Snack Time Fact Time

Toddlers are primed to recognize shapes at their age.  A fun and educational activity for toddlers is to encourage your child to identify shapes of every day objects that resemble the shapes he or she understands.  This is especially easy to incorporate at snack time.  For example, round fruit exemplifies the Circle.  A box of crackers represents a Square or Rectangle depending on the product.  You can trim the bread on a sandwich in the shape of Triangle.  Carry the exercise over to their toys after lunchtime and point your toddler toward ordinary objects around the house that are also circles, squares and trianges.  The square window.  A round plate.  A rectangle step stool.  The exercise deepens your toddler’s three-dimensional recognition while also building confidence in the environment around him or her

Toddler Yoga

Two-year olds can get rambunctious from time to time with all that energy.  Toddler yoga is a great exercise to teach your tot to calm them and engage them in healthy activity.   The advantage of imparting yoga poses to your toddler is that many of the poses are named after animals.  You can incorporate the animal sounds with the pose if you like in a game of make-believe.   Fish pose, Dolphin Pose, Eagle Pose, Cobra Pose, Downward Dog, Cow’s face, Camel pose are just a few examples of the types of yoga poses named after animals.   We’ve described four of these poses for you below:

 

Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Savanasana)  Hands and feet planted on the ground so that the body makes a pyramid shape with your bottom aimed at the ceiling.  Pedal your feet and bark like a puppy!

Cow’s Face (Gomukhasana) Sit in an easy cross-legged pose, reach your arms above your head and claps your hands around your elbos.  MOOO!

Camel pose( Ustrasana) Coming to your knees, place your hands in the small of your back, lean your head back to gaze up at the ceiling.

Cobra pose (Bhujangasana) Lay on your belly.  Plant your palms beside your chest.  Roll your shoulders back and down, lift your head and chest.  Gaze forward.

Old Cartons for Toddler Art

Before you throw away that used toilet paper roll, paper towel roll or egg carton, let’s talk about some easy art projects you can make with your toddler using these materials.  Paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls make great telescopes for your child to look through and spy on ships far away (use your imagination).    Same goes for egg cartons.  Add a pair of pipe cleaners at one end and you made a caterpillar that your toddler can color with paints or crayons.  Speaking of paints, you can always stockpile your egg cartons to use as paint dispensers, pouring separate colors into separate egg cups; easy access for your toddler’s paint brush.

Follow the Leader

Following the leader is a simple game that you can play with your toddler that doesn’t require anything at all, though the more people that participate the better!  It’s common knowledge that toddlers love to imitate adults.  You can make up a short jingle or song to the words “We’re following the leader, the leader, the leader.  We’re following the leader wherever he/she will go!”   Start by marching around with your toddler behind.  Then take turns switching off as the leader, making up silly dance moves, bowing, bending or clapping your hands.  Any physical, easily-imitable gesture will do.  Your child will probably get so in to this easy game that you might have to play it for hours on end.

Hand Puppets

The luxury of toddler imaginations is that toys don’t necessarily have to look exactly like characters they recognize in order to be super fun to play with.  This is the case with hand puppets.  You and your tot can make hand puppets out of virtually anything, most commonly old socks or brown paper bags.  Simply adhere eyes, nose and a mouth to your sock or bag and poof! You have a toy!  Try to pick one, distinguishing characteristic from your toddler’s favorite cartoon or movie;  like Woody’s cowboy hat from Toy Story or Mickey Mouse’s round, black ears that will help your toddler identify it.   The adult can use the hand puppet first and demonstrate how to use the puppet to put on a show for the toddler, then the toddler can try using the hand puppet for the parent.

Hi-Five Toddler game

Here’s a great way to teach your toddler color’s and numbers.Toddlers love to imitate and work on coordination skills. Fun activity for your toddler to review colors and giving a “Hi-Five”. Take your toddler’s hand and draw an outline on some paper. Cut it out and use it as a pattern to cut out handprints in different colored felt. Now put the handprints all over the floor, couch, table and ask your toddler to find the “purple”hand print and give it a hi-five! This is also a great activity for a group of toddlers!It is important to use your toddler’s hand for the pattern so that he/she can see that it is a copy of “her” hand. That makes it more special.You can count the number of handprints you have also.

