The years before pre-school play a vital role in the intellectual and emotional development of a child. They are toddling around the house and getting the hang of walking. They start being curious about everything around them. If properly guided, then learning in toddlers during these years can shape their future performance at school.
So, how to promote learning in toddlers or how to motivate a child to study at this age? You will have to work on the sensory abilities of the child using fun games. The five basic senses are sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. Children learn from these senses first. Here are 5 fun ways you can promote learning.
Children learn what they see. So, while must be careful of your own behavior in front of them, here a few good things you can show them for their development.
Colorful things. Do not paint their nursery a single color, rather show them the rainbow. Point out different colors in everyday objects such as fruits or vegetables and ask them to find something that looks similar, this will also help them in seeing different shades. Similarly, ask them how the sky looks different at different times of the day, this will instill a sense of time in them.
Measure using other objects. Do not just mark their height on the wall, tell them they are as tall as three mangoes and show it to them. This way they will learn the concept behind counting because of the visual perception.
It is also a good idea to get them used to see words. Be it by using alphabetical blocks or labeling things around your house. If you put a sticker on your dashboard which reads “CAR” they will start associating the word with the object. This will also help them is using phonics to spell in the future.
Teach them to put away their toys, this will help them learn the importance of organization and they will associate a place to an object, simply, what belongs where. Having a big colorful calendar and clock will also make them curious about it as they try to figure it out.
When buying toys, it is better to buy things with different textures such as soft, hard, rugged, etc. Toddlers put their hands on everything, be it sand or worms or even a puddle. They are curious about everything they see and will likely touch it. So, telling them how a pillow is soft and sand grainy will help them compare it to other things.
Having alphabets in solid shapes will make it easier for them to trace with their fingers on it. They might try to draw these letters. So, make it a habit to give them some crayons and let them make art every day. If they do spell something, put it as a label on the object, for example, the table.
Little ones develop their nose fast. They will come running when it is their favorite thing to eat such as chocolate chip cookies. But they will not be able to tell apart good or bad smell. So, teach them about flowers and their fragrance, how they smell good. Meanwhile BBQ and smoke are something to stay away from as it means hot. Food smells can excite them and they may leap to taste it even when they do not have teeth, so it is better to teach them how good food smells and to stay away from stale or bad smells.
Toddlers are curious little creatures and use their sense of taste to understand the world around them and thus put anything they find on the ground in their mouths.
It is a good idea to start associating sweetness with fruits early on and instill good eating habits. Meanwhile, do not forget to point out how something is creamy or soft or spicy. This way they will develop their taste buds with many foods and know which ones are similar. But never give them overly sweet or bitter foods as they may get overwhelmed. Teach them to associate taste with the smell and texture of the food so they can learn to form connections.
Children remember sounds even if they do not understand them. When you are trying to teach them their first words, point to the thing you are saying. Therefore, reading is very important to them. Make it a habit to read them a poem or story every day with lots of pictures. This way your toddler will also get to hear new words.
Singing poems and songs to children can also help develop their brains. They will soon start singing along and this helps them start memorizing new sounds. If you have an instrument such as a guitar or flute at home, play different tunes in front of the toddler. They will be pleasantly surprised and may start dancing which is good for their physical development.
Be your child’s supporter and guide them. Point out everything and instill curiosity in them so they know how to think for themselves. If they knock something over then show them how to fix mistakes. As they grow older make obstacle courses using their toys to challenge their brain and see how they make their way out.
Develop a good atmosphere, let them make decisions and understand their own feelings. Focus on what they like best and guide them towards it. If one activity does not work out, then have patience and try something else. Be excited for them. Every new development should be encouraged. Results are not important; school grades are for that. Let them learn without stress. This is not a competition, this their discovery of the world.
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