Having a toddler is hard work! You have to feed them, bathe them and most importantly, love them. Oh, and making sure they grow into contributing members of society is pretty important too! Trying to teach a toddler something new can sometimes be the equivalent to talking to a wall. Aidan was born two months early so I tend to be especially sensitive to milestones. Should I be reciting the ABC’s on loop or chanting the numbers 1-100 all day long until he gets it? The reality is, those methods are not as effective as you might have hoped. Plus, they aren’t fun for anyone! The most effective way for children to learn is through play time.
4 Ways Toddlers Learn Through Play
- Being Active: By the age of two your child should be running, climbing and jumping; but probably not equally so great at all 3. Being active helps toddlers develop strength and flexibility, as well as coordination.
- Music: Song and dance is a great way for toddlers to develop listening, hearing and rhythmic movement. How often do you get in the car and recite the lyrics to the songs on the radio? That required listening skills and hearing skills that are currently under development in your toddler. Next time you get in the car, turn on a fun kid’s CD and let them try to sing along and dance. Dancing requires coordination, which usually is being developed right around now. Dancing is fun for toddlers because it’s something that you can do together. Be as goofy as you want, they are still too young to judge you!
- Drawing and Coloring: These are important ways for toddlers to develop creativity and imagination. They can learn their colors through association. As they hold and scribble with the crayon, recite the name. Drawing and coloring are great ways for toddlers to have an outlet and express their feelings. This is actually a technique that can be used all the way though childhood into adulthood.
- Blocks and Memory Games: Building blocks are no joke for a toddler! They require dexterity, balance and and steady arm to stack a high tower. Matching games are great for memory development and require deep focus and concentration. These types of games are great for toddlers to hone in on and fine tune these skills, which actually do require them to sit still for more than a few minutes. Phew!
When choosing toys for your child to play with it is important to look at the recommended age. I will almost always purchase a toy that is within 6 months of Aidan’s age, but I won’t go over that. Age limits are set a lot of times because of a toy containing small parts. I think it’s also important to take into consideration that it could be stressful for a child so young to play with an advanced toy. Since he is turning 3 in July, I have started acquiring toys recommended for ages 3 and up. These toys should be relatively simple for him to use now, allowing him to master them as he gets a little older. Recently, I was given the opportunity to try Wonder Forge’s newest games. These games included the Disney Princess Frozen Matching Game, Marvel Matching Game and Disney Planes Sky Race™ Game. Both the Disney Frozen and Marvel matching games are made for 3+ while the Disney Planes game is great for 4+. Wonder Forge has been creating family experiences through games since 2007. They currently make 85 different games and have won over 160 different awards for product excellence.
The Disney Princess Frozen game isn’t just for girls, and I’ll be the first to tell you that! Aidan went crazy when he saw all of the characters that he knows and loves. The Marvel game is great also, though he’s not quite into Marvel Superheros yet. The Marvel game and Disney Planes games are perfect to play when my older nephews come to play. I love having something special to keep them entertained! You can find the Disney Princess Frozen Matching Game, Marvel Matching Game and Disney Planes Games at Target and on Amazon.com for right around $19.99 or less! One lucky US reader will win all three Wonder Forge games listed! Enter to win below!
How do you promote learning in your household?