Our tiny tots are eternally curious about the world around them. Here's how we can channel their energy in the right direction.
Toddlers do not need to be subjected to structured learning, but as
they are naturally curious, it makes sense for us to harness their
curiosity and channel it in the right direction.
Using these tips you can devise relaxed and fun ways of
teaching your child to recognize letters, numbers and colors. Remember
that visual (seeing), audio (hearing) and kinesthetic (touching and
doing) methods work best with children.
Sing and wash
Very often children don't wash their hands well after going to
the bathroom or before meals. Sing the alphabet song to them when they
wash their hands, so they treat the exercise like a game. They will
come out with clean hands and a lesson learnt.
Point out the chapattis to your child, and let her identify the
shape. Then, break it into pieces to make rectangle bites, square bites
and triangle bites. This way not only does your child learn something
about shapes, but she gets distracted and doesn't fuss as much. Point
out the round bowl, round plates and rectangular or square table.
Play the color game
To begin with, pick one color for one day, say green. Point out
all green objects to your child through the day. When she is playing
with her toys, separate all the green ones into a heap. When eating,
show her the green vegetables. When you go to the park, you are
surrounded by green grass and green leaves.
Use flash cards
Flash cards make great teaching aids. You can either buy them
or make some on your own. Keep separate sets for alphabets, numbers,
colors, shapes, vegetables, fruits etc. When your child is bored,
simply pull out the flash cards from your bag and let your child
identify the object.
Invent new games. For example using colored chalks, draw
triangles, squares, rectangles and stars on the floor. Now make the
child play a hopping game. As you give instructions the child jumps
from the red square to the blue star to the green rectangle and so on.
If there are two friends they can give instructions to each other and
Use familiar tools
Teach your child letter recognition with the help of his
favourite objects. N for Noddy, P for papa, M for mummy, D for didi or
dadaji and so on. At the table, teach your child's numbers by counting
the peas on his plate. So also, remove some peas and add some more to
teach him addition and subtraction.
When playing with your child, talk to her about the different colors
and shapes of her toys and how many of them she has. Count out the toys
aloud. As you pick up a toy, encourage your child to call out the
colour. When in the car, read aloud the text on billboards, point out
the colour of the traffic light and of other cars, and so on. Soon you will realize that you are surrounded by learning tools and it is up to you to extract their potential.