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5 SKILLS TODDLERS NEED TO LEARN

What do toddlers need to learn?

Have you ever asked yourself this question? Toddlers are ALWAYS learning! When they are playing they are learning! When they are interacting with friends or even watching adults, they are learning! As parents you want to help your kid be successful! It is hard to know when to start guiding kids and expecting more of them too. Here are 5 skills whichyour child needs to develop.

1. HOW TO COMMUNICATE! (Language skills)

Toddlers need to learn how to communicate using their body language and their words! They will start out with a word or two and eventually use full sentences! Some toddlers will also use sign language to help them as their words develop. Kids learn so many new words and ideas from books! As toddlers communicate better, they are able to express their wants and needs better which often helps them feel less frustration and more success. The ability to communicate also helps them create positive relationships with their friends and family!

Here are some activities to build language skills and learn new vocabulary…

  • Create photo activities to build vocabulary
  • Do a variety of sensory activities together
  • Read together!
  • Get outside together!

2. HOW TO GET THEIR BODIES MOVING! (Motor skills)

Toddlers need to learn how to use their bodies to move! Developing their big muscles (gross motor skills) can help with balancing, walking, running, jumping, bouncing balls, climbing, etc. Developing their small muscles (fine motor skills) can help with more complex tasks like zipping, buttoning, scribbling, drawing, opening things, and eventually writing! Toddlers can develop their motor skills through a variety of play-based activities as well as getting out in nature and playing at playgrounds and parks often.

Here are some activities to build motor skills while having fun…

  • Have a family running race backyard
  • Do simple science activities
  • Have fun crafting together

3. HOW TO BE NICE WITH OTHERS! (Social skills)

Toddlers should learn things like taking turns, listening, and using manners (like greeting people and saying please and thank you). Learning to take turns and wait as well as learning how to play with friends takes a while. It is important to teach appropriate social behaviors and teach toddlers how to take turns and be gentle with their friends.

Here are some activities to build social skills…

  • Teach kindness
  • Role play how to act in social settings at home
  • Role play how to take turns and wait!
  • Play games to practice listening

4. HOW TO GET THEIR BRAINS THINKING! (Early Learning Skills)

Toddlers can begin to learn simple songs and nursery rhymes. These teach them how to play with words, recognize patterns, and develop rhyming and rhythm skills. As toddlers are exposed to books, they will begin to recognize letters and pictures and start identifying concepts of print while they read with adults or look at books independently. Older toddlers also begin recognizing alphabet letters, words, numbers, colors, and shapes in their environment. Kids are naturally curious and learn so much through play!

Here are some ideas to help develop early learning skills…

  • Explore the alphabet using simple and playful activities
  • Do a variety of hands-on movement based activities
  • Get outside and play and explore nature
  • Go on field trips to museums, stores, etc.

5. HOW TO USE THEIR IMAGINATIONS! (Imagination skills)

As toddlers grow, they begin to be interested in "pretend play" and start to develop their imaginations. They might pretend to be a fireman or a teacher. They might enjoy using costumes to act things out or using small figures like toys or stuff animals to pretend. By providing play materials that foster imaginative play and playing along with your kids, you can help them develop their imaginations even more. Reading books and acting out what you read can also help kids develop their imaginations!

Here are three ways to help your child develop their imagination…

  • Get them reading
  • Drum up some drama
  • Shuffle the story cards
  • Make an artistic discovery

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