It’s not a surprise for anyone that toddlers are hungry for learning. They will use any opportunity to try something new, and even minor discoveries seem to have an enormous impact on them. The good thing is that parents can speed up their cognitive and motor development by exposing them to a range of experiences. As parents encourage them to try, they will also build confidence in a safe and supervised environment. The number of daily situations in which parents can bring new concepts to kids attention is countless, and this will have an incredible impact on children’s development. Here are some ideas how to infuse education and stimulate the skills development:
- Play games where kids have to try different textures, closing the eyes to guess what an object is.
- Introduce different drawing and painting materials, such as pencils and paint of different textures. Use them in the same piece of paper to compare the result. As you help toddlers develop awareness about the differences, let them decide between 2 options and ask them to explain why they prefer one over the other.
- Encourage your little ones to compare the size of objects and count. For example, how many balls fit in a box, how many feet long is the sofa. You will notice that everything is countable!
- Introduce organisation concepts, like grouping objects by colours, shapes, sizes. Ask them to decide where objects belong to.
- Encourage the explorer inside your kids by creating scavenger hunting games, for example to find certain types of objects at home or in the park.
- Encourage your child to understand what happens nearby. Where is the supermarket, what do we find there, who works there, etc.
- Sing with your kinds, and play with songs using rhymes, numbers, alphabet, etc. Play with melodies and help them build a melody vocabulary.
- Try different sounds, closing the eyes to guess what the noises are. Teach them to identify musical instruments.
- Keep a calendar at their reach, and every morning mark the day until some event. For example, count the days for Christmas, Easter, birthdays.
- Label the house to help them learn the alphabet and vocabulary. You may want to label with the initials first, i.e. S for the sofa, B for the bed.
- Explore movement and voice: different ways to jump, to move, to project the voice, etc. That can involve imitation games.
- Construct objects with your kids using daily materials. For example, binoculars with toilet rolls, rattle with beans in a plastic bottle)
- Create guessing games using multiple senses. For example, to guess the animal by sound, or by unveiling parts of a picture.
- Let them play with water and swim
- Take them for bicycle rides, and introduce different sports, for example, try different types of balls, throwing with the arms or kicking.
These are all ideas of experiences that will help them build their confidence, awareness, knowledge, range of resources. As you play with them, it will also add to the parent-baby connection and trust.
You may also want to take them to experiment supervised activities. The advantage of these classes is the possibility to interact with other kids and learn with them, as well as the professional support: Here are some ideas:
Finally, for more ideas about how to boost your toddler’s development, here are some blogs to check out: