Young children mimic their parents so let them see you enjoying reading newspapers, magazines, and books!
Take a break, put on some kid's music, and dance around with your toddler. Movement to song helps build muscles and brain pathways!
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 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.
Give your toddler a big bowl of water & some plastic containers. Let them practice pouring. Have a towel ready for spills.
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 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."
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.
Read books that are songs to your tot, such as these! The pictures will add meaning to already familiar songs.
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 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.
Every time you walk up or down stairs, count each step aloud with your toddler to teach numbers & counting.
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 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.
Next library visit, ask for short picture books that are bilingual. Hearing new language sounds will grow your toddler’s verbal skills.
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.
Using a mirror is a great way to play with your toddler! They learn by watching the mirror & listening to you describe their face.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Ask your child to imitate you, such as wiggling your fingers, pretending to be asleep, etc. They're learning to follow directions & building vocabulary!
Take a walk & read street signs to your toddler, pointing at each letter. This activity will help your toddler notice text all around them.
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!
Play a song & pause it. Sing a line again, changing the last word to another word that rhymes.
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 a letter on the sidewalk with chalk. Have your child place stones over the shape of the letter.
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.
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.