Toddler Learning Activities: 10 Tips on Inspiring Your Child to Love Learning

This topic is absolutely near and dear to my heart. When I first started planing to have children, I don’t think I realized how early they would start learning from us. I got a crash course when I realized I even had to teach my 4 month old how to sleep! From then on, everything they do seems to involve a lesson. As my toddler began to grow I really started to put some effort making sure that my free toddler learning activities were effective, fun and  easy.

There is nothing like walking into the room where your 2.5 year old is playing and witnessing him eagerly turning the pages of his

Toddler Learning Activities

alphabet fruit book. But not only is he turning the pages, he is singing the alphabet on each page with full splendor and is pointing out the names of the fruit. Score one for toddler learning activities that allow mommy time to sit down! When he’s done, he switches gears and starts naming the planets in the solar system with happiness and excitement!

At that point I started thinking to myself, how did we get here!?!? In a short two and a half years, I went from holding my newborn baby in the hospital to watching my son sight read, sing his alphabet in Spanish and backwards, count to 100, and start to sound out words! Yes, I’m talking about reading. I can’t imagine what my daughter will be doing when she is this age.

Don’t get me wrong, my son lives for jumping, playing, screaming, exploring, getting dirty, yelling, and running around frantically just like most happy toddlers, but he has also developed a ferocious love of learning that often just leaves me in awe. The amount of information that a toddler can take in is absolutely amazing. They are like little sponges, absorbing everything around them. I can’t help but to think this will be beneficial to him as he matures through the years.

While showing a child love, helping them grow emotionally, allowing them to explore, and making sure they are healthy is at the top of my list of “to-do’s”, I truly believe that every child has the capability to learn much more than we think.

Toddler Learning Activities

 

Below, I suggest simple ways to encourage inquisitiveness, eagerness, and a passion for learning starting at an early age! Incorporating some of these tips into toddler learning activities can truly make an exciting difference for years to come.

 

Toddler Learning Activities:Inspiration

 

1.Don’t be Afraid To Sing

At any given time in my home, you will most likely hear one of four people singing something productive or silly. Yes, that includes, me, the hubby, my toddler, and even the baby. (Well I like to think she is singing). Putting concepts to a  tune is such a great way to learn and retain information. For example, have you ever had a hard time remembering terms for a test, but can sing the full three verses of your favorite song? Yup that’s the power of music. I have seen it work wonders for my son and a plus is that he now loves to sing in general. I think singing in the home adds a happiness to the household that can’t

be matched so this one is definitely my number one tip. So get to singing parents and caregivers, even if its not exactly your talent! Let’s learn all of the nursery rhymes you thought you forgot .

 

Toddler Learning Activities

2. Repetition is the Key To Toddler Learning

Have you ever noticed that when you hear something over and over again, all of a sudden you can’t get it out of your head? If you hear and use it enough, it eventually becomes information that you retain for a long period of time. This works amazingly with toddlers and children. For example, my son has recited the alphabet so much over the past year in a half that it is now ingrained. This allows him to take it a step further and sing the sounds of the alphabet, which is an important part of learning how to read

3. Keep Routines a Priority

Have you ever noticed how toddlers and children in general love to repeat things over and over again? I am of the opinion that there is a reason behind this madness! This tip is similar to tip number two but a little more specific. One of the best tidbits I was able to absorb from reading The Happiest Toddler on the Block was that toddlers who have a regular routine often feel smarter, more secure, and are generally in better moods from day to day. Toddlers are not as capable of handling emotions and rarely have control over what’s going on around them, so being able to anticipate and predict parts of their day is key. I truly believe that having a routine has helped my son to further excel because it provides him with confidence. He knows when and how he will nap, eat, go to bed, and when he will be doing certain activities, similar to daycare facility’s schedule for the moms that are working. Of course the routine has to be amended and flexible pretty often, but the benefits of sticking to it more often than not create an amazing environment for learning.

 

4. Target any TV and Video Time

Now some parents like to eliminate videos and television all together. I am of the opinion that some targeted TV and video is just fine. In fact, once they are toddlers, they can actually learn a great deal. In my household, YouTube is mostly limited to alphabets, reading, numbers, shapes, colors, planets, and anything that promotes learning. My son has honestly learned a great deal this way. Even many of the cartoons on the major channels that are geared towards toddlers have learning aspects to them. I am not suggesting sitting your child in front of the television all day, but if you are mindful of what’s being watched, there is some benefit! I suggest about an hour a day for IPad and TV while they are this young, no more than two. Clean up song videos are a great way for your toddler to learn the valuable lesson of cleaning up behind themselves! Make sure to visit my preschool clean up song article for the absolute best videos. It is so easy to have the television playing in the background, trust me I have been there. But after making a conscious decision to put more effort into limiting TV, advice again received from The Happiest Toddler on the Block, I can honestly say I saw a huge difference in his attentiveness.

