Every day is a brand new chance for your toddler to explore, learn and grow. Instead of letting this opportunity pass by, help your tiny tot get a jump on her education by sitting down with her for some fun activities each day. Okay, but how to choose? From literacy to science and the arts and more, there are so many to help your child learn — that it might just make your head spin.
Yes, every mom thinks her toddler is a super genius with a superhero-like mind. What else could a mom think? Sure, pat yourself on the back on your mini-miracle, but when it comes to learning activities, dive in with a sense of reality. Set realistic goals. Your 2-year-old isn’t going to write words or sentences — let alone write her first book.Yet. Pick a goal such as, “Say two words that begin with the letter A.” If she’s unsure, give her some words that begin with the letter A. “Apple. What are some other words that start with the “A” sound you hear in Apple?”
The early childhood organization Zero to Three suggests that parents make reading a part of their young child’s day every day. Just because your toddler can’t read by herself doesn’t mean that you can skip early literacy lessons. When it comes to written and spoken language — the earlier the better. Choose a picture book with bright colors and bold letters. Find a quiet spot to sit together and read daily. After you’re done, let your little one point out pictures that she likes. Then, ask her to name what she sees. “Oh, what beautiful black and white stripes he has — what kind of animal is it?”
If you think that learning activities means work sheets — think again. To an adult, play means to party, relax, shop — or just chill — but a toddler learns through play. When your child plays, she’s learning new skills. Instead of staging specific ‘learning activities’ that involve lessons or a school-like set-up, simply play with your child. Peek-a-boo or follow the leader with your toddler. Roll a boll, dance to music or jump around in the grass outside to help your child learn in the most natural way of play.
While your newly walking toddler might not get a lot out of a lecture on 18th century art history, she’s sure to learn through basic arts activities. Break out thee child-safe non-toxic finger paints and get your young child to create a mini-masterpiece. No, she’s not just making something cool to hang on the fridge. Instead, she’s developing crucial fine motor (hand-eye coordination, dexterity and muscle control) skills and learning how to think creatively.