Toddlers are not ready for long days of doing school work, but you can begin to prepare them for what is ahead. When you feel that your toddler is ready to begin some schooling, your first intention should be to keep the activities fun. Second, the activities need to be short. Ten to fifteen minutes at a time is best for young children. The only exception to this would be arts, crafts, and exercise time. For these fun activities, your toddler will let you know how much time she or he wants to spend creating and exercising.
This is one of the simplest activities you can do with your young child. Plan on spending a few minutes during the day reading a new book to your child. After you have read your child the book, spend another one to two minutes talking about the book and ask him questions about what was read. Don't give up bedtime reading. It is just as important as daytime reading and it reinforces the idea that reading is fun and pleasurable.
Preschool Workbooks and Repetition
Begin introducing one workbook page to your child each day. Preschool workbooks and work pages are available online. Have your child begin tracing letters or numbers. Spend a few minutes singing the alphabet or counting out objects each day. Repetition is key to helping your toddler learn the building blocks to her education.
Plan at least 10 minutes of exercise time with your child each day. When it is nice outside, take your toddler out to play ball, kick ball, or any type of sport she may be interested in. On cold or rainy days, do exercises inside. These can include jumping jacks, stretches, and even yoga poses. Teach your child different types of exercises and sports to keep him interested and to expand his knowledge on fun, healthy play.
Arts and Crafts
For many young children, arts and crafts are a favorite activity. Plan for at least 10 minutes each day teaching your child a new art or craft. It can be as simple as decorating a paper heart or making animals out of clay. Be active and participate in the activity with your toddler. She will learn from watching you.