Motivation in Children - How to Foster Their Learning Habits with Joy?

Motivation in Children - How to Foster Their Learning Habits with Joy?

Learning new things is a crucial factor for a child's success and satisfaction in the future. Some children learn effortlessly, while others require motivation. To discover how to get children excited about education and see it as fun and an opportunity, we asked school psychologist Mgr. Nikola de Almeida.

What are the basic principles of motivation in younger children? How can parents or teachers utilise these principles?

Motivation is a psychological process that activates human behaviour. Many authors suggest that it gives purpose and direction, while others argue that it is the driving force leading to personal, educational, professional, or other goals. Parents and teachers should use motivational elements based on the interests and hobbies of children. For younger children, parents are incredibly influential role models. Children often mimic their parents during play and observe their behaviours and daily activities. If parents and teachers understand what children enjoy and their learning styles, they can create a set of activities or a daily plan that allows the child to relax, learn something new, and have fun.

Is it essential to take into account the personality differences in individual children? What should one pay attention to?

Absolutely. If a child/student in the class loves physical activity, they will undoubtedly appreciate activities involving movement or warm-up exercises. On the other hand, if a child enjoys drawing, they prefer activities related to drawing or painting. Both parents and teachers should be aware of individual personality differences and tailor activities accordingly or adapt motivational elements to individual activities. It's good to alternate activities that children enjoy less with activities they love. For example, suppose a child enjoys reading but doesn't like practising handwriting. In that case, motivation can be provided by reading a story or a fairy tale of their choice after completing the handwriting exercises, either with a parent or in the classroom. A careful approach is needed to ensure that the child doesn't misuse this method and understands that they will receive a reward when they do what is required.

How does motivation change in children in different age categories? Is it essential to adjust one's approach to motivation for children of different ages?

It is easiest to motivate the youngest children. Their motivation is primarily based on things they enjoy or people they like to spend time with. As children get older, it becomes more challenging to motivate them. Changing teaching methods that can help parents and teachers encourage children and students is often recommended.

Can educational toys that we offer contribute to improving motivation to learn? If so, which ones, for example?

Indeed, if they are used correctly, play with them is guided by parents or teachers. From my experience, in the kindergarten where I worked, colourful Rainbow Keepers suction cups were trendy. We sorted them by colour and tried to create various geometric shapes, letters, or numbers. Magnetic building sets like colormag are often used in multiple kindergartens and early school levels. They help develop motor skills and precision, strengthen logical thinking, and foster imagination and creative thinking.

What are the most common mistakes parents make when trying to motivate their children from the perspective of a school psychologist?

Nowadays, parents try to motivate their children with grand gestures, often material things. Sometimes, it is enough to start with small items, such as alternating favourite activities or spending quality time together as a family.

What is the best way to maintain long-term motivation for children's learning?

There is no single best or guaranteed way. Each child is different, so the method of maintaining motivation varies. Parents are expected to discover these methods quickly, and teachers also work to identify ways to motivate individual children.

From your perspective, what are the top 3 ways to motivate children to learn?

I don't know if they can be classified as ways, but it is most effective when parents actively engage in their child's learning, at least at a young age. They should set an example; therefore, the child will likely want to imitate them. Among other "tools," I would include varying learning styles, as I mentioned earlier, and giving praise for small achievements. I mean verbal praise, physical affection, or the like.


No Products in the Cart