Learning Activities for Toddlers
These learning activities for toddlers have been loved by the many toddlers and preschoolers we’ve taught over the years. Your toddler is so ready to learn – every minute of every day. (Well maybe not when she is too tired and wants to sleep, but you know what I mean.) You will find toddler learning games and activities in every page of this site, but here we will focus on what is commonally associated with toddler education. You will find many activities for two year olds, as well as for your younger toddler. We even cover pre-school teaching ideas too.
Parenting tip for your toddler: Did you know that toddlers find it harder to block out sounds than us? Turning off the TV, radio, and stereo at some point during the day, would aid their concentration and learning ability. You may already do this or maybe you’ve never thought about it because you’re so used to something playing in the background.
Learning to Talk
Your toddler can only use vocabulary that he has heard many times over. The easiest way to encourage your child’s speech is by talking about what’s happening at the time, a bit earlier or in the near future. You don’t have to dumb down the words you use. They’d have to relearn any ‘babish’ words you use anyway. You could actually use complex phrases and they’d soak it all up. Here are some learning activities for toddlers to help your child’s speech.
Did you know that nursery rhymes encourage speech development because they provide a rhythmic and repetitive set of words that tots can learn and join in when they’re ready. The rhythm and tunes of children’s rhymes seem to attract the attention of many little ones. Here are what we’ve found to be the most popular nursery rhymes among under 5’s.
Don’t toddlers seem to be able to understand far more they are able to say? That must be so frustrating, huh?! I’ve found that teaching babies and toddlers sign language can create smoother two-way communication earlier than they are able to speak. Wondering how sign language could help your child’s speech?
It’s important that toddlers to start connecting quantities with the corresponding numbers. Count anything that you see, hear and feel. Here’s many more maths activities and hands-on maths experiences, which are all perfect for toddlers too. It’s amazing how much pre-school maths can be discovered in the kitchen.
Most toddler love pouring water, sand or sensory materials from one container to another. They learn that one shape holds more or less than another one through the multi-sensory experience, which really help them grasp this abstract concept. Check out the links for many more learning activities for toddlers.
Good old shape sorters are helpful tools for teaching toddlers about shapes and problem solving. A shape sorter with three or four holes and where the shapes are easy to retreave is a good investment. One is essensial, two is a waste of money (unless they are always keep separate). At nursery, Claire frequently found a frusteated toddler trying to fit a shape into the wrong shape sorter. Keep in mind that filling and emptying it, without using the holes is the first stage. Take a look at our shape activity ideas.
First Literacy Steps
Being read to is the first step on the reading ladder. It is very likely that your toddler will love you to read a book at bedtime and anytime. You can read the words and/or talk about the pictures. These days libraries have big collections of books especially for babies and toddlers so you don’t have to spend a penny/cent. Make sure the stories and books are always good quality, though. Here’s a helpful guide to choosing the best toddler stories, with book reviews.
I know teaching toddlers alphabet songs is popular, especially in the USA, and you will see and hear it on the ‘educational’ TV programs for toddlers, but isn’t much use to a little kid. The alphabet song teaches the names of the letters but that is no help at all when learning to read and write. A child needs to know what sounds a letter makes in order to unlock the key of the symbol/sound puzzle. However these songs are useful for older children to remember the order of the alphabet and the name of the letters.
Do you have alphabet letters in the form of fridge magnets, bath tile foam shapes or on flash cards, blocks or books? Show a letter and say the sound or sounds it represents. As soon as her eyes wander, stop, and continue another time. Here’s more learning activities for toddlers to prepare them to be ready to read.
Even though we need to prevent little ones choking, using small objects strengthens toddlers hands. Children need MANY learning activities for toddlers which encourage them to use the pincer grasp before being ready to learn to write. Our art, craft, nature play and Montessori activities all have activities which prepare toddlers and preschoolers to be ready to learn to write later.
Early childhood education is extremely versatile. The comfort of a child’s home can place them in a very receptive mind set so learning can flow naturally and easily. Isn’t having fun a high priority for toddlers?! Looking closely at how they explore anything interesting in their reach, we soon realise that young children also love to learn. That is why learning activities for toddlers are so effective.