Speaking of being mindful, here is one of my son’s favorite Alphabet videos that really created some excitement!

 

5. Toddler Learning Activities: Reinforce What is Learned

Often times, I will here something that my child in singing from a video or book and carve out some time to make sure I reinforce what he is learning. This can include learning the song yourself so you can sing it with him when you are out of the house, or

Toddler Learning Activities

creating some life sized learning boards to reiterate concepts in a fun way for example. I talk about how to do this in one of my

previous posts Here.  A great example would be the day my son discovered a planets song on YouTube. When I saw that he was interested in the planets, I started talking to him about planets, asking him questions, and singing with him about planets. (There’s that singing again!) Before I knew it, he knew as much about the planets as I had learned in grade school! The most important part was not that he learned it, but that he was enjoying it and super excited about learning more.

 

6. Be Creative

Don’t be afraid to get your creative juices flowing folks! Learning doesn’t always have to be about letters and numbers. Sensory and emotional development is important too. Or sometimes we can make learning games from their favorite toys. A great example is my car matching activity! The more fun you can make it, the more successful the activity will be 🙂

 

Toddler Learning Activities

7. Play Doh

I made an alphabet playdoh post basically explaining how you can use play doh to learn the alphabet! My some absolutely loves it! But the great this is that I can sit at the table with him and he can make all his letters and number and he will ask me to

make all types of shapes and even words! It’s a great learning tool that also provides sensory fun! In my post I also add a recipe on making play doh as well.

 

 

 

 

8. Don’t Push, Watch for the Cues and Allow Exploration

This tip may be near the end but it is VERY important! The last thing I want to ever do is push a two year old to learn something before he or she is actually ready. I can’t think of one situation where this would actually work out successfully. In my son’s case, he tends to start exploring after he masters something. So I watch for two things: when he masters somethings and what he shows interest in next. I use that information to steer him in the right direction while allowing plenty of time for play that doesn’t involve any “academic” learning.

 

Toddler Learning Activities

9. Positive Reinforcement

Self Explanatory. Kids soak this stuff up. Positive reinforcement with some love (and plenty of patience gaahhh!) will make learning that much more fun and easy. When your child learns something new, make a big deal about it! Don’t hold back. Take pictures, film it, whatever you want.

 

10. Be Silly

LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST! I can’t stress this enough.  Toddlers love silliness! Let your hair down and have some fun because a happy toddler is is more likely to be a learning toddler! 🙂 Again, I must mention something I learned from The Happiest Toddler on the Block. (Hmm I think I will have to review this book soon with all these mentions LOL) There is a chapter about “Playing the Boob” that is absolutely amazing and it works! This concept involves giving your toddler a “win” or sort of an “upper hand” in something trivial and often funny. They may want to be stronger, or smarter than you. It truly promotes confidence and cooperation with toddlers and I have personally seen the proof. So don’t take this one lightly, let your toddler have some “wins” sometimes (i.e. let him blow you over because he is so strong) and you will have their attention for learning!

 

 

These tips have served my family very well and I am happy to share! Do you have any tips that have really helped with early learning? Please share below in the comment sections.

 

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24 thoughts on “Toddler Learning Activities: 10 Tips on Inspiring Your Child to Love Learning

  • August 29, 2017 at 11:03 am
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    Hi! I find your page really interesting and pretty! I like the layout and the content. I really love children and it is interesting to find out more about them. I still don’t have children of my own but I guess that many parents will find this website very interesting and valuable!
    Keep up the good work!
    Mia

    Reply
    • August 29, 2017 at 11:37 am
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      Thank you! Trust me you will get a crash course when the times comes but they are worth every bit of learning it takes 🙂

      Reply
  • August 29, 2017 at 11:25 am
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    I have to agree with you about getting toddlers into a routine. Everyone knows where they are and what is expected of them.
    Brilliant advice!

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    • August 29, 2017 at 11:36 am
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      Thank you! That one is pretty important for my sanity LOL

      Reply
  • August 29, 2017 at 12:22 pm
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    Hey! I really appreciate the article! Who doesn’t want to see their child learning and having fun doing it!
    One suggestion, you may want to increase the size of the headers a little so they don’t blend into the body text.
    But the headers are a very excellent description of the information that follows. Very good

    Reply
    • August 29, 2017 at 1:21 pm
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      Thanks Josh! And great tip. I’m not sure why I left the headers small lol

      Reply
  • August 29, 2017 at 12:39 pm
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    THanks for this post Kayla. I think our education system has stopped teaching the way that promotes creativity. How we used to learn as children is actually a very effective way of learning throughout our lives. The points you mentioned are true for toddlers and children or all ages, even for adults. Learning should be fun – singing, playing games, having fun activities, promoting creatoivity, being silly. All of these are great ways to learn, not just as a toddler, but all throughout life.