Learing game ideas

When a parent or grandparent is looking for the best learning games for kids? They are basically trying to choose the right game that will give their child hours of fun but will also afford them the double benefit of learning something really important while they are playing.

Finding good learning games for kids can prove difficult. All too often learning games for kids are played only a few times and then shoved into the bottom of the toy box. The simple fact is that in order for an educational game to actually provide learning it must be engaging enough to hold the child’s attention. The kid must enjoy it or it ends up just being a waste of money and cupboard space.

On top of this, learning should never feel like learning, but be an enjoyable part of playing with the game. The right learning game should always make the learning experience fun while building skills that the child can use when he goes to school and later on in life..

A lot of learning games for kids are specifically engineered for kids in a particular age group. Following the age recommendation on the box makes it easy to purchase the appropriate game for your child. Keep in mind that the age groups are only recommendations; some kids may have difficulty with games in their age group while others may find that the games in that particular age group are too easy. It is important to choose a game that not only fits your child’s age group but also their current learning level. Find a game that they like and slowly expose them too more advanced games as their knowledge grows.

When you’ve bought your kid toys in the past, you’ve probably noticed a pattern: your kid plays with the toy for a few days, maybe even a few weeks, and then the toy gets thrown in the corner and forgotten or overlooked, like poor Woody. Sometimes your children will play with some toy without tiring of it. This is great when it happens but it is also good to try and work out why the child never tires of certain things in a learning game in order to repeat the success.

Educational shapes and blocks that also use sound can be one of the simplest and most rewarding of learning games for kids. In addition to teaching your child about shapes, numbers, letters and textures, they will also teach your child about music and sound. If successful your child will be all smiles, while learning at the same time!

One of the biggest advantages the shape toys have over other toys, is that it’s viable for both sitters and standers. If your baby is not yet able to walk, he/she will still have bundles of fun by pressing all the buttons and hearing the various music and sounds. If your child can walk, the toy is great for improving motor skills.

Learning games for kids are a great idea when they work but any game or toy that children use will always offer a limited potential to learn. After all, the most important thing that a child can learn is to play peacfully with other children.

Playing Make Believe

A number of studies show that kids who engage in imaginative play demonstrate a increased readiness for school.   Playing make believe and acting out character roles equips kids with a unique set socials skills and language skills they can use with peers and teachers once they reach school-age.  While kids play make-believe, they are  experimenting with language as they alter their own voices to sound like adults for example a mom calling a child to the dinner table or babies, for example a whiny baby getting a diaper change.  Online experts suggest that playing make-believe naturally involves the question “and, what happens next? ”prompting children to create problem-solving development.  Playing make-believe with your child can be enjoyable for both caregiver and child as it can strengthen your bond.

TV Time

Your child demand all of your time and attention all day long.  Soon you discover your toddler is mesmerized by programs  like Caillou, Thomas the Train, Tinkerbell, and Mickey Mouse.  You want nothing more but to plant them in front of that television set for the entire day so you can finally get some work done around the house.  While some screen time can be educational, how much is too much TV?

The American Academy of Pediatrics links too much television to childhood obesity, behavior problems, sleep disorders, violence, less creative play and poor academic performance.  Childrens’ programming giant, Nickelodeon, promotes playtime through Worldwide Day of Play events and short PSA reminders throughout its programming.    As with most things in life, the key is to find a balance between keeping your child active and allowing screen time.

Childrens Vitamins

When it comes to essential vitamin and mineral needs, food sources are the best option for optimal growth and development of your child.  But what do you do if you have a picky eater?  Multivitamins are a great alternative to make sure your child is consuming essential nutrients.

Childrens’ vitamins come in a variety of different flavors and textures to appease little, picky eaters!   Gummy vitamins and candied, chewable versions are popular choices for parents who struggle to get their child to eat all their fruits and veggies.    For the right vitamin to meet your child’s needs, consult your local pediatrician and also read what parents say online about different products.