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Find out how to familiarize your toddler with basic learning categories before Pre-K
Making sure your kids are familiar with basic categories of learning before they start pre-k is such an amazing tool you can give them. ABC’s, 123’s, colors and shapes are all basic areas you can focus on with your kids. The best part? You have SO MANY TOOLS available for you to make it fun.
Sounds stressful right? Honestly, it’s not! Seriously, fun games and low pressure are what makes this work for kids. Still stressed? I’ve got you! Keep scrolling 🙂
THIS POST IS ALL ABOUT LEARNING GAMES FOR YOUR TODDLER
1. TEACH MY TODDLER
ABC’s, COLORS, NUMBERS, SHAPES
I have used this with 3 kids already and will continue using it until my kids are past this stage in life. Best way to use it? Keep it put away and only let your child use it when you’re there with it. It will make them love it even more since they get one-on-one time with you.
Start with 1 packet per week and do it once a day. Remember to applaud and celebrate every milestone including matching, remembering and identifying!
2. DRY ERASE LEARNING BOOKS
ABC’s, COLORS, NUMBERS, SHAPES, TRACING, PUZZLES,
Aside from the fact that I still love to use dry erase markers, these books are an absolute favorite of mine. The best part is that they can be erased and re-used.
This is another learning tool I suggest only letting your toddler use when you’re around so they aren’t overwhelmed. You’ll need to read to them and lead by demonstrating. When it’s their turn they will be SO PROUD to show you what they can do.
Don’t forget your older kids as well! These books have a wide range of skills they cover (think multiplication & division).
PRO TIP: Unable to purchase these right now? Use blank paper and create your own! We use crayons to make circles for our toddler to trace and then give them a marker to practice on. This way takes more time but works just as effectively!
3. BOARD GAMES
COUNTING, COLORS, PATIENCE, PROBLEM SOLVING
We are a HUGE board game family and the three above are all games that we play and love. These games are a fun way to spend time together while also promoting learning.
Take it slow – maybe your toddler isn’t ready to use the chutes and ladders in Chutes and Ladders. Skip the sliding and climbing part and just work on counting forward.
PRO TIP: When I play these games with my 3 year old I always change the rules so that only bad things can happen to adults. We adjust when playing with the older kids but freeing of her of an “anxiety” of bad luck helps her focus on the good of the game!
4. CARD GAMES
LETTER IDENTIFICATION, SPELLING, PATIENCE, CRITICAL THINKING
There are all sorts of card games you can use to help your toddler – matching games are EASILY my favorite. These games can tire out their little minds quickly so be patient and don’t expect much the first time you play. It’s best to let them explore the toy and then show them what it’s all about.
Where you can, buy themed games that will hold their attention and get them more excited! More than one kid? Go with something generic that everyone will love.
PROBLEM SOLVING, CRITICAL THINKING
Another area where the possibilities are ENDLESS! Use puzzles with bigger pieces to start and work your way up to more complex options. Bright colors, fun animals and and noises can help little minds grow!
PRO TIP – Keep these in a place where only you can reach. Pieces are lost very easily so its important to treat these differently than everyday play items.
6. BUILDING TOYS
PROBLEM SOLVING, CRITICAL THINKING
These toys should be a childhood staple in my opinion. For one, they are so much fun to play with. The possibilities are endless, seriously.
These also have such potential for learning. This is where you come in. Separate pieces by colors, shapes, sizes and so on to add learning to the fun. Kind of like adding spinach to your smoothie here 🙂
Yes, I said it. Do not let anti-screen parents scare you away from letting your child experience technology at a young age. By NO MEANS am I saying give your child their tablet for 16 hours a day. However, electronics will be a apart of our lives into the foreseeable future so letting your child get familiar with screens early on is a good idea.
The best part is when they are toddlers, learning games on electronics are so fun for them! Get on the screen with them and set a time limit to make the best use of this learning tool.