As a parent, you know the importance of your baby’s learning, especially before they reach school-going age! However, you will also know that when it comes to your little ones, their patience to sit down and learn is usually minimal at such a young age.
Learning through play is by far one of the most important aspects of their young lives and is crucial for their development. Here are some fun ways to get learning with your toddler today:
Toys, Toys, Toys
Baby showers, birthdays, Christmases… By the time a few of these have rolled around, your toddler has probably accumulated a mountain of toys. But how many of these toys are really beneficial for their development?
Investing in fine motor skill toys that will challenge their little minds while they are having fun is the best move you can make as a parent. Think of toys that they need to build, sort, match and fit. For younger toddlers and babies, toys with different colors, shapes, and textures are great for development too.
Identifying And Counting
Keep in mind that even small, basic activities in each and every day could be a learning opportunity for your little one. Learning to count and recognising shapes, colors, animals, and other objects will be much easier when turned into a game!
You can identify colors of cars, fruits and vegetables in the grocery store, animals at the zoo, and different shapes they see in their homes while playing. Challenging them constantly will not only be fun but help them remember and progress constantly.
Working with paint, crayons, and other crafty items can be a great way to teach your toddler about shapes and colours. You can teach them about each different color they choose to use and eventually, you will be able to challenge them to draw or paint a blue circle, a red square, a green triangle, etc.
You could even develop their identification and recognition by painting a color and then asking them to find you an object in your home that matches that color, turning this into a fun treasure hunt (which will hopefully earn them a fun prize when they’re finished).
Developing creativity and imagination is so easily done with stories and books. Many children love nothing more than a bedtime story, and this can really instil a love of reading and a great grasp on language early on.
Having a bedtime story ritual will give you the opportunity to bond with your child, while also teaching them new words, and hopefully eventually encouraging them to do some reading on their own. Keep things interesting with new books, puppets, and using funny voices when you tell stories — this is always a hit!
Once your toddler has started identifying letters and words, you can encourage this by challenging them to read signs while you are out and about. Help them to read words like “shop”, “stop”, and “park”, and of course let them progress to more difficult words as they go on.
Education professionals have suggested that using this as an opportunity to introduce rhyming words is another great idea — shop rhymes with hop, park rhymes with dark. Keep this up and turn it into a fun game for the car ride home.
Singing nursery rhymes is great fun with a toddler. They will love singing with you and songs that involve actions are always a good addition to your repertoire. This will help to develop their memory, creativity, motor skills, and even help to build their confidence.
Make A Mess
As a parent, this one probably made you wince a little. We know that toddlers are already messy by nature, but sometimes it is beneficial to encourage it. Allow them to splash about in water or mud, play with sand, or even some ingredients in the kitchen that you’re willing to part with.
This will introduce them to different colors and textures, and you can help them learn to feel, squish, pour, scoop, etc.
Sometimes you just need a break, and fortunately, there are loads of kids TV shows that are designed to keep them busy learning for a while. Make sure that you put on a positive, educational show for them and understand the risk and rewards of screen time. Avoid relying on it too much and be sure to balance it with other types of play in order to raise a healthy, happy, and balanced kid.