As parents, we often feel a responsibility to shield our child from global affairs. After all, why should a 4-year-old worry about matters outside of PAW Patrol and Peppa Pig?
But your toddler is inquisitive, curious about the world around them, and always asking questions – and this natural wonderment is crucial for their cognitive development. Being an excellent parent means engaging your child, feeding their curiosity and keeping them informed of current affairs. (After all, they’re already wearing masks outside and to school – hiding them from the truth of why they’re doing so, could be doing more harm than good.)
The importance of discussing current affairs with preschool children
Children are naturally curious about their environment, so similarly to adults, developing an awareness of current issues exposes them to learning about their community and the world they live in. But unlike adults, the current affairs that children learn about is curated by parents and teachers – so they have to wade through the negativity that often floods social media and news platforms, but can still develop an excellent sense of social awareness.
Also, don’t worry if the term “current affairs” sounds complicated. The matters that your child will be discussing in preschool are likely to revolve around simple, everyday things that they notice – the reasons for wearing masks, the necessity of washing hands, why they occasionally spot abandoned shopping trolleys by the sidewalk, how come rubbish is sometimes on the ground (and not in a bin), why is a stranger feeding cats in the community, and the many sights and sounds that intrigue their young minds.
You can also leverage on trending issues to inform your child about events across the globe, and use these as opportunities for learning. For example, the Black Lives Matter movement gives all of us a valuable lesson on how diverse our world is, and how important it is for us to embrace our differences. (Fun fact: At My First Skool, we celebrate Racial Harmony Day on 21 July every year – children are encouraged to wear traditional costume to school and have fun as they appreciate and embrace the unique cultures around them.)
How My First Skool incorporates current affairs into our curriculum
At My First Skool, we believe in the importance of discussing current issues with children – expanding their minds and satisfying their insatiable curiosity, while developing their cognitive and communicative abilities.
In our learning environments, teachers bring up current issues that are relevant and age-appropriate for the children under their care. And they do so in a variety of ways, such as showing children photos from newspaper articles, discussing pictures and images from magazines, or talking about the new preschool routines that have been put in place to keep children safe (from germs and specifically, COVID-19).
These sessions are scheduled into our curriculum and conducted in both English and Mandarin, so students get to improve their listening and speaking skills in both languages.
What can you do at home?
It’s important for parents to initiate these conversations with your child. Think of a few current topics that will interest your child, then use pictures and videos from newspapers, posters or their favourite YouTube videos to pique their interest.
Once your child is interested in a topic, they’ll naturally ask you questions about it. Respond to their queries with age-appropriate answers, and encourage them to observe other things around them as well. You can extend the conversation by reading books on these topics, then sharing fascinating insights with your child.
Keep these conversations light-hearted and fun, and let your child participate actively in the discussions too! (So these don’t become storytelling sessions.) Over time, you’ll find that your child will develop even deeper interests in the topics that fascinate them.
Give your child a heart start in life (and current affairs) at My First Skool
Expand your child’s curiosity and develop their cognitive abilities by enrolling them in a preschool that encourages and rewards inquisitiveness. Register your child at a My First Skool near you, or visit us virtually to find out more.