Write

Let your tot use markers to color a coffee filter. Help them write letters. Let them use a water dropper to watch colors spread on filter.

Talk

Describe the food during snack time to teach your toddler new words. “My strawberry is sweet and smells ripe. The round orange feels bumpy.”

Write

On a piece of paper, trace your toddler’s hand. Then write your toddlers name inside the hand and have them trace the letters with their fingers.

Talk

When driving, talk to your toddler about the color of the trees. Ask them “What colors did you see? Which color did you like the best?”

Play

Your tot can learn science & math by stacking soft blocks, knocking them down, sorting them by color or size, & more. Try this game.

Write

Let your child use markers, pencils & crayons as much as possible to develop the muscles needed for writing in school.

Talk

Talk about the weather outside – warm, rainy, cloudy, sunny – & talk about choosing clothes & shoes that will keep your toddler comfortable.

Read

Repetition is a great way to build your toddler's language. Words in books are new to your toddler so read it again to help grow their brain!

Play

Put music on & move with your toddler. Try clapping, swaying, stomping, tip toeing, and more.

Write

Help your toddler make a card for someone you know. Scribbles are ok! You can help your child sign it, showing the letters in their name.

Play

Put a red block in an area and a blue in another. Give toddler one red or blue block at a time and ask them to take it to the match.

Read

Read BABY FACES by Margaret Miller with your tot. Make the expression with your face, ask your tot to make the expression with their face.

Talk

Pretend to call your toddler with a phone-like object. Ask “What do you want to eat for lunch?” Have them answer, teaching them about conversation.

Play

When waiting in line, ask your toddler if they see something red. Then try other colors. This helps them learn colors and passes the time in a fun way.

Write

Painting with Q-tips will help your toddler practice the grip they will use when they learn to write. Let them try painting on dark paper with water.

Play

Ask your toddler to find small items, like leaves, in the yard & separate them by color with your help. Mix up the piles & ask your tot to "fix" it.

Sing

Instead of talking about your day, sing about it. Give your toddler an empty paper towel roll and sing about what you did that day.

Talk

Pull food out of your fridge & say “This is a pickle, it’s crunchy, salty, & bitter. This is milk, it is liquid and creamy.” Build your tot’s vocabulary!

Read

Check out Jules Feiffer’s BARK, GEORGE or another book with animal sounds. Learning animal sounds helps your toddler’s beginning language skills.

Write

Fill cups with food coloring and water. Put ice in a bowl. Let toddler use an eyedropper to drop the colored water onto the ice. Watch the colors mix.

Talk

Look into a mirror & make faces. Teach your child words that match the emotions: "happy, frustrated, excited, surprised, silly..."

Sing

Some picture books are based on songs. Learn the tune and sing the story to help your toddler learn the sounds of words.

Read

Read an alphabet book and talk about words that start with each letter sound so your toddler learns that letters and sounds go together.

Write

Use straws or toothpicks to make letters with your toddler. “I made an H. Can you make a T? What sound does a T make?” Practice letters any time!

Play

Play Simon Says with your toddler to make learning to follow directions fun. Find instructions here under "Games".

Talk

Look into a mirror with your toddler. Make faces that match emotions like "happy, frustrated, excited, surprised, silly, etc." And talk about them.

Sing

Dancing with a scarf, or bright fabric scrap, will help your toddler develop body control and rhythm. Try the song LET’S ALL TWIRL.

Read

Children need to see parents reading. Set aside 5 minutes every day. Read your own book or magazine while your toddler reads theirs.

Write

Stringing beads is a great finger exercise for toddlers. Tie a knot to the end of a shoelace and have your tot slide beads or dried macaroni onto it.

Play

Help your toddler learn opposites by doing things in opposite ways. Clap slowly and then quickly. Bend down low and reach up high. Talk quietly and loudly.

Talk

Look at a picture of your family with your child. Talk about the people while learning family names: aunt, mom, brother, grandmother, etc.

Sing

Sing with your toddler as you do daily activities. Example: “This is the way we brush our teeth.”

Read

Draw a story with your toddler. It can have just 3 pictures: beginning, middle, and end. This helps your child learn that stories have these parts.

Play

After you read a book, act out what happened in the story with your toddler. If you read about frogs, hop and ribbit like a frog.

Write

Write in applesauce! Your toddler may use a whole hand, a few fingers, or one finger. Point out how they can make lines & shapes with one hand or two.

Talk

Talk about colors with your tot while you do laundry. "The clothes in this pile are all blue or black. Which pile has red clothes? Do you see any white socks?"

Read

Read things you see with your toddler like road signs and food names on containers. This helps connect meaning to letters and words.

Sing

Make music with things you have in your house. Tap a pot or a box with a spoon. Sing a song as you make music with your toddler.

Write

Outside, write letters in the dirt with a stick. Name the letters for your child as you write them. Let them try too. Cover the letter shapes with rocks.

