How to Instill a Love for Learning in Children

Author: Jennifer Grinberg
Date Posted: Monday, August 14, 2017

Mara Center for Early Childhood Learning

Little ones are notorious for being sponges of information. From birth, they’re hardwired to gain an understanding of the world around them and use their explorative nature to learn and develop. Their innate curiosity is extraordinary but honing that natural ability into a lifelong skill is something that requires a little help from educators and parents. 

The development of children's brain architecture establishes the foundation for all future learning, behavior, and health. Brains are built over time, from the bottom, up. The basic architecture of the brain is constructed through an ongoing process that begins before birth and continues into adulthood. Children learn through developmental milestones, such as walking, learning to talk, tying their shoes, etc. Fostering this initial passion for knowledge has gone through different schools of thought over the decades. So what’s the best way to instill a love for learning children?

As they begin to expand their education in early learning facilities, there’s a transition to understand more complex subjects like science, math, and languages. Sometimes, there can be a few hang-ups when information struggles to stick. Incorporating fun and engaging ways for understanding complex topics makes the world of a difference. Children love to play and it can be used to produce a setting that they’ll look forward to and excel in.

Center-based learning combines lesson plans and playful activities, which is proven to engage imagination, intelligence, language, social skills, and perceptual motor abilities in infants and young children. Learning in this format is tied to the development of cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical behaviors. If a child enjoys the cerebral sensations of a lesson, they’re not only more likely to remember it, but want to learn more. By using approaches like songs-based learning, the class becomes more enjoyable and relatable for the child.  Additionally, involving them in active decision-making and games also helps to retain information. 

Environment is key to instilling a love of learning in children. Safe, stable, and nurturing relationships are imperative for healthy brain development. The educational programs we enroll our kids in should always have their best interest in mind. Scolding teachers and harsh disciplines can sometimes stunt a child’s desire to learn as they create negative associations. Understanding and empathy yields a flourishing brain that will continue to absorb information and get excited by it. A staff that’s trained and experienced in center-based learning environments will be able to inspire a love for knowledge.

In the quest to instill a love for learning, remember that you’ll make more headway when being an active listener. Although educators and parents do sometimes have to play the authoritative role, it is vital to let them feel like the learning experience authentic and conversational. A staff that’s trained and experienced in center-based learning environments will be able to truly inspire a love for knowledge. It really helps to create the educational “hook” that will keep children engaged and wanting to learn more.


Jennifer Grinsberg is the Director of the Mara Center for Early Childhood Learning at the Meadowlands YMCA in East Rutherford NJ. 


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