There are many activities and games you can do with your toddler to have fun together and get them developing important skills, such as reading and listening and developing hand-eye co-ordination.
At this age, children are like little sponges, picking up every bit of information about the world around them. The majority of things that your toddler learns will be through play and normal social interaction.
The world serves as one big classroom for toddlers. It’s the perfect time to lay the foundation for future skills like reading and counting.The key is to play off your child’s interests. Here are 11 fun toddler learning activities that fit into everyday life.
Reading To Your Child
Have fun reading books of all kinds to your child: picture, words and pictures, pop up, information and poetry.
Reading to young children is proven to improve cognitive skills and helps with cognitive development. When you begin reading aloud to your child, it stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. Which helps them make sense of what they see, hear, and read.
Letters And Sound
Your child may already be able to recite the letters of the alphabet, perhaps with some errors and your assistance. Now you can work on recognizing letters, as well as the sounds they make.
When talking about a letter, for example D for Dog. Always have them repeat you to commit it into their memory.
Be sure to show your child both uppercase and lowercase letters when learning. Most children are taught all of the uppercase letters first, however, the lower case letters are the ones that they will see more often when they read or see words.
Reading Signs Out Aloud
Point out words and letters on street signs, in stores, and at the park. Say them out loud and help your child think of other rhyming words (“Stop sounds like top, hop, and mop”). To help your toddler connect letters to the sounds they make, speak slowly, enunciate clearly, and place your finger under the letters and words as you read.
Counting And Numbers
Your toddler may be able to recite the numbers one to ten in order, but the ability to truly count probably won’t happen until preschool. Still, you can improve his number recognition by counting everyday objects.
- Count each step while you’re walking up the stairs
- Count the number of French fries on their dinner plate
- Count the number of toys in their bin
Numbers are everywhere so be sure that they are counting whenever they can.
The concept of one-to-one correspondence develops later, but many toddlers can get the idea early on. Just show them how to point to each object as they count it and correct them if they make a mistake.
Talking about numbers around you will often help your child to recognize numerals and show them that numbers are part of everyday life.
Learning Shapes in the Kitchen
Many popular food items, pancakes, cheese slices, and bread can be cut into triangles, squares, stars, ovals, and more. Try letting your child trace shapes of cookie cutters onto a piece of paper, and then help her identify and label each one.
Making A Shape Book
First draw shapes on a piece of paper, flip through magazines and newspapers together and cut out items that match each shape. Then go outdoors for a walk to look for other objects with distinctive shapes. Take pics of the things your child points out,a square window, a round tire, a rectangular door. Print out and paste the pictures into the book when you get home and label the shapes. Put multiple examples on a page to show that shapes come in different sizes.
Use Colorful Language Everyday
Use descriptive language as much as possible to help your child recognize different colors “ Timmy put your yellow truck into the green toy bin”. You can also try designating a day in honor of a color. Wear pink on Saturday, blue on Sunday etc. At breakfast ,ask” Do you want the red strawberry or yellow banana?”
Building With Toys
Building helps to improve your child’s hand-eye co-ordination and spatial awareness. It also allows them to use their imagination and creativity.
Building encourage imaginative play and lets them problem solve and investigate the world around them.
Start teaching your toddler the basic sense of how much time is remaining or when time is over.
For example, when you say “10 more minutes of TV until dinner time” or “go brush your teeth in 1 minute,” They will not have a true understanding of these time increments , but you can try to make them aware that 1 minute is quick, compared to 10 minutes or 20 minutes.
Try setting an audio or visual timer when you need to show them when time is up. For example, when you say “put away your toys in 5 minutes”, set a timer for 5 minutes to ring when it’s time.
Puzzles are a great activity for hand-eye-co-ordination . Having to fit a piece into it’s correct spot by turning and manipulating it is great for visual-spatial awareness.
It is important for your child to learn how to use smart devices. However screen time should be limited to an hour a day. The fine motor skill of swiping, clicking, and sliding to navigate through tablets and smart phones are something that your toddler can learn.
Age appropriate educational games are great to sharpen a lot of the educational skills. Your toddler can learn how to trace letters, numbers, make new sounds and words, etc.
Most of these skills can be accomplished at some point between 24-35 months, but every child develops at their own pace.
Don’s feel that your toddler needs to master all of these concepts over a short space of time
However, if you are looking for learning activities to do with your child, ways to engage their mind, or knowledge to teach them, these are some great tips. Your child is in no way lagging behind if they can’t adequately do all of these things. But if you do have any concerns, please speak to your child’s pediatrician
Enjoy and have fun teaching your toddler, and be amazed at how quickly they start to develop and grow up.