It’s never too early to start teaching your children valuable lessons, and now that they’re toddlers, some of that information will begin to stick with them. But what kinds of things should you start teaching your children at such an early age? Smart Start Child Care, one of the best early child education centers in the Bowling Green area, is here to help you find some lessons you can teach your toddler right now.
1 – Organization
Toddlers love to try and help around the house. Sometimes they end up making a bigger mess than they were trying to clean, but the desire is always there. To help grow this sense of responsibility, label things around your house where your child can easily put things away (i.e. a toy chest, shoe box, trash can, etc.). Work with them while putting things away, wherever they belong, while pointing out the labels and the objects being moved. Eventually, once your toddler recognizes where certain objects are stored, they’ll be able to put things away on their own.
You can even make a game out of it. Challenge your child to put new objects in different locations, like a new pair of shoes in the closet. Or you can “accidentally” misplace an object in the wrong place and see if your toddler can figure out where it should go. Challenging your toddler helps build cognition as well as giving you and your child a fun activity to play together.
2 – Weather
Though it’s not a critical life skill to know the weather, you can teach your child recognition skills early on. Create different shapes and weather objects, such as a sun, snowflake, or clouds. You can make these out of construction paper and markers with your children for a fun arts and crafts time, or you can purchase some from your local supermarket. Either way, just be sure they can either stick to a window, refrigerator, or door with tape or magnets. In the morning, have your toddler look outside and see what kind of weather is going on. Once they have their answer, let them put up the corresponding weather indicators on your chosen surface.
You can repeat this however you see fit. Whether it’s throughout the day, every day, a few times a month, or seasonally, you’ll be teaching your kids valuable recognition skills they can use in many aspects of their life.
3 – Vocabulary
There are many different ways to teach your children basic vocabulary. One of the easiest and most popular is by singing. A good way to learn different words that sound similar is by singing rhyming songs. You can do this with names, words, places, or anything else you think would be useful and fun for your child. Encourage your kids to sing along with you or lead the song themselves. The best part about singing is that you can do it anywhere and for nearly anything. The benefits far outweigh the simplicity though, as your kids can learn numbers, letters, the names of people around them, and other words they may have never heard before. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to show off your singing voice.
4 – Family, Friends, and Themselves
Aside from singing, you can help your kids learn who the people around them the most are by simply putting up pictures. You can have these laid around your house in frames or create a picture board and hang up your favorites. You can ask your kids every day who each one is, helping them put names and faces together all in one simple exercise. If you want to challenge your toddler, change out the pictures every so often with different pictures of the same people. This way, whenever you have guests over, your kids will be able to show off their recognition skills no matter what your friends and family look like.
5 – Measuring
Though rulers are the easiest means of figuring out something’s height, your toddlers may not be able to understand all of the numbers and lines at this point in their lives. Get some blocks or anything else that is easily stackable to teach your toddlers how to measure. This can be anything from the family pets or their favorite toy to themselves. Aside from teaching them numbers and how to count, you’ll be giving your kids a sense of discovery and wonder as they learn exactly how tall their pet dog is.
We here at Smart Start Child Care hope you and your kids always stay curious about the world. If you’re looking for a new early childhood education center in the Bowling Green area, Smart Start is always enrolling. Learn more about us, view some of our curriculum for kids of all ages, or contact us for any questions you may have about Smart Start’s early childhood education.