With a toddler in the house, everyday is a different story. One day might be filled with happiness and fun, while another day might be filled with tantrums and screaming. Having a background in the education field for 17+ years, its crazy to see me applying less of my knowledge to my own kids. What I’ve used and applied in teaching and directing in those years have not been fully utilized with my toddler. So that’s about to change. I’m putting together my top 5 activities to do with a toddler on a daily basis to increase not only their cognitive minds but also some hands on learning
Daily Reading Time
It is so vital to read to your toddlers on a daily basis. What they acquire from those books can go a long ways. The information obtained in each of the books that they are exposed to can play an important role in their lives. They may apply or repeat the scenes during play time. Everyday I have my toddler choose a few books that we can read together. The books are mostly of his choice. Some days he will say “Mommy Chooses,” but most days, he will choose his books. If he likes a certain book, we will read that book at least for a few days in a row before he moves onto another book. During the reading time, we go over the pictures, the letters, the actions that are happening, and if he can reenact it as well. Reading time is never on a set schedule. We fit it in whenever we can. It can be morning, daytime, nighttime, or in between any activity.
Music is SO important in a toddler’s daily routine. It is through music that they learn to move and act. Music has also taught my toddler to memorize a lot of things. Letters, numbers, animals, shapes, colors, and etc. I could name countless amount of things he’s acquired through music. Music time will vary everyday: Some days will be used to sing and dance and other days might be used to memorize repeated actions or words. Music time is also included in the car sometimes when we go for drives. We might do family music time, sister music time, or toddler music time. It’s a good way to get everyone engaged.
Move In Action
Daily exercise time is needed. The weather has been brutal in California, from heat waves to bad air quality from all the fires, that we haven’t had much outside time. (Normal outside time would include riding bikes, scooters, bubbles, chalk, and etc. ) Instead, we’ve been doing mommy and me exercise time. Let’s admit, this quarantine life has given some extra pounds on mommy’s body that we need to work off. So utilize this time to do some exercises together. I utilize some favorite music with some choreography I found on YouTube, and we just go with it. My toddler seems to love the moves more than me. I see him sometimes just doing the moves on a random moment. Besides these exercises, he will play catch and throw, baseball, (constantly runs around the house), golf, and more. With daddy’s favorite sports on tv, my little one tends to mimic the athletes when they make their moves.
Arts And Crafts
I always try to include some sort of arts and crafts into the day. It might not be everyday that we cut and paste, paint, play-doh, shaving cream, or draw, but we try to fit it in some how. (If you need ideas on how we implement any of these ideas, feel free to message me and I can share some ideas that I have). My toddler loves to paint. If he could sit there and paint all day, he probably would. Daily arts and crafts creates the imaginary intuitions of a child and allows them to explore all the ideas within their minds. It can be free art or even directed art, but it still allows them to put in their own ideas and thoughts into it.
Limited Screen Time
I know that there are pros and cons and those parents who are against screen time, but I’m the parent that approves limited screen time. Why? Because there are so many things my toddler learns from watching and working on the activities on the iPad. He will get limited screen time on TV where he’s watching a little of his favorites shows and a little of learning shows. (Learning colors, shapes, letters, numbers, etc). Then he will later get some iPad time where he will engage in abcmouse, toddler abc/123 apps, some preschool apps, and a little of his favorite games. I believe in variety. Variety meaning different exposure to education activities brings out the strengths and weaknesses in a child.
One of the items my toddler uses during this screen time is this V-tech Lil SmartTop, as he calls it his “computer.” VTech Lil’ SmartTop
Everyone in the house has a device so he wanted a computer just like his daddy. We got him this little smart top and so far he’s enjoyed playing with it. It has several options to maneuver around with and the cutest part of it is the little mouse that is attached to the side of it. He knows his abcs so he’s able to sing and play along with it. It’s one of his go to items during screen time.