Learning through play makes learning fun, and does not pressurize the child to be "correct". No amount of formal training and nursery school learning can substitute the effort of a parent spending time playing with the child.
Through play, you can stimulate your child's mind and encourage her to think. She will learn to find the solution by herself - a vital learning step.It is never too early to start. Even going through albums with her and describing the people and the event (which may be a story to her) will help sharpen her memory. If she can recall the event the next time you show her the photograph, you're home! What is more, she is also learning to express herself and form her thoughts into a logical sequence.
Sharing rhymes and stories develops a child's imagination and verbal skills. Children who are exposed to rhymes in pre school years also have fewer problems with reading in the later years. Here are some ways in which you can play with rhymes.
Finish the song: Start singing a song or rhyme that your child likes and is familiar with. And instead of finishing it, allow her to finish it. Make the pause something she can easily identify, like making the sentence end with a question. All the king's…? The cat and the…? Twinkle, twinkle, little…? Eventually she will be able to recite the whole nursery rhyme by herself.
Find a rhyme: After the age of 3, ask your child to think of rhymes. What rhymes with rose? See how many you can think of with her- hose, pose, nose, shows……
Small children can keep only one thing in mind (research says adults can keep about seven). This is why they speak in short sentences and follow one step instructions like "Go to the kitchen. Now pick up the cup. Bring it to me." Rather than, "Get me the cup from the kitchen."
At the age of two, start identifying colours. Show your child an example of a colour and go around the house finding other things that are the same colour. The easiest is to start with red. Red teddy bear, red tomato, red car, red crayon. Display all, and teach her to categorize- some are toys, some food.
Hide a toy where your child can reach it. Explain that she will find it if she follows your instructions exactly. "Walk to the corridor, enter the bedroom. Look under the bed." Once she finds the treasure, praise her. Take turns guiding each other.
Forming categories develop reason and memory. Ask your child to name three fruits she likes, "I like mango, pear and pineapple," and three vegetables she dislikes. "I don't like beans, karela and lauki." As she gets better, make her clarify, "I like mango because it is sweet and juicy, I don't like karela because it is bitter."
Remember, if children are pushed too hard, they switch off. If she loses patience with a game, leave it. There is always tomorrow, or another game.