Play

I SPY helps your toddler work on listening skills. Give your child two hints “I spy something red you can eat.”

Talk

Move a toy from place to place. "Where is it?" Teach your toddler to use words about where the toy is like "Under the table" or "Behind the pillow".

Read

You don’t have to read the words in a book to share it with your toddler. Look at the pictures and talk about what is happening. Make your own story!

Write

Keep plastic jars with small lids & hide safe items inside. Give your toddler one jar at a time. They build writing muscles as they take the lid off & on.

Play

Move like different animals with your toddler. “Can you leap like a frog or swing your trunk like an elephant?” Build large motor skills and vocabulary!

Talk

Walk around your home & talk about the things you see. Tell your toddler how the fridge & stove work.Talk about shapes & colors you see in the kitchen.

Read

Help your toddler make connections to the story and/or pictures as you read. “Look, the boy is playing with a blue ball like yours.”

Sing

Songs can teach your toddler new words. Show them a picture of a grandfather clock when you sing and act out HICKORY DICKORY DOCK.

Write

Have your tot use string or yarn & cheerios to string a bracelet. This activity strengthens their hand muscles & hand-eye coordination.

Play

Line 3 toys up by size: big, little and in-between. Rearrange them. Have your toddler put them back in order to build memory and math skills. Try again!

Talk

Go for a walk with your toddler and talk about the trees, birds, bugs, and plants you see. Your child will learn new words about the world around them.

Read

Young children mimic their parents so let them see you enjoying reading newspapers, magazines, and books!

Sing

Take a break, put on some kid's music, and dance around with your toddler. Movement to song helps build muscles and brain pathways!

Talk

Take a walk in a park. Talk about the shapes & colors you see. Ask your child questions: what do they see, hear, and smell?

Write

Write letters on paper and have your toddler paint over them with a Q-tip. They will strengthen the small muscles in their hand needed for writing.

Play

Give your toddler a big bowl of water & some plastic containers. Let them practice pouring. Have a towel ready for spills.

Read

Let your toddler turn the book’s pages. It’s OK if they skip pages or like some pages better than others. Your child will get used to enjoying books.

Talk

Talk with your toddler while you are traveling in the car, on the bus, or walking. On your way, describe shapes you see. Say "That sign is square."

Write

Put flour on a baking sheet and write letters with your finger. Have your toddler write a message on the sheet. Ask them to tell you what they wrote.

Sing

Read books that are songs to your tot, such as these! The pictures will add meaning to already familiar songs.

Play

Find a doll or stuffed animal and help your toddler tuck it in to bed. Make-believe play helps your child’s social & brain development.

Read

Read the name on a cereal box, pointing out words as you go. Your toddler will connect the idea that written words tell us important things.

Talk

Every time you walk up or down stairs, count each step aloud with your toddler to teach numbers & counting.

Write

Pretend your toddler is a waiter & tell them to write down your order. Scribbling on paper is a great way to build writing skills & converse.

Play

Play with a few bowls of different sizes with your toddler. Stack the bowls inside each other & them take them out & talk about sizes, like big & small.

Read

Next library visit, ask for short picture books that are bilingual. Hearing new language sounds will grow your toddler’s verbal skills.

Talk

Everywhere you go, talk about what you see. A stop sign, a traffic light or a tree might seem boring to you but it’s a whole new world to your child.

Play

Using a mirror is a great way to play with your toddler! They learn by watching the mirror & listening to you describe their face.

Read

Find a magazine or newspaper & cut out letters and pictures. On a piece of paper, glue the letters down & then the pictures that start with that letter.

Sing

Tie ribbons or strings to a stick. Play music & have your toddler move the ribbons to the beat. Your toddler’s mind & body will learn to work together.

Write

Trace your toddler's hand on paper with a pencil. Trace a book, trace the lid of a jar. Talk about shapes to build vocabulary. What else can you trace?

Play

Matching games help your toddler develop thinking skills. Pull shoe pairs from your closet, mix them up, and ask your toddler to match them correctly.

Talk

Ask your child to imitate you, such as wiggling your fingers, pretending to be asleep, etc. They're learning to follow directions & building vocabulary!

Read

Take a walk & read street signs to your toddler, pointing at each letter. This activity will help your toddler notice text all around them.

Write

When your toddler draws a picture, listen to the story that goes with it, write down the words you hear. Now read it aloud together!

Sing

Play a song & pause it. Sing a line again, changing the last word to another word that rhymes.

Talk

If you go apple picking, talk about the 5 senses. “I hear bees buzzing, see families smiling, smell doughnuts, taste sweet apples, and feel warm sunshine.”

Write

Write a letter on the sidewalk with chalk. Have your child place stones over the shape of the letter.

Read

Ask your child to pretend to read a story to their stuffed animal or doll. Practice turning each page & have them say what's happening on each one.

Play

Teach your child letters by playing with blocks. Lay out blocks on the floor in a circle to make an O, then cross two rectangles to make an X.