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5 Ways to Boost Your Toddler's Education

by Teresa, The CuteKid™ Staff


 
During the toddler years your child has an incredible capacity for learning. Experts recommend giving your child a base in reading, math, and language skills. Research shows that introducing these basic skills during the toddler years will give your child added success in school and further education. Even if they do not know how to read and do math before starting school the early exposure to the subjects will make it easier to learn later.

 

1. Talk to your toddler/child about what they and you are doing Keeping up a steady stream of narration helps support your child's/toddler’s language development. It also connects daily activities to words and encourages mental development. As you are getting your toddler dressed you might say, "We put your shirt
over your head. It covers up your tummy. Now let's put your pants on. First one leg then the other leg. What goes on your toes? Right your socks. Let's put one sock on this foot and the other sock on this foot. Okay, time for your shoes. This shoe goes on this foot and the other shoe on this foot. Now you are all dressed."

2. Read daily to your toddler Reading helps your child become "print aware" a skill needed in order to read. Oftentimes books use words that are not used in everyday conversation, increasing your toddler's vocabulary. Choose books that have simple pictures and large words. Use expression when you read, this makes the book interesting. After reading the print talk about the pictures. We go to the library each week and keep a stack of books on the cupboard always ready to be read.

3. Let your toddler play on the computer There are many software programs written for toddlers you can buy. You can also play toddler-oriented games on-line at free sites such as Nick Jr., Sesame Street, and PBS Kids. Don't expect your toddler to use the mouse, at age 1˝ my daughter would point and say, "Click," and I would point the mouse where she wanted to go. A year later she is doing it herself. Computers are an integral part of life today and early exposure is valuable. Not to mention the exposure to letters and numbers that are found in most games. My children love playing on "their" sites.

4. Purchase alphabet letters and numbers for your tub and fridge Expose your child to letters as often as possible. Use the letters to write your toddler’s name or other simple objects familiar to him/her like dog, cup, or milk. This will help your child make the connection between written and spoken language. Count the numbers and line them up from 1 to 10. Count how many legs your toddler has, the number of bathtub toys, or fingers on one hand and then find the number that corresponds. Throughout the day point to an object and say what letter it starts with or count different things. By age 2 ˝ my daughter could count to 10. My son knew how to add before entering kindergarten. My older daughter could recognize and name half of the alphabet before turning four.

5. Realize that physical activity and academic education is linked. Dr. Clare Albright, Psychologist and Parenting Coach, tells parents, "If you and your toddler engage frequently in different kinds of physical activities, this may enhance brain development." This brain development makes it easier to learn academically. Expose your toddler to activities like galloping, running, rolling, wheelbarrow, as well as slides, swings, and playing in water and sand.