I think the best way for kids to learn is by discovering and to have fun. If they are not interested, the activity will not last long enough to understand and to actually learn. Everyone learns through different methods, Aural by listening, Linguistic by speech, Spatial by watching, and Kinesthetic by doing. I try to implement all of these principles in Vera’s activities.
I love it whenever I have a chance to paint or do crafts. This 18 month milestone and development gives me the perfect chance to get creative and put together a few new activities for Vera.
Puzzles keep kids occupied for a while and it’s great for them to develop problem solving, patience, concentration, motor skills and vocabulary. If you are like me, you don’t want to have to buy a new one every time your kid gets over it and has mastered it. Making your own puzzle at home is really easy. All you need is thick paper, a marker and a few objects you have at home. Trace the objects on the paper and you are ready to go. I like to use objects of the same category so we can also use it as an activity to learn new words.
A great way to get your toddler thinking is by sorting. This can teach them to match and to learn the purpose of things. I made a few color flash cards and matching squares for Vera to separate and to match to it’s color. You can also use blocks or balls. A discovery box with 2 or 3 different categories of items would be great too. An example can be, play food, doll clothes and books.
I watched an amazing video of how difficult it is for toddlers to learn to use and coordinate their bodies. Not being able to control your movements perfectly can be really frustrating. Since this, I always try to provide Vera with activities that will develop her motor skills and hand and eye coordination. She has come a long way and we are now ready to start trying to string. We are going to start by stringing shoe laces in pasta and work our way to putting fuzzy wires in the strainer holes.
An activity that is super easy and fast to put together is letting them play with bottles and containers. They can learn to open and close containers and to screw lids on and off. This will help them to problem solve, to match and improve hand and eye coordination.
If you are feeling brave and don’t mind the mess I have a super fun activity that kids love. Filling and dumping! There are so many options. You can use 2 of the same size containers or 1 large and 1 small. You can use liquids like water or milk. I recommend putting a towel under to keep the mess under control. You can use small grains like rice or beans. You can use both and also get them to separate them!
Join your kids and help them to learn by talking them through the activities and showing them how to do it. This will strengthen your bond! Our kids are always looking for our approval and encouragement. Being there for them and showing them positive reinforcement and reactions will make them more secure and proud.