The first few years of a child’s life play a significant role toward ensuring his or her success academically, as well as in life in general. It is during the early years that the critical foundations of children’s cognitive, emotional and social development are built. This is why learning for toddlers should be encouraged early on.
As parents, we are our children’s first teachers. We need to remember that learning isn’t confined within the four walls of the classroom. It starts at home.
You can set your child on the path to success and encourage learning for toddlers with these simple yet fun tips!
Build your child’s confidence
Not all children learn in the same way or at the same pace. Each child learns at his or her own pace and has a unique learning style. Some kids learn best by listening, while others learn more effectively through visuals or a hands-on approach. And all of these techniques are acceptable.
What is important is that your little one feels supported and encouraged. Your child may feel insecure about his or her learning abilities at first, so it helps to recognize their effort and give loving encouragement. Acknowledge every step of progress and milestone, and show children that you believe in them and they’re off to a great start.
Allow time for independent play
Engaging in free play is an important part of a child’s growth and development. Allow your child enjoy childhood by allowing time for play. While it’s important to practice playful parenting and get involved in your child’s playtime, it’s equally important that your little one has adequate time for independent play.
This is why it’s important to let your little one play on his or her own. Be there to supervise and guide if needed, but give your child a chance to learn, explore and discover the world by playing.
Provide children with opportunities to play with other kids
When children are between the ages of two-three years old, this is an excellent time to begin building social skills. This is something you can foster by providing your little one with opportunities to play with other kids. Let your child be around other children, but also remember not to force your little one if he or she isn’t ready. If your child is comfortable being around other kids, allow him or her the opportunity to play and interact with peers.
Use games to make learning fun and exciting
Who says learning has to be boring? You can encourage learning for toddlers by using fun and exciting games and activities at home.
For example,if your child enjoys playing with legos, take advantage of the opportunity to teach your little one how to identify colors. If your little one is already familiar with colors, let him or her sort the legos by color. This is also a perfect opportunity to teach the concept of counting. Have children count the number of legos in each color group. This is a great way to foster learning while involving the activities they enjoy.
Provide children with hands-on experiences
Your home or a childcare center isn’t the only place where learning can take place. Expose your toddler to other different environments where rich learning experiences can occur. Think about your child’s interests and take a trip to places where they’ll have an exciting time learning.
For example, if your child is interested in animals, consider visiting a nearby zoo. If your little one enjoys exploring nature, you can go for a hike or take a family camping trip over the weekend. Experience is one of the best teachers, so take this opportunity to let your child learn through first-hand experience.
Surround children with books and learning materials
Today’s kids are born into a world of modern technology and electronic gadgets. While technology can play an important role in learning, we can’t overlook the importance of traditional reading. Instill in your child a lifelong love for reading by surrounding little ones with books and other fun learning materials. You can also take young children to a nearby library or bookstore so they can pick some of their own educational materials to read.
Classrooms aren’t the only place where a tremendous amount of learning happens. Learning can take place anywhere, and it should start at home. Follow these tips to encourage learning for your toddler and build the foundation needed for future academic success.
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