Planning Smart for Toddler Activities
Planning activities for toddlers is great way to help your child learn new skills and expand on current ones. Since your child is learning through a combination of methods, from the exploring of the world around him with his hands to more complex things like problem-solving. Toddlers embrace it all when they learn.
Every learning experience, is built on other learning, and now, with so much accumulated knowledge as a base, he is growing and understanding more and more everyday. Think of each new skill as the base for the next one to be learned.
Toddlers Embrace the World Around Them
Appreciate that toddler love to discover new things! Who could have imagined that toddlers learn in so many different ways! When you are exploring what activities for toddlers you want to do it important to know that primarily, your toddler learns by:
Find ways to engage a child’s sense. When he feels wind blow through the open car window, when she compares the texture of the carpet to the texture of a favorite blanket, your toddler is categorizing his experiences in ways that help him make sense of the world around him.
The world is full of things that engage and inspire his senses so have fun and expand upon that.
- Toddlers love to experiment. This why it is such an amazing age for discovery and creating new experiences. Experimenting is key to understanding how the world works. It might be something as simple as continual dumping and filling of a small cup. They are all ways for your toddler to learn how the world works.
- Much of what your toddler learns is often by accident as she handles objects and learns how one object relates with another. Toddlers can spend hours just trying to figure out how things work. It’s all a part of the experimentation process. Don’t be afraid to let them try on their own. Step in if they get frustrated and help but if you can don’t do it all for them. This will teach them to continue to seek answers for problems that they cannot solve.
- Imitation is one of the ways that young children learn how the world works. Toddlers love to imitate what people around them are doing, they love to wear your shoes, type on their child sized laptop and say words their parents say.
- Play encourages exploring and discovering. Play by far is one of the most effective and powerful tools when it comes to early learning.
Toddlers are problem solving, discovering, experimenting and using their whole body when they are playing. This is also a time when your child begins to build self confidence and venture out on their own.
When you join in with your child’s play she is learning that she is loved and that she is important, fun to be with and that her choices matter.
Choosing appropriate activities
When creating activities for toddlers you will want to include those that include all the areas appropriate areas of toddler development: physical development, social development, cognitive development, emotional development and language.
There are many activities which can bring happiness and foster learning opportunities. You just need to find those that are safe for the child based on his age and those which can be a challenge but not overly frustrating.
Safety is Important
Make safety a important consideration when choosing activities for young children. Select materials that are non-toxic and free of choking hazards. This is very important because toddlers are exploring the world with their senses.
This means placing things in their mouths to learn about them. Small objects like marbles or tiny blocks are not suggested. When it comes to things like boards books or other toys, it is smart to give guidance like: “Remember that books are for your hands, not your mouth.”
Give direction but remember that this type of exploration is to be expected. Remember to keep small objects out of little hands and provide non-toxic art supplies.
As with any young child, toddlers need constant supervision. It’s okay not to hover, but always be close enough to step in to keep them safe and out of potential harmful situations.
Traveling with your Toddler? Check out this great article!