There are many different ways you, as a parent, can help support your toddler’s growth and development. At this age, everything around them should be fun and not a strict lesson they must learn. After all, they will have plenty of years ahead of them in the school system for this. I’m past the toddler stage in life, but I know this information would have helped me as a first-time mom to know how to help my toddler learn during this crucial time.
While you can do many things to help your toddler learn new skills and about the world around them, you mustn’t push them too hard or expect too much from them. Children learn at their own pace in different ways. It would help if you found what works best for your child to allow them to soak up as much knowledge as possible in these early years.
Studies have shown that independent play is vital for all children, especially at this age. Toddlers are naturally sensory seekers, and they will learn through touch and exploration on their own, so let them.
By allowing them to discover new things independently, playing with toys to let their imagination run wild, or simply experiencing new sounds, textures, or objects, independent play gives your child the freedom to learn at their own pace and on their terms. This is something that is at the heart of the Montessori method. Finding the Best Montessori Toys for 2 Year Olds can help you engage your child and help them learn in a fun way that isn’t even really learning in their eyes.
Read with Them
Reading is still, by far and large, one of the best ways to help your child learn. They can develop their listening skills, speech patterns, imagination, and more simply for you sitting down with them and opening a book.
You can include a book at bedtime for your daily evening routine, read at random points throughout the day, or create a reading corner when you’re looking to calm things down and prepare for nap time; it’s entirely up to you.
And reading doesn’t just mean story books, although these are excellent tools for teaching your toddler. It can be reading anything, from news in a restaurant to billboard signs, text off the TV, a recipe book, or anything.
Get creative and fun with your stories to help bring the words to life and give them more of an impact, or better still, let your child “read” their favorite stories back to you to mimic how you read and let them put their memory to good use and see if they can decipher the story simply from the images and remembering the words you read to them.
Talk to Them
As mentioned, children learn in many different ways, such as by conversing with them. Talk to them about anything and everything, answer their questions, ask for their input, and encourage them to use their brain in any capacity to help engage in a conversation and support those all-important pathways developing.
As their parents, you are their primary source of information and guidance at this time; involving them in things, letting them make their own decisions, and answering questions can help them much more than you think it could.
While curiosity kills the cat, a lack of curiosity can kill your child’s ability to learn about the world around them. We’re not telling you to let your child do something dangerous or not to help them out, but allowing them to be inquisitive can give them the skills and confidence they need to push forward in life.
Let them ask questions, allow them to experiment with different things, and get stuck in helping you around the house, cooking, gardening, or anything else. These learning moments should be encouraged as your child shows a natural interest in them.
Jump on a bus or train instead of taking the car, walk in your local park and take a different route, let your toddler dictate the path you take and the decisions you make, and introduce them to the world via their curiosity.
Everyone needs to be active, but instilling this in your child from an early age can help you to help them build good habits and stay fit and healthy. A fit and healthy toddler is much more likely to want to engage in the world around them and want to learn than a toddler who doesn’t get much in the way of activity or fresh air. There are many ways you can keep your toddler active; they’re likely already doing this mostly themselves anyway, but work with them on the things they enjoy to make being active a healthy habit that they can learn from.
Teaching your child at 2-3 years of age can be something other than a lesson, as you would find in a school. It needs to be fun and engaging and done through various tactile approaches.