No matter how young our children are, we’re always keen to help them learn new skills. For a parent of a newborn baby you know just how new and fantastic the world looks to your little one. There is nothing more delightful than showing your baby their new home. Everything you say to them and show them is something fresh and wonderful. Colours, shapes, animals, numbers and letters are all there to be explored.
As your baby becomes a toddler, learning about the world becomes even more fun. It’s important not to wait for the formal schooling system to educate your child. Instead, make everyday activities inform your child and stimulate their interest in the next topic. For example, the colour red appears on lots of things they see every day. Their favourite top, their favourite toy, and even some of their foods.
Learning to read the alphabet can be great fun for the toddler who is keen to please you. He may enjoy singing the alphabet song, or pointing out the letters he recognises in the storybooks you read together. Perhaps he is already identifying the letters in his own name.
Learning the sounds of the letters can be just as much fun for him. Just look for opportunities to let him know what each letter sounds like, and add an example from an everyday word he knows. You could even make up stories together about them.
You can also buy toys and games that help encourage your toddler to engage with the alphabet.are a good place to start finding out what might work for your little one. Sometimes these toys and games are put aside for a few months before they become suddenly interesting to your child. Don’t worry if they aren’t immediately taken with it. Things will soon be good fun for them as they become more experienced.
It can be tricky to find the kind of quality needed to learn to read whole words. Instead, why not try to incorporate this stage of learning into everyday life? At the supermarket, most packaging contains lots of pictures and words together. Your toddler can easily find letters he recognises. You can help point out the words that relate to the picture.
Over time, your little one will learn to recognise certain shapes of words. They will see the combinations of letters. As they start school, they will feel more confident tackling reading. It’s important to give them this head start.
Of course, there are many other areas of learning your little one may be more interested in. Perhaps she is a good counter, and can already add and subtract? Maybe they can tell you all the names of their favourite dinosaurs, and identify farmyard animals?
Helping your baby grow and develop is good fun as well as an essential part of parenting. It does take time and patience, but every day offers new opportunities to learn something with them. Singing songs and reading stories is a great way to introduce and reinforce new things too. Have fun with your toddler to learn something new today.