Ellen Galinsky, in her book “The Developing Mind”, identified the skill of “connecting” as one of the 7 basic life skills that every child should have in the 21st century, as well as categorizing information, as well as understanding how one thing represents or symbolizes another. define it as a process.
The ability to make connections includes:
Understanding the same or similar
-Understanding the different
Understanding how one thing is related to another
-Thinking reflectively and exploring possible connections by blocking auto-reply. The child expands his knowledge and abilities by establishing connections between the knowledge and representations he has acquired from the moment he is born. Many competencies and skills in later ages depend on the child’s ability to make creative connections between representations such as number, space, time, and multiplicity that he has begun to develop. In this sense, making connections requires activating the executive functions of the brain rather than reacting automatically and thinking creatively on what is already known and facts. As a matter of fact, all parents want your child to become happy and fulfilling adults in the future. You can lay the foundations by supporting the development of “connection” skills in children.
How Can You Support Children’s Connectivity?
“Babies are deeply driven and passionate about understanding the world and those around them. The essence of a baby is connecting to the world.”
– Karen Wynn, Yale University
1. Provide children with lots of opportunities to see connections in fun and playful ways. When you organize the learning processes according to the child’s interests and enthusiasm, learning takes place at the deepest level. For this reason, you can start by incorporating objects and themes that the child is interested in into your daily routines. Ellen Galinsky writes in her book that because her child is interested in superheroes, they introduced him to the knights of the past, and thus they had a process of thinking about them and playing games.
2. Accept that making mistakes is okay and even part of learning. Making mistakes is a normal and necessary part of the learning process. We reach the right one as a result of trials and making mistakes. Recognizing that making mistakes is perfectly normal encourages you to welcome your child’s mistakes with compassion, without judgment. Honoring and celebrating the effort and effort of the child who tries to find the truth by making mistakes encourages the child not to lose his love of learning and to keep trying. Just like you encourage a child who is trying to take his first steps and show your baby that you are happy with his effort with the light reflected from your eyes and your smiling face.
3. Develop an object perception. Offer lots of experience with how things work. Allow the child to work on objects, experiment, and manipulate these objects to witness the result. It could be touching the soil, shaping it and leaving it in the sun, then seeing if it would dry out and turn into an earthen bowl, or it could be that he puts various objects in a bucket of water and lets him take them out, and he personally observes objects sinking or floating above water. Lock
The point is, don’t forget to follow the child’s interests and directions. Because the deepest learning is the one that builds on the child’s interests and passions.
4. Develop the perception of objects, places, and numbers by giving children many opportunities to explore and play pretend. Develop their interest by joining as a “guide” rather than as a “boss”. It is extremely important that parents participate in the child’s play. But not like a boss, but like a guide with foresight and wisdom. It is possible to support the child by following the interests and directions of the child, and by talking about the subjects directed by the child. Thus, while playing, your child will also develop the ability to make connections between different objects and representations, in line with their own orientation and under your voluntary guidance.
5. Use words to describe the place.
Using spatial concepts at a simple level is extremely helpful when playing with young children. Thus, during the games played in the space, the child both experiences the space and learns to transform his experiences about the space into words. You lay the foundations for the ability to use more complex concepts and descriptive language. An example of this is to use spatial concepts according to the movement it takes while dragging a small child inside a cardboard back and forth.
6. Play games that involve children finding their way around the spaces.
The perception of space is very important in terms of the ability to make connections between different concepts and features. For this reason, you can support this skill by playing games that will support the perception of space. As one of the most well-known games, hide and seek can be a game that you can use frequently to support the perception of space. In addition, you can add places sketching games, treasure hunting-themed games where you hide objects and try to find them with a map, to your daily game repertoire to improve the perception of space.
7. Talk about quantities in many different ways.
We can explain this as using the language of mathematics in everyday life. Concepts indicating multiplicity and quantity and the concrete things accompanying these Concepts improve the child’s mathematical perception and support the ability to “make connections”. When you talk about three cookies, your three fingers open means supporting his mathematical perception in multiple ways. Rather than saying “we will come again in 3 days” to a young child, saying “we will come again in 3 days. That is, after the sun has risen 3 times, we will come here again after 3 more nights of sleep” and keeping 3 fingers open while doing this is much more suitable for development and it is explanatory. He can even make it more concrete after resorting to concrete, observable expressions about his understanding of quantity; you can stick a sun symbol on a designated board every morning, and saying that when there are 3 suns, 3 days are complete and you can go now, it will greatly support the child’s perception of quantity.
8. Give family chores that include counting chores.
There are many things that can be done within the family and in daily routines to improve number perception. It’s like giving the task of how many people you have at dinner, how many plates will be placed on the table, and putting 2 boxes of milk to be bought during shopping in the car.
9. Encourage children to make new connections by giving feedback on their thoughts.
Making verbalizations about the lived situations and putting them into words enable the child to better understand what is going on and make connections between different objects and concepts. For example, suppose you are playing a game where you group cards according to shape and color. In this game, let’s imagine that you want the child to classify sometimes according to colors, sometimes according to shape, so that cognitive flexibility is expected from the child. In this game that supports the classification skill, when you give the child the game instruction, giving feedback such as “This card has a yellow flower. If we are playing the color game, this card will be with the yellow car. But if we are playing the shape game, this card will be with the red flower”. It helps to understand better.