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8 Learning Activities for Toddlers

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Even though your toddler isn’t attending school, the world serves as an expansive classroom for them. Through navigating everyday experiences, they absorb fundamental concepts like shapes and colors while beginning to grasp more intricate skills such as math and language. Moreover, they develop a deeper sense of self. Parents can enhance this educational journey by introducing various toddler learning activities at home.

Erin Seaton, Ed.D., a lecturer in the department of education at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, emphasizes that toddlers “love to master new concepts, making it the ideal time to lay the groundwork for future skills like reading and counting.”

Here are eight engaging toddler learning activities that seamlessly integrate into your daily routine, offering opportunities for your child to practice recognizing their name, counting items, reading signs, differentiating colors, and more:

Name Display: Around the age of 2, children begin recognizing the letters comprising their name. Display their name in various places at home, such as on their bedroom door, a bathroom step stool, or the refrigerator. Encourage them to identify each letter and discuss other words starting with the same letter.

Sign Reading: Point out words and letters on street signs, in stores, and during outings. Vocalize the words, and prompt your child to think of rhyming words. Utilize a slow, clear speaking pace while reading, and trace your finger under the letters and words to help your child associate them with sounds.

Counting Everyday Objects: While your 2-year-old may recite numbers, actual counting skills typically develop in preschool. However, you can reinforce number recognition by counting buttons while dressing, peas on a plate during meals, or groceries while shopping. Use your fingers to count and encourage your child to mimic you.

Sorting Objects: Encourage observation and comparison by asking your child to group items by type or color. Have them sort stuffed animals, socks, or utensils. Before age 2, children begin recognizing differences in quantity, so ask questions like “Which pile has the most and which one the least?”

Shape Book Creation: Create a personalized shape book with your toddler by drawing shapes and finding matching items in magazines or during walks. Take photos of objects with distinctive shapes, print them, and paste them into the book with labels to demonstrate shapes of various sizes.

Shape Learning in the Kitchen: Explore shapes while cooking by cutting foods into different shapes like triangles or stars. Additionally, let your child trace cookie cutter shapes on paper and identify each one.

Finger Painting for Color Recognition: Engage your child in finger painting to learn colors hands-on. Name each color as they paint and then go on a scavenger hunt to find items matching the colors in their artwork.

Colorful Language: Use descriptive language to help your child identify colors in everyday activities. Incorporate color-themed days with corresponding clothing and meals, concluding with a bath tinted with fizzy bath tablets of the designated color.

Through these enjoyable activities, your toddler can continue their learning journey while having fun at home.