Today’s resourceful post is contributed by the lovely Tarana Khan at Sand In My Toes!
The one thing that I can count on my three year old to do is ask questions. He is so curious about the world around him, and his questions reflect his immense desire to learn. Clearly, there’s no better phase than toddler hood to learn new things. But the other thing with toddlers is that they are excitable and can barely sit still. So, ‘learning’ cannot really happy in the traditional sense. If you want to teach your toddler a thing or two, you will have to get down to their level, and play with them!
There are hundreds of ideas out there (and this blog itself is a great resource on learning) to develop skills and learning in toddlers and preschoolers. You can’t find the time to do them everyday, though. You may have other kids to take care of, or chores to do.
So, here’s a list of 20 ideas that can be set up fairly easily with little resources, and promise lots of learning opportunities.
You can set up a number hunt with only some Post-It Notes or paper and a marker. Toddlers will love looking for numbers around the house, and will learn them in order too.
Balloons make toddlers happy so they’ll have fun playing this balloon dice game to practice counting.
For this parking lot number activity, all you need is some toy cars, markers, and a sheet of paper. If you have a car-loving toddler, this is the perfect game to promote number recognition.
Stickers are a wonderful teaching material, and a favorite with toddlers. Try this sticker sorting number game for a fun way to learn numbers.
This alphabet recognition and matching activity is sure to keep your toddler busy for a while. It involves cutting, pasting and recognizing letters, and includes a free printable.
This name treasure hunt is another fun way to recognize letters and objects, and would also work well with random letters for toddlers.
For this chalkboard maze game, all you really need is a toddler willing to learn! It’s very simple to set up, and helps in identifying letters.
This playdough prewriting activity is sure to be a hit with your toddler, as it involves playdough and colourful straws. It is aimed at teaching letter recognition and prewriting practice.
Another simple activity is this alphabet watering garden which your toddler will love playing while they recognize letters.
You don’t need much more than cardboard tubes, paint, and paper for this cardboard roll stamping activity to help with shape recognition.
Cut out some colored paper for this simple paper shapes puzzle and watch your toddler put their mind to work!
Another fun activity is to set up this shape block table top with masking tape and wooden blocks.
Since toddlers love to discover for themselves, they will enjoy finding shapes this salt box discovery activity.
I love recycling material for playing and learning, so this egg carton color sort activity is perfect for fun with colors!
Free play is a great learning experience so just letting your toddler explore colors with droppers is something they’ll love.
It is really easy to set up this color wheel hunt and help your toddler identify and pick colored objects around the house.
Apart from teaching the basic concepts, you can focus on developing those gross and fine motor skills through play.
This matching lids memory game will help your toddler identify patterns, objects, and colors, while improving memory skills. All you need are some foam stickers and jar lids!
Try this fruit stick-on puzzle for a fun way to improve hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and pattern and shape recognition.
How much simpler can you get than paperclips? Try making this paperclip busy bag with free printable, and keep your toddler busy for a while!
These craft stick magnets are also easy to set up, and can be used to learn shapes, letters, or just for free play.
Learning opportunities are all around you, and since toddlers are easily entertained, there are so many activities you can do with things around your house! I hope this list gave you some ideas to start with.
Tarana Khan is mom to a toddler, living an expat life. She loves writing and has done her stints as a copywriter, reporter and content editor, before embracing parenthood full time.
She blogs at Sand In My Toes, where you can drop by to read more of her parenting and other adventures! Tarana also has a series called Busy Hands where you can find more activities and craft for toddlers and preschoolers.