Toddler is a child aged between 1 year to 2 and a half years. Brain development at this age shows that their ability to observe, understand and learn from the environment around them increases so rapidly and as they grow they learn new things, new vocabulary, they can differentiate different alphabets, numbers and can play simple games.
There are countless toddler learning activities that you can enjoy with your little ones in order to help them in their learning process in a playful way.Environment that we provide our little ones is like a little school where they learn and develop very basic and fundamental skills e.g., reading, writing, drawing, coloring/painting or other countless learning skills through the window of their five senses.
Toddlers love to explore each and every bit around them including books, pictures toy and nature or spending time in outside world observing and exploring the nature (plants, colorful flowers, trees, water, birds and other animals) by using their senses i.e., seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling.
According to most of the health experts, a healthy and wholesome growth comes from the environment and nature around a child as well as by the way we nurture them. So, nature and nurture both works side by side. So, doing different learning activities with them in a playful way is the best start we can give them which will help them throughout their lives along with their own learning abilities.
Following are the basic and fundamental activities we can start doing with our little toddlers:
- Learning alphabets, colors, numbers and shapes
- Family albums
- Holding things and mimicking
- Exploring nature and outside world
- Story time and singing rhymes
1)Learning alphabets, colors, numbers and shapes:
The best way to teach you little one is to buy big size colorful board books and flash cards about alphabets, colors, numbers and shapes. Take some time free from your busy routine and sit with your child and read out these books with a lot of fun, smiles and laugh and giggles.
In this way your child will start enjoying reading books and this habit will benefit your little bundle of joy throughout his/her life. Apart from books, in a big tray or pot put some cereals or rice and spread it throughout the pot, then draw shapes, numbers and alphabets with your finger or hold on to your little ones finer and help him draw.
Other fun way is to let your child to look around and tell him about different shapes like, square window, rectangle door, round/circle plate or bowl etc.If you have a garden at home or some outdoor space then buy a sand and water table and put some plastic shaped toys, alphabets or numbers in water or sand and let your child play.
This is not at all expensive, buy a basic sand and water table from any store and plastic alphabets, numbers and shapes from £ land/$ store will do the job.
2) Family Albums:
Take photo prints out of all your family members like, child’s grand dad, grand mum, uncles, aunties, cousins all close friends and make a big photo album. Sit with your child and tell him/her about all family members. You will be amazed how much they enjoy looking at their loved ones when they are not around.
3) Holding Things And Mimicking:
As you all know, mostly all little toddlers are copy cats. They Always try to copy what they see around them. So, give them washable markers and blank big paper and let them hold on to the markers and allow them to draw whatever they can. This will encourage them to express themselves and to play and recognize different colors.
Whenever you do cleaning, give them a little wipe or cloth, then start your cleaning in front of them. You will be astonished to see them mimicking you with their little hand and cleaning things. My 1 year old always do that whenever he sees me doing it like wiping things and brushing floor. This what they will enjoy and learn how to clean and tidy up their surroundings.
4) Socializing At Home And Exploring Outside World:
Plan play dates with your friends having kids and socialize as much as you can. By doing this your little ones will be more socialize and confident and he will learn how to behave when they are with other people.
Playing and sharing toys along with other children will teach them manners and sharing. They will learn and enjoy a lot playing with other kids at home and in the garden with rides and sand and water tables and other outdoor fun.
Plan picnic at any park, farm or a zoo and let them enjoy the nature life, plants, animals, birds, lakes and fishes. Encourage them to play whatever they want even if they want to get messy by playing in sand or mud. According to experts, kids learn more from outside world and play than from books.
Taking your little ones to a play group, soft play areas and library will not only encourage their learning abilities and they will definitely find it enjoyable.
5)Story Time And Singing Rhymes:
Rhymes, songs and reading books are the best ways to develop your child’s language and communication skills. As a parent, if you want to boost your child’s communication and learning skills, then remember 3 Rs i.e., Rhythm, Rhyme and Repetition, that are all together present in baby rhymes.
Now, let’s talk about story time but before that, let me share the most magical fact that stories do your child’s learning, your child’s ability to learn and understand language is strengthened by story telling as well as stories teaches your child all the information they learn and explore through the beautiful window of their senses in a very beautiful way, they imagine whatever is in the story in their minds by listening from you by looking onto the pictures on the book. This information and knowledge they are getting from you will help throughout their academic years in becoming a successful and a confident student.