Educational Activities For Toddlers And Kids
Here you will find great learning activities for kids that will keep them happy and assist in their development at the same time. These educational rainy day activities for kids are designed for children between 2 and 5 years old, and they will find them enjoyable and will greatly benefit from the learning experiences that they bring. They are all fun challenges for kids.
Although most of the suggestions in this article are free kids activities, to get the best out of these learning activities for toddlers and older children you may need to spend a little money. The short and long term benefits will be worth it. The short term benefits will be that these are fun activities to do, and should keep your child occupied and happy. The longer term benefits are the about the learning aspects, and giving your young child a good head start in life.
Teaching Your Child To Read
You can teach your child how to read when they are just 2 years old. As long as they can speak they can learn to read. When kids are young they want to have fun, so it is important that the techniques used to teach them how to read are enjoyable for them. Their attention spans will be shorter the younger that they are so 5, 10 or 15 minute sessions are recommended. If you child wants to do more then that’s fine.
The first thing to do is to get your child interesting in reading. So get some good children’s story books and read to them from a young age. If they like a story they will tell you and the same goes if they don’t like it. Point out the words with your finger as you are slowly reading. Stories about pets or young children usually work best.
Show your child the letters of the alphabet by cutting these out yourself or using toy letters. Spell their name first, and practice making the sounds of the individual letters with them. Once you think they have mastered this, give them all of the letters and ask them to choose those that appear in their name.
Place the letters that make up your child’s name above their bed, on the fridge door and anywhere else that you can. Point out each letter and tell them that “D” is for David and “D” is also for dog. Find other simple words that they will know to explain the letters in their name. You can carry on this game when you go out. If you see a letter of your child’s name in the store or on a street sign, then show them and say the letter and the sound together.
To be really successful at teaching young children how to read you will require the assistance of a high quality reading program. One of the most successful programs out there is Jim Yang’s Children Reading Learning. Jim taught his two year old how to read using the methods in the program and you can see this in the video below.
Reading is so easy with Children Reading Learning. As the teacher, you will be provided with specific instructions on what to do each day to get the best results. All of the materials that you need are supplied for you. Your child will love their learning to read activities. Find out more about the Children Learning Reading program here.
Learning All About Colors
We live in a colorful world and it is important that your child can distinguish the various colors at an early age. This is one of the best activities to do with kids. A fun way to do this is to use different colored paints and ask your child to use their fingers to spread the different colors on paper (you can use edible paints for this if your child is likely to put their fingers in their mouth).
When your child chooses a color, tell them what the color is. Encourage your child to use the full range of colors and tell them the name of the color each time. You can ask your child to mix certain colors together, such as yellow and blue, and then tell them the name of the color that results from this.
After your child has finished their painting and has used lots of different colors, you can reinforce the learning by playing a game at home where you look for items that are the same color. For example a banana would match the yellow color and a red apple the red color and an orange the orange color and so on. If the colors do not match exactly, this is a good opportunity for you to explain the concepts of shades such as light blue and dark blue.
Take every opportunity to reinforce learning about different colors in your everyday life. If your child wants to eat a banana then ask them what color it is. Tell them to put on their blue top and white shoes. Ask them to get the red cooking book for you. Use different colored toys in the bath so that you can play color games there too.
Teach Them About Numbers And Math In A Fun Way
Teaching your child math is as important as teaching them to read. If they struggle with numbers and mathematical concepts in later life, then they will be at a severe disadvantage. Start out with number recognition and counting, as these are fundamental skills that will form the foundation for further mathematical learning.
Most young kids will be able to rote count numbers from memory. Counting up to ten is pretty normal for a two year old. This is a good start, but it is not confirmation that they could count the number of things in a collection. So these fun activities have been devised to assist your child’s development, and being able to properly connect spoken numbers with actual amounts.
You can use everyday things that you find at home to assist with counting. This idea is one of the most fun things for kids to do and uses an egg carton. It is aimed at kids that are 3 years and older (if you have a very smart 2 year old then try this with them too). To play this game you will need an empty large egg carton (12 eggs) and cut off the last two egg holders to leave ten remaining. You will also need some different color items that can be placed in the egg carton such as pom poms, buttons, play dough or counters.
To start the game, show your child the empty egg carton and ask them to count all of the empty spaces. When your child confirms that there are 10 spaces then you can write this down in front of them to confirm the number recognition. Now ask your child to fill the egg carton with different color items. Once they have done this you will need to ask them how many red items are in the carton, how many blue items and so on. Then ask them how many items are in the carton altogether.
You can now get your child to add two different colored items to the carton. Perhaps 6 red items and 4 blue items. Ask your child to count the number of different colored items and then the total number of items. 6 blue, 4 red and 10 altogether.
Now you can explain to them that 6 + 4 = 10. Practice this with the other different denominations 1 + 9, 2 + 8, 3 + 7 and 5 + 5. Each time get them to count each color and then the total. Soon they will be able to tell you without hesitation that 5 + 5 = 10 and so on. If your child is able to write, then get them to write down these simple equations and keep this somewhere prominent where your child can refer to it regularly.
