How to Motivate Your Child to Learn and Play More

If we want to stay motivated, we set clear goals and visualise the rewards. However, it’s totally different for children because they might not yet fully understand the desired outcome and the resulting incentives. Also, they still have no idea about what they can do and if a goal can be achieved in the first place.

How to motivate your child to learn and play more

To sustain a child’s motivation, we have to forget about setting goals and rewards. Instead, we should focus on creating the right environment and providing the necessary ingredients for children to learn, explore and play. In addition, we have to make each play session and learning experience a fun and positive one (so that children can associate learning with feeling good).

One way to accomplish that is by prioritising real-life social interactions during learning and playtime (this sounds more fun than playing a game alone through a smartphone or tablet). However, it could be a challenge because of restrictions and availability of digital games and applications. Children can still learn and have fun online. But in-person social interactions are richer, more dynamic and more fun. As parents, somehow we have to compensate for our children’s lack of social interaction during lockdowns and prolonged periods of home stay. In these times children will tend to get bored, which is why we have to incorporate more social activities and more variety into their everyday lives. In relation to more variety, it’s also great to provide several options on which tasks to do and which toys to play with. This will empower them as well as help them practice their self-determination and decision-making skills.

Another way to make learning and play more motivating (and less boring) is to make it a bit challenging. The task should not be too easy nor too difficult (to the point of being discouraging and impossible). The task should also be age-appropriate and within a child’s reach. This way, the accomplishment will still require effort and problem-solving skills.

Motivation is a complex process and surely there will be days when your child doesn’t feel like doing anything or is not interested in most things. But with a nurturing environment and a variety of challenging activities (such as what we facilitate here at Teddy Bear Early Learning Centre), surely your child will have an abundance of fun moments and productive learning sessions.