Toddlers and other young children have absorbent and malleable brains—and it’s up to you, the parent, to stimulate and engage your child’s young mind with exploration and valuable learning experiences, especially when they’re not at their preschool or early childhood learning center.
Fortunately, there are plenty of activities and ideas that can help your child develop their young brain while they’re at home. From the team at Wonder Years Learning Center, here are some ways to improve your child’s imagination, knowledge, and developmental skills.
Label things around your house.
In all stages of life, learning is about building strong connections and associations across academic and real-life topics. The more connections you can make between bits of knowledge, the more permanent your knowledge will become. This is especially true for young children, who are in the beginning stages of connecting items with their written and spoken names.
To help with this learning process, label a few items around your house and switch them out for new ones each month. Take a jar of cotton balls, for example. By placing a clear label on the jar that says cotton balls, your child will be able to see what the word looks like, practice the sounds that make up the phrase, identify letters with the words, and make initial phonetic connections between words and sounds. Plus, learning the names of items around the house will help your child communicate more effectively when requesting a certain object.
The more labels you place around the house over time, the more household items your child will learn about—start the process early and watch your child grow their reading and speaking skills!
Practice measuring and counting.
Counting is essential for learning numbers and understanding units of measure—and there are plenty of ways you can teach your child these skills in the comfort of your own home! Taking household items like apples or Q-tips and using them for counting and measuring exercises will help your child learn about more household items, and allow them to build base knowledge for simple addition and subtraction. It will also be useful for helping your child understand comparisons—for example, your child can assess two groups of apples and figure out which group has more apples. In time, your child will have solidified their arithmetic skills and be more than prepared for kindergarten!
Toddlers and young children learn with sight and sound, but they can also absorb information through touch. Sensory learning is an important component of early childhood education—so whenever you can, introduce your child to new textures and help them describe these textures. You can let your child hold certain items, or do some arts and crafts projects (like decorating cutouts of letters or numbers) to help them learn numbers and the alphabet while exposing them to a wide variety of textures at once!
Boost Your Child’s Development Today
At Wonder Years Learning Center, we’re passionate about the development of your child through sight, sound, and sensory learning. With Munster and Dyer locations, you have a convenient location for child care with top-notch educational professionals. Contact us to register your child today!