Teaching your child to learn is one of the pivotal moments as a parent. For a long time, your child is too young to grasp concepts like words or meaning, so it’s important to instill the foundations of knowledge in them to help them on their way to learning. Once they become a toddler, they start to understand more and more, which helps the learning process speed up.
Your toddler is going to be looking to you for answers for things and using you as the primary resource for learning because they may still be too young for formal education. Not to mention, you want to help them learn so that when they finally do make that leap, it’s an easier transition.
Here are some helpful ways to introduce your toddler to learning.
Reading with Your Child
Reading is still the most powerful tool for helping a child learn. The best resources are parenting books, which are designed for helping parents read and teach their toddlers. It’s simple to digest material with easy words to learn and pictures associated with them, in most cases. These books allow you to read to your child and give them visual and auditory clues for symbols and words, which helps a toddler make associations quite easily. Reading to your toddler is a necessary form of learning that they will grow from.
Taking Pre-K Courses
It’s usually around the age of 5 that a child will start attending kindergarten, but a toddler is only 1-3 years old, so their development and cognition are still a little ways off before they can start attending formal education. This doesn’t mean a parent shouldn’t be actively attempting to teach their child in the meantime, but you need to consider the limitations of what your toddler can absorb. Pre-K courses are available, but you can also find the resources online to help tailor the knowledge to be more digestible for a younger mind. Getting them prepared for their first foray into a formal educational setting will help their development progress smoother.
Passive Learning Methods
There are also plenty of passive learning methods that invoke natural tendencies to retain information in toddlers. Things like listening to music, particularly classical music, are helpful for children to start appreciating auditory patterns, which comes in handy with regards to reading. Using music as a learning mechanism is good because it can be a passive thing. Playing educational songs or audio versions of lessons in the background is useful for giving hands-off lessons that can help raise the attention span of a toddler by allowing them to multitask.
Singing Vocabulary Lessons
If passive learning methods aren’t your style, then active vocabulary lessons through the sing-song approach are still useful. This requires the full, undivided attention of the child to complete. It’s important because toddlers need to learn from various methods. Having them read can be hard because, at their age, even simple words can be difficult for them to formulate. Singing to a toddler can help them retain knowledge easily because catchy tunes are easily discernable even at a young age.
Organization and Labeling Skills
Helping your toddler learn by using organizational and labeling skills helps them identify symbols or objects around the house. Try to teach them how to organize their toys by classifications (size, color, type) and it can help them learn to differentiate between objects. Labeling things around the house also helps them familiarize themselves with common words and objects that they see every day. It’s a simple yet effective way to incorporate learning in everyday uses for a toddler.
Experiment with Outings
Teaching can’t be done entirely through theory and at home, you also need to take your toddler out to see the neighborhood and world around them. Point out objects and ask them what they are, explain what certain buildings are, explain what stuff is outside so that they know more about the world around them. A toddler needs to experience more than just the learning done through reading or singing songs at home to get a well-rounded introduction to things they see or hear.
Teaching a toddler can be difficult because you might not know when or how to do it. They’re at an interesting age where they’re just about to be on the cusp of retaining more knowledge, experiencing better insight into things they experience and learn, and are close to entering into the school system, but they’re not quite there yet. These tips will help you formulate easy ways to introducing learning methods to your toddler.