Get Them Measuring
Teaching the concept of measuring in a fun way is pretty easy. You do not have to use a ruler or tape measure to begin with. You can measure things using items found around the home. Your child will be continually growing, so this is a good place to start these fun activities for toddlers.
Get them to stand against the wall and make a mark at the top of their head. Then you can use different things to measure their height. This could be cereal boxes for instance. Help your child stack cereal boxes on top of each other until they reach the mark on the wall. Then ask them to count the number of boxes. They will be X amount of cereal boxes tall. Use a ruler or tape measure to show this in feet and inches or centimeters and milimeters.
Measuring things can be really fun projects for kids. If they have play blocks like Lego, then ask them to measure the width or height of something using these blocks. Start with small items such as a shoe box, and then ask them to measure the width of the refrigerator and then the couch. Get them to count the blocks with you, and declare how many blocks wide the couch is. Again you can make a true measurement with a tape measure.
Then you can move to their bedroom and ask them to find out how many books it would take to cover their entire bed. You can use magazines instead, or sheets of paper. Get your child into the habit of counting each book or sheet of paper as they lay them on the bed. Once the bed is totally covered they will be able to tell you how many were used. Always help them with the counting if they need it.
Improve Their Reasoning Skills With The Matching Up Game
This is one of the best free activities for kids. Here you will teach your child that certain items go together, and then lay some items out on the floor and ask them to pair them up together. You can find many household items to play this game. Examples would be containers and lids, two gloves, two socks, two shoes, a fork and a spoon, a comb and a hairbrush, soap and a towel, apple and an orange, magazine and a book and so on.
Create two groups of items keeping the matches apart. Then you can start off the game by choosing an item from one side, and then asking your child to find the match on the other side. Congratulate them every time they get it right, and help them if they are struggling to find a matching item.
Once your child has got the hang of the game you can change roles and ask your toddler to choose an item and then you can find a match. Make some mistakes deliberately and see if they spot them.
You can play this game in different situations. If you are sorting the laundry then ask your child to pair the socks together. When you are out at the grocery store you can ask your child to match foods together such as cereal and milk, bread and butter, chips and salsa and so on. If your child is unsure about the association then explain it to them.
Make Your Kitchen Like A Science Lab
It is likely that young children will spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen, so why not make this fun and help them to learn at the same time? You can teach them that different objects make different sounds, and that cooking involves physical changes in materials and chemistry. Of course you are not going to do anything complicated here, just point out that different things are happening. Learning in the kitchen is one of the most fun indoor activities for kids and won’t cost you a cent.
Gather together some different unbreakable pots and pans and lay them out upside down on the floor. Give your child a wooden spoon and ask them to hit each pot or pan with it. Try to mix this up with metal, wood and plastic items. Ask your child to confirm that the sounds are different. What if they use a rubber spatula to hit the pots and pans? Does that make a different sound?
Show them that tapping the pots and pans lightly produces a different sound than hitting them harder. You will be introducing them to the physics of sound here. They can entertain you by creating some music with the pots and pans. You will need a fair bit of patience here, as it is likely to be a total racket. Always keep a smile on your face while you are listening to their great musical compilations!
Get them to help you with food textures and mixing. Ask them to taste, touch and smell the food ingredients as you are using them. Explain what you are doing and make a point of explaining when something has changed such as “this will make the mixture smooth” or “adding the batter to the milk has turned it from white to yellow”. This will be a lot of fun for your child, and help them to understand that mixing things together often produces interesting results.
Teach Them To Tell The Time
This can be an ambitious activity but well worth it if your child learns how to tell the time. There is no minimum age for this, but it is important that your child has a good grasp of counting and numbers before you attempt to do this.
Start with teaching your child how to count up to 60. They will not be able to grasp the concept of minutes and hours before they can do this. Spend as much time as you need on this, and don’t try to move on to the next step until your child can confidently do this without help.
Once they can count to 60 teach them about fives and the five times table. You might think this is a bit ambitious, but young kids can pick this table up pretty quickly. Once they have memorized the table, ask them random questions in a fun way such as “if six kids have 5 marbles each how many marbles are there altogether?”
Now you need a big clock where your child can move the hands around from the front. Explain to your child that the small hand is the “hour” hand and the large hand is the “minute” hand. Place the minute hand on the 12 and then move the small hand to each number and tell your child that this is the “o’clock position”. Move the small hand to random positions and ask your child to tell you what the time is.
Once the hours and o’clock concepts are understood, move on to the minute hand being in different positions. It is best to start in 5 minute segments such as 5 past, 10 past, a quarter past and so on. Explain that quarter means 15 and half means 30. You can then progress to more difficult times such as 17 minutes past and 21 minutes to etc.
Then combine the two hands together to demonstrate five past three, six thirty and so on.
All of these educational things to do with kids and toddlers will be fun for your child, but remember to do them regularly, and in small steps. It is inevitable that your child will enjoy some activities more than others, but persevere with all of them.
Don’t forget to check out Jim Yang’s wonderful reading program – Children Learning Reading – so you can prepare yourself to easily teach your child how to read.