'd like to teach their younger brother and/or sister.
8 Chores Around The House
Performing household chores such as laundry, dishes and preparing meals is incredibly helpful for children to learn and become accustomed to. When children see their older sibling assist in home duties, they are more likely to become intrigued by such tasks.
If it's as simple as preparing a meal for the family, any little bit helps when it comes to helping out around the house.
Being active should be a part of daily life. Baby see, baby do. Even if your children are not signed up for an extra-curricular activity outside of school, picking up a fun and easy sport such as soccer or basketball is incredibly rewarding for both parent and child.
Sports such as those involving one ball and potentially one net can be easily accessed, as well. Allowing your older child to teach their younger siblings the skills of a sport is very useful, at any age. Not only is this valuable bonding time for your children, it will feel like all fun and (literally) games while they learn a new skill.
6 Months Of The Year
For younger children, learning the months of the year can seem like a redundant and boring lesson. Unless personalized, the months of the year can sometimes seem simply useless.
Allow your older child to incorporate family member's and friend's birthdays along with this lesson. For example, if mom's birthday is June 1st, write "mom" underneath the date. Now, not only are they getting a spelling lesson and months of the year lesson, but they are also potentially retaining birthdays of loved ones.
5 Days Of The Week
Again, learning something like the days of the week can be tricky if it's not repeated (almost) on a daily basis for younger children. If it's not personalized or incorporated in a daily activity, learning the days of the week can be tricky.
Allowing your older child to sit down with their sibling and teach them what day of the week it is can (actually) be fun! Whether it comes in song, in rhyme or in visuals, encourage your older daughter and/or son to be creative.
4 Getting Dressed
As we said before, baby see, baby do! Encouraging independence at a very young age is incredibly rewarding and powerful. Your older child will absolutely be an individual that your younger child will likely look up to. Whether they inspire their thoughts, dreams or overall aesthetic, they can help teach their sibling(s) how to create an outfit from scratch.
Getting dressed is one of the most exciting parts of the day. Creating an overall look is not only fun, but creative and inspiring! Allowing your older child to assist in getting your younger child dressed will help you in more ways than one.
3 Brushing Teeth
This may seem like an incredibly responsible (and annoying) task to ask your older child to help with, but the time before bed can be the goofiest and best for bonding. Allowing your older child to help teach the importance of oral hygiene to their younger sibling is incredibly important.
The more they do this together, the more time mom and/or dad have to themselves. Encourage an independent, bedtime routine with some assistance from your older child. You'll be happy you did!
2 Getting Ready To Leave The House
From trying not to forget your keys, the diaper bag, the snacks and goodness knows what else, getting everything together to simply leave the house can be a complete disaster. If you have more than one child, it's even more work.
Allowing the older child to help get the younger child ready can be fun and encouraging.Even if it's as simple as, "honey, can you put on the baby's shoes?" This may save you a lot of time, energy and patience.
Sometimes, an activity that your child can easily teach and encourage their younger sibling to do is read. Find some incredible starter books in this article to become inspired by some simple reads. There is simply nothing more darling than watching your children read together.
Repetition is key for younger children, and if they happen to love one book specifically, the more the older sibling reads it, the faster the younger one will pick up the words.Encourage your older child to incorporate this into their night-time routine. It will be something that they (and you) will forever cherish.