It is no question that our toddlers mind are always busy and needs continuous stimulation.
Learning doesn’t have to happen at a table. Our kids learn as they play and through everyday life experiences. Below are a few activities to try with your toddler:
Sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks. It also supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction
-a bowl of jelly with hidden objects in, let them take it out
-shaving foam/yogurt on a mirror, let them draw, scribble, go wild
-mud bath for farm animals, let them scrub the toys
-rainbow rice for scooping/ transferring. Find recipe here
Sorting helps build visual perception and thinking skills. Children can generally sort the colours before they can name them. Learning to categorise and classify helps memory skills.
-start out with 2 colours at a time and work your way up
-as you child gets familiar with more objects (e.g shapes) let them sort accordingly
-make it fun and include movement e.g they have to walk/ crawl to put the red block in the red basket
This is a great way to create a fun learning opportunity for kids. Simple inset/ jigsaw puzzles help children develop finger strength, perseverance and problem solving skills. … Picking up, moving and twisting the pieces of a puzzle helps children to develop finger strength and hand-eye coordination.
-inset puzzles are great to begin with
-jigsaw puzzles- this is a favourite at any age
-geometric puzzles- teaches them about shapes
-connect the dots- here they learn about numbers
-mazes- helps with critical thinking and eye coordination
Teaching your toddler to count involves more than helping them learn the numbers one to ten. It involves helping them understand the meaning of numbers. E.g give me 2 bananas, and they then have to count them out and give it to you.
-start out with 1-5 and work your way up
-count anything throughout the day
-put flash cards up in the house and when they stop at the number let them jump or clap that amount of times
-do counting receptively (give me 3 balls) or expressively (them counting)
SCOOPING AND POURING
Scooping and pouring activities help develop fine motor skills in under 5s as well as using math concepts such as less and more. These tasks help children coordinate their hand movements with what they are seeing and feeling (it might be water pouring on their feet!)
-put water in a big container and let them scoop and pour with cups
-put objects in the water, let them scoop and transfer it to another container
PLAY DOUGH ACTIVITIES
Play dough activities has numerous benefits. It is calming, it helps with fine motor skills, encourages creativity, enhances eye-hand coordination, improves social skills, promote playtime and supports literacy and numeracy.
-rolling balls and strings (strengthens hand and arms muscles)
-poking holes (strengthens finger muscles)
-makes shapes, numbers, objects (creativity and learning)
-use cookie cutters and do make believe play
Fine motor activities help children perform important tasks like feeding themselves, grasping toys, buttoning and zipping clothes, writing, drawing, and more. The ability to complete self-care and everyday tasks helps a child’s self-esteem and confidence to increase.
Gross motor skills involve movements of the large muscles of the arms, legs and torso. Kids rely on gross motor skills for everyday activities at school, at home and in the community. Kids who struggle with gross motor skills have trouble doing whole-body movements like climbing and jumping jacks.
-yoga for kids
Let’s stimulate our little ones’ brains one activity at a time while they still have lots of fun!
As our kids grow, so does their brains. It is also important to make sure that we nourish their brains with all the right nutrients.
I believe in healthy eating not only for myself but for my little one as well.
We try to steer away from gluten, dairy and refined sugars as much as possible. The reason for this is because his brain is going through its biggest development stage (first 1000 days) and needs the best nutrients. I still give him these occasionally as he still has a lifetime of parties ahead and I don’t want to make him immune to the above.
Benjamin turns 2 in October and his appetite is really big. He has consistent eating times and thrives on it. I however don’t give him any fruit after 16h00 to prevent the “sugar” high and restlessness.
🍉fruit salad (you can add plain yogurt if you want)
🍏apple chippies and nut butter
🍌nice cream (banana, add fruits of choice for flavour,blend and freeze dairyfree)
🍪 healthy biscuits and tea (Benjamin takes rooibos with almond milk)
*Flapjacks with fruit and yogurt
Our kids love a sweet snack but we need to take care of that afternoon savoury snack. My friend Shayleigh took care of the yummy savoury snacks for us and you can find it here. We both love healthy eating and understand the importance of brain development.