Toddler learning activities - this toddler parenting article is about how you can create a learning rich environment for your toddlers in your home.
Being in the home school curriculum market I come into contact with a lot of parents who are either looking at homeschooling their children, or are already homeschooling them.
Most parents of toddlers who are wanting to home school always start off inquiring about what curriculum they should use. My standard response is that LIFE is the best curriculum for any child under 6 years of age.
Some parents still want more structure and I then encourage them to find a good balance between life and some craft, reading and delight directed learning.
If we broke this down into a step by step process it would look something like this:
Dealing with a paradigm shift - this is the most challenging area for many parents. We have been raised in the mindset that school is where you learn and you learn from what the teacher standing at the front of the room tells you. But when we begin to embrace LIFE as our childs teacher we are able to see every experience as a learning experience.
Filling your days with productive activity - The relevant word to focus on here is productive. As moms wanting the best for our toddlers, we can fill our little ones days with lots of busyness and activity. Or we can assess each outing, activity or interaction through the lens of whether it will build character or develop your toddler interests and then choose only that do.
Finding the right hardware - Creating learning nooks throughout your home is an exciting project to undertake. Hardware refers to the books, toys and craft materials you will need to fulfill your goals.
Pursuing your own learning - during this process mom can also begin to create her own learning lifestyle by reading, taking up a hobby or pursuing an interest. Our local high school has a continuing education program where I have been able to take courses in scrap booking, photography, watercolor painting, teddy bear making and others. I am currently learning about creating a smaller carbon footprint along with my children.
You may wonder what this looks like in practice. Lets take a look through the average day of a stay-at-home-mom with her toddler.
Everyday toddler learning activities:
While you are cooking, activities they can do:
Playing with non breakable spoons, cups, pots.
Cutting out cookies from pre-rolled dough
Putting toppings on pizzas
While you are doing laundry, they can:
Passing, sorting washing
Playing with pegs
Handing you items to hang
Helping to fold small items
Delivering cleaned clothes to the right rooms
While you are doing your chores, they can:
Sweep with their own broom
Take non breakables to the table/dishwasher
Carry small rubbish bins to the big one
Help to feed pets
While you are working in the garden, they can:
Water the plants
Rake leaves with a smaller rake
Play in the sandpit
Play with water with supervision
Have their own veggie patch to attend to
When you take a walk with them you can:
Talk about the flowers, birds and sound you see and hear
Learn numbers and letter from road signs and house numbering
Talk about seasons
Let the ride their push bike for exercise
When you are shopping they can:
Help you find items
Help you unpack the trolley
Help you unpack at home
Talk about healthy choices
And all this learning done naturally by your side will go a long way to developing a solid foundation for future your toddler learning activities. When coupled with training your childs character with obedience you will find that your days are very full of toddler learning activities.
Bible link for moms Deut 11:19
Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
We are so privileged to be with our young ones in the time when their worldviews are established. In the first 5 years your children will acquire knowledge and values at a rate that is never equalled again. Take this directive from the Bible seriously and remember that as you talk to your young children about life and your family values, you have a Heavenly Father who does the same for you. He is always with you guiding, directing and offering you circumstances where you can obey Him. In this there is such blessing as He daily renews the mind of a surrendered woman.
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