5 Easy Ways to Personalise Your Child’s Learning Experience
During your child’s first year, you’ll notice that they seem to develop at a rapid pace. Their weight will double between the 5th – 6th months and triple by the time they hit their first birthday. They’ll also go through many major milestones – like learning how to roll over and sit up. Some babies may even begin saying the first words – like ‘mama’ and ‘dada’. However, no two babies are exactly alike (not even twins), so do expect your child to develop at their own pace.
According to a study done by Dr Natalia Kucirkova, a Senior Research Fellow at the Department for Learning & Leadership, UCL Institute of Education in London, UK, personalisation – either visual, textual or audio – can positively contribute to your child’s early learning experiences. If you’re a parent living in modern society, here are some ways you can personalise your child’s learning experience.
Personalised Picture Book
There are plenty of ways that you can personalise your child’s learning experience. One of the tried and true methods is by reading to your child from personalised picture books. This visual form of personalisation will allow your child to see themselves in the book – leading them to identify things much more easily. These personalised picture books can be especially helpful if you’re trying to teach your child about something new about their world – like the alphabet or what a bat or a cat looks like. If your child also happens to be on the autism spectrum, personalised picture books can also be a great way to extend their reading experience as children with autism are more visual learners.
In addition to helping your child learn about the world they’re living in, the utilising of a personalised picture book can also foster a better parent-child atmosphere by creating ‘dialogue’ centred around the book and inviting parents in (to further communicate with their child).
Personalised Story Books
For children who are a little older (4 – 10 range), personalised story books have a similar effect to personalised picture books. The only difference is that the personalisation is more textual rather than visual. To further clarify, textual personalisation involves personalising a book’s text, such as including the child’s name as part of the storyline. The feeling of ‘novelty’ as your child reads through a storyline whereby they go on adventures or appear as the ‘hero’ will not only make their reading much more fun and engaging experience, but it can also help your child further develop their language skills.
When your child suddenly finds themselves at the heart of a story, they’re encouraged to speak out more with phrases such as ‘that’s me!’, ‘or ‘is it my birthday?’.
These questions present an opportunity to parents (or whoever is reading with the child) to extend their speech with prompts like ‘do you remember what you did on your birthday?’ or ‘do you remember how to spell your name?’ – thus creating a much more interactive reading experience.
Personalised Flash Cards
Another great way to help improve your child’s learning experience is through gamification. It’s a proven fact that learning through play is an essential strategy to increase a child’s motivation and engagement when it comes to mastering a new skill. Personalised flashcards are popular for gamified learning as they are simple, versatile and effective tools that encourage active recall, moving information from short term to long term memory. This way, your child can draw on the information over and over again and consolidate their learning.
For children at reading age, personalised flashcards are a great way to present, practise and recycle vocabulary. These flashcards can also be used in learning games that your child can play with their siblings or even with yourself (the parent) to foster better engagement and interpersonal relationships.
Fun Activity: Pair Card Game
How To Play:
- Place all the cards facing down.
- Take turns to turn over two cards.
- If you turn over a matching pair, you get to keep them.
- The person who matches all their pair cards first – wins.
This picture matching activity is a fun and effective way to consolidate your 5 -7-year-old’s visual recognition skills.
Personalised Challenge Posters
If your child is struggling to learn certain behaviours and responsibilities (like using their ‘indoor voice’, sharing with their siblings or completing their homework), the solutions may be as simple as creating a personalised challenge poster to motivate children to conform to certain behaviours (with a reward at the end).
Parents and teachers have been using behavioural charts for years to help motivate and encourage children when they complete a set of goals. Unsurprisingly, this method has received positive responses from kids.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with behavioural charts, it basically involves the parents or caregiver setting goals for the children to achieve. Once done, the goals are then put on display on a printed chart or poster. Each goal is then marked with either stars, stickers or a small reward is given when the behaviour has been successfully displayed.
These charts work for children of varying ages and depending on the set of challenges, goals or rewards, even teenagers are susceptible to the allure of behavioural charts. For more examples of different types of behavioural charts rewards that you can use or implement in your household, you can check out this post on 10 Behavior Chart Rewards to Motivate Your Child for inspiration.
Personalised bookmarks are symbolic gifts that can be presented as a major gift, or can be a secondary gift where you can present it with another gift like a book. They are just the thing to reward your kids who are working hard to improve their literacy skills and showing off their love of reading.
While you can get a normal bookmark in stores, sometimes it’s nice to add a little pizzazz to reading time with a thoughtfully made bookmark that perfectly encapsulates your child’s personality or one that can double as a helpful learning tool – for example, bookmarks that feature a maze design to improve problem-solving skills or printed out with the multiplication tables to help them out come math time.
Personalised bookmarks make for brilliant back-to-school gifts for small bookworms. You can even include their favourite quote or a special/motivational message to encourage their love of reading. In addition, you can also create a set of personalised bookmarks so that your child may share them with their friends or siblings (fostering closer bonds and encouraging them to share).
Children learn in different ways and paces. Some kids are textual learners while others may prefer visual or auditory methods. In any case, personalisation can go a long way in enriching your child’s learning experience. Not only will it help your child grasp concepts much faster, but it can also motivate them to continue their learning journey in a much more fun and engaging way.
To check out other useful items that can be personalised to enrich your child’s learning experience, check out our dedicated webpage for personalised items for kids’ education.