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    • August 29, 2017 at 1:23 pm
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      Thanks Kevin! I didn’t make that point in the article but I totally agree. There should be much more of this type of learning because it benefits us all.

      Reply
  • August 29, 2017 at 2:10 pm
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    I agree with you Kayla on all points. I have a toddler and these are the things I am promoting. Kids are like sponge, they absorb almost everything. That’s why it’s important to foster a happy and positive learning environment.

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    • August 29, 2017 at 3:08 pm
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      Thank you fellow mom! This age isn’t easy so it helps to think these things out 🙂

      Reply
  • August 29, 2017 at 3:37 pm
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    Early education is of vital importance in the life of children. If you can get children to gravitate towards learning at a young age chances are that they will be motivated to continue learning later on.

    Making the environment conducive to learning is a marvelous idea. By doing so lots of repetition will take place and children learn by repetition. I love the suggestions you have given in your post. This article is very educative to patents.

    Reply
    • August 29, 2017 at 4:11 pm
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      Thank you for your comment! It definitely is very important, I couldn’t have this site and not talk about it at least once!

      Reply
  • September 1, 2017 at 9:29 pm
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    Thank you for publishing this very enlightening article. My question is where were you 35 Yrs. ago?:) Anyway I have a second chance to get things right. As first-time parents we teaching the ways we were taught.

    The morals and humility and charity definitely have no regrets of passing those traits along. But I feel I was not close enough to gain my children trust. I know they love me, as I do them. But after 58 Yrs. on earth

    My grandchildren are the reason my heart still pumps. I love these kids to death and the time I spend with them I make sure it is a learning experience. Your article will add more fuel to fire in leaving a well-rounded legacy.

    Reply
    • September 2, 2017 at 11:30 am
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      That is awesome! And so great to hear 🙂 You are right most of us do raise children how we are raised so it makes me smile to see you have grandchildren that will allow you some extra time for love and nourishing. Please let me know how these tips work out for you!

      Reply
  • September 3, 2017 at 11:41 am
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    Hi there! Thank you for your post! It is very educational!! My best friend had some problems regarding this issue and I am sure that he will love your post! I agree 100% on #7. It is always better to leave them to explore and try things out on their own rather than us implying them a mindset :).

    Reply
    • September 3, 2017 at 11:54 am
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      You are very welcome! Please let me know if he finds it helpful. And yes, learning is so important but they must also have the freedom to explore, that’s a great take away.

      Reply
  • September 3, 2017 at 2:34 pm
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    This post hits home for me. I have 2 little boy 2 and 5, so we are all wrapped up in exploring and learning new things almost every day. I do agree with the points you made about making learning fun. It makes the information much more interesting and enjoyable for the kids. It is important to remember that each child is different and that you will have to tweak your actions to fits each child. Luckily, fun is a universal child language, so you cannot go wrong by making things fun.

    Reply
    • September 3, 2017 at 3:23 pm
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      I love what you said and you are absolutely correct. Every child is different and being willing to tweak for each child is absolutely necessary! These tips are just a guideline but I just may add that in 😉

      Reply
  • September 3, 2017 at 6:11 pm
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    Terrific article. I see far too many young parents babying their toddlers or letting the toddle walk all over them. I more of these young parents would follow your guidelines there would more respectable adults raised and made out of these toddlers.

    Reply
    • September 3, 2017 at 9:44 pm
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      Thank you! And Yes many parents today have more power than they think to help mold these little ones. Its starts with really becoming informed and knowing that these little tots are learning more than we think.

      Reply
  • October 20, 2017 at 3:55 pm
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    Hello Kayla,

    I always sing with my daughter the ABC’s and 123, and I really enjoy seeing her singing happily, missing some words from the song and just following the rhythm, I love the tips your provided in this post, they opened my eye on more things to do with my toddler.
    Thanks you for your post.

    Reply
    • October 20, 2017 at 6:39 pm
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      Awesome! And you’re welcome! Learning at this age is so essential.

      Reply
  • October 21, 2017 at 1:12 pm
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    What a love post Kayla. I can really see that you love not only playing with your son but also educating him as well.

    I have learned a lot from this post that I can use to teach my daughter and baby girl. I like how you mention singing. I had never thought of that before. I will have to try it and see what happens.

    Repetition is something that I know works. The only problem is that as you say toddlers do things over, over, over, over and over again. It can get quite tiring.

    Would you suggest to mix it up with other activities just so that things are a little fresh? Or keep going with an activity? The problem is over doing it, or rather knowing when to stop. Guess when it’s no fun is time to move onto something else.

    Reply
    • October 21, 2017 at 3:06 pm
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      Thank you! You totally hit the nail on the head with your last sentence. It is tiring, but I keep repetition going until my son forgets about it! lol. When he has mastered it to the point where he literally sings it without thinking, I start introducing him to something else by watching what he gravitates toward. I do say mix it up, but also realize that they don’t need the freshness that we do! 🙂

      Reply

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