Sensory experiences are an important part of toddler learning. Young children love opportunities to squish and squeeze to explore different textures. If you are looking for new ways to introduce sensory experiences to the children in your care, we are sharing a list of fun ideas below. Each of the ideas are easy to make at home, require minimal ingredients and use only non-toxic ingredients that are safe for young children to engage with.
The toddler stage of development is full of big emotions, lots of activity, and strong opinions. Working with children of this age can be challenging for caregivers. The Emotional Life of the Toddler, written by Dr. Alicia Lieberman, provides insight into development, temperament, and challenging behaviors. You will find the information in this book valuable if you are a toddler educator, have toddlers in your program, or if you are the parent of a toddler.
Many educators are familiar with the work of Sandra Boynton. Her board books are a favorite in many classrooms, especially for toddlers. The fun characters, simple illustrations, and sing-song rhymes quickly capture the attention of young readers. The stories are short and sweet, just long enough for young children to stay engaged.
Young children love to hear the same stories over and over again. In addition to enjoying the stories and illustrations, research suggests that re-reading stories can also help children to learn new vocabulary. Choosing books that are interesting, engaging, and fun to re-read are keys to supporting children’s learning. While there are many to choose from, we are sharing a few of our favorites.
A lot of early math skills can be taught to our youngest learners through everyday play and interactions. By drawing children’s attention to numbers, shapes, and patterns throughout the day, children will begin to develop an understanding of early math skills and concepts. To get started, we are sharing videos from Zero to Three with tips and ideas.
Because knowledge about the importance of the infant and toddler years is not widely understood, new parents are often left without support to get children off to a strong start. Talk the Tot, a new initiative from Children Now, seeks to change that. Launched last week, Talk the Tot is in the early phases of its campaign and will continue to work to gather support from the public and lawmakers in coming weeks.
Young children love engaging with their caregivers! Simple, interactive games and activities make this even more enjoyable, especially for infants who are less mobile, since they can be played while spending time in their caregiver’s arms, lying on their backs, or practicing tummy time. In addition to being fun, these activities create opportunities to help young children learn new skills.
Infants and toddlers love to spend time reading books with their caregivers. Reading with infants is an all-in-one activity that develops early literacy skills, engages their observation and communication skills, and even exposes them to early math concepts. Books that emphasize shapes and geometric patterns give caregivers the opportunity to point out the shapes and patterns while they are reading.
Children enjoy listening to books that use rhyming language! Rhyming stories include fun, rhythmic language and are read in a sing-song style that make these books engaging while also helping children develop skills in language and early literacy. As children listen to books with rhyme, they are learning about similarities of sounds in spoken words.
While diversity is an important topic to talk about in early childhood, it can sometimes be hard to find a way to introduce these topics to children. If you are looking for a way to start the conversation, a book can be a great opportunity. Stories are easy ways to create moments to talk to children about the importance of accepting themselves and their peers for all of our similarities and differences.