At 35 months of age, your child’s brain is no doubt working overtime. He takes in so much information on a daily basis you’d think his brain was a sponge. As a parent, your job is to provide your child with the materials and the opportunities that allow his sponge to soak up more and more. Nevertheless, it’s important that learning be a fun activity at the same time.
Your Child’s Development
When it comes to learning to read and count, a 35 month old toddler is curious enough to want to learn. Chances are your child may have already caught on to a few things like saying a few of the ABC’s, or counting from one to three. He has probably picked up on these skills by participating in fun activities such as singing songs or having their favourite book read to them. Your child is eager to learn because learning seems just like play. All children react more positively to playing an educational game than they do to having to do alphabet drills. To keep your child’s learning train on the right track, it is vital that his learning activities continue to be a pleasure and not a chore. So, how can you make learning fun for your toddler? Here are a few of our favourite suggestions:
- Use magnetic ABC’s and 123’s on the refrigerator. This is an inexpensive learning tool that not only provides hours of playtime, but keeps your toddler within reach while you are busy in the kitchen. Make sure that the letters and numbers do not have magnets that can fall out and become choking hazards. Also, make sure that your child can reach the letters and numbers without your assistance. You may want to start out with only a few of each letter and number that your child can recognize so he does not become overwhelmed. Ask, “Where is the letter ‘O’?” or, “What colour is the number ‘2’?” Then use each letter or number; “C is for Cat” or “Two. I have two ears - one, two.” Introduce a new letter or number every few days.
- Count everything! As you go through your daily routine with your child, make it a habit to count everything. As you get him dressed in the morning, say “One, two. You have two shoes!” As he has his afternoon meal, say “One, two, three - There are three carrots on your plate!” Incorporating numbers into your everyday activities provides your child a passive way of learning to count. It can also make mundane activities a bit more fun for a toddler.
- Play games such as Picture Bingo or Animal Dominos. Games that use matching skills are a good way to promote pre-math and pre-reading skills to your toddler.
- Sing songs! Children love music and seem to learn things quicker when it is put to music. Use tried and true children’s songs or make up silly songs about things you are trying to teach your child.