I have to admit that since returning to work I haven’t had the time to create many new learning activities for Eva, despite the fact that I’ve been madly pinning away new ideas. Instead I thought I would share a example of an afternoon spent at home.
Eva might only complete each activity once or twice before she is ready to move on. I try to let her explore as much as possible and encourage her to complete each activity independently with, of course, some guidance and cueing.
Letter Recognition: Using wooden magnetic letters and an old metal platter, we focus on basic letter recognition and a couple of sight words. At the moment, Eva is able to recognise and differentiate the words: “Eva”, “Mum”, “Dad” and can say some of the letters, but she mainly enjoys pulling each letter out of the box and rearranging them.
Fine Motor Skills: Using a colander and pipe cleaners, Eva is mesmerised by this lacing activity. This focuses on developing her fine motor skills as she concentrates to put each end of the pipe cleaner in a small hole.
Shape Recognition: This activity is a little beyond Eva’s ability, but she enjoys matching each shape to the corresponding Flashcards (Mr. Printables) and claps as she gets each one right. She is able to recognise most basic shapes — circle, square, triangle, star, heart.
Fine Motor Skills: The idea is for Eva to fill the measuring cup with her hands and then pour dry pasta into each of the containers, further developing her fine motor skills. She does do this once or twice, but it’s much more fun to dump all the pasta out all over the place.
Imaginary Play: Both Johnny and I often play with Eva in her kitchen to “make” stews, “serve” tea, “eat” sushi, and “wash up” the dishes. Sometimes you get tea whether you like it or not as Eva forcibly shoves the tea cup into your mouth and makes sipping noises for you.
The idea is that you choose 5 titles from among your usual books (or from the library) and read them every single day for at least a week. They suggest choosing short picture books which feature strong rhythm and/ or repeated refrain so that the children can quickly memorise the words and join in with the story-telling. This empowers them to be able to “read” and re-tell stories from a young age, and also makes them very fluent in a range of text types and literature styles.
Eva’s current 5 books are: Clip Clop, Dinosaurs Love Underpants, Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley, How to Catch a Star, Each Peach Pear Plum and already we have noticed Eva starting to predict and remember certain words and parts of these books, particularly those that have a repetitive element.
I’d love to know, what learning activities does your toddler enjoy?