One of the most fascinating things about being in the life of a child is experiencing how they change and grow through the years. Babies can learn things much faster than adults and nothing is more rewarding than being apart of their educational world. Teaching toddlers does not need to be limited to teaching them how to talk, walk and eat with a spoon. You can start teaching them things like names of animals, colors, numbers and shapes. With the following essential tips, you can teach the toddler in your life almost anything.
The most important thing when it comes to teaching toddlers is repetition, repetition, repetition! I have found that using flash cards daily allows me to teach toddlers simple words. Even if the toddler in your life is not able to form words themselves, they can still recognize pictures and associate the names of the objects with those pictures in addition to the real objects. But, remember, toddlers have a limited attention span. Don’t try to do too much at one time. Look for the clues that the child is done and don’t push to continue. Their attention span will grow with their age.
In addition to using flash cards, you can use props as well. I love to use puppets to teach children the names of animals and the sounds that they make. Try to purchase puppets that have a complete body rather than just a sleeve at the bottom. When you use puppets of animals that look very similar to the actual animal, you can talk to your toddler about the different body parts of the animal as well. Remember to use your props to entertain the child as well. Let your puppets hug the kids, etc.
Another tip for teaching toddlers is to make everything a game. There are tons of activities and games that are created and devoted to teaching young children concepts like shapes and colors. Think about what your toddler is interested in and use this to drive their education. Maybe your toddler is very active. A simple activity is to place a hula hoop on the floor and have them jump in the circle. The key here is to repeat over and over again it is a circle and that they are jumping. Say things like “Let’s jump in the circle” and “Jump, jump, jump”. Plus, give them lots of praise! Tell your toddler what a good job they are doing by jumping in the circle and ask them if they can jump more when they stop.
Remember that toddlers often act without thinking and have strong emotions and mood swings. As fast as they can get upset, they can forget their frustration by focusing on something else that will grab their attention. When you use repetition and games to teach your toddler simple concepts, they will develop a love for learning which will stay with them well into their school days.