|Tips#1: Read Together Every Day|
|Read to your child every day. Make this a warm and loving time when the two of you can cuddle close together. Bedtime is an especially great time for reading together.|
|Tips#2: Give Everything A Name|
|You can build comprehension skills early, even with the littlest child. Play games that involve naming or pointing to objects. Say things like, "Where's your nose?" and then, "Where's Mommy's nose?" Or touch your child's nose and say, "What's this?"|
Arts and crafts can be loads of fun for kids, and for those of us who are kids at heart. It's hard for the really little ones to get crafty though. Sure, they're pretty easy to please, but they don't have particularly good fine motor control and they don't think in the same way that adults do, so you might struggle to help them see why you're gluing things together or making a bird feeder. Coming up with arts and crafts projects to stimulate your toddlers can be difficult, especially now that it's so much easier to just put on cartoons, but we're here to help and are coming to the rescue with some toddler-friendly craft projects.
Try one of these next time you're stuck at home on a rainy day and your two year old really doesn't want or need to watch anymore Thomas the Tank Engine. However, be prepared to have these craft projects morph into something different to your original plan. That's totally ok – if ice cream sticks become sword fighting implements rather than a stick man, so be it!
Sand art is bound to get your toddler excited. No toddler has ever refused the sandpit, to our knowledge, so what best to get them involved with art. It might be best to do this outside. Get some paper or card and some glue like Bostik. Show your toddler how to make patterns on the paper with the glue, and then let them pour sand over it. They'll be delighted when they blow off the sand and some is left sticking to the paper – it's like magic! You can get in on the fun by drawing smiley faces, simple pets or even your little family.
|Tips#3: Say How Much You Enjoy Reading Together|
|Tell your child how much you enjoy reading with him or her. Look forward to this time you spend together. Talk about "story time" as the favorite part of your day.|
|Tips#4: Be Interactive|
|Engage your child so he or she will actively listen to a story. Discuss what's happening, point out things on the page, and answer your child's questions. Ask questions of your own and listen to your child's responses.|
We're not sure if it counts as arts and crafts, per se, but we do know of a fun game for small children that will make bath time loads more enjoyable for you both. Pop your toddler in the bath, then whip out an old tray. Spray some shaving foam onto it in little dollops, and mix in food colouring. Let your kid play with the coloured foam, making pictures (or just a general mess), giving themselves blue Santa beards, or even playing a learning game where they have to select the right colour foam when you ask. When they get it right, they get to put a Santa beard on Mommy!
Let your toddler decorate himself. Find yourself a huge piece of paper, get your toddler to lie down on it and trace around their body. That in itself will be quite exciting for them, but then start 'decorating' the outline. Add hair, buttons, faces. Let your toddler paint or draw, and help them stick on buttons or material to make socks, hair, scarves or even clothes. If they're wearing a red jersey, ask if they want to paint a red jersey on “Paper John,” Mary, or whatever your child's name is. We guarantee they will want to, and their delighted giggles will keep you happy too. Remember to take a photo of them next to their paper companion.
|Tips#5: Read It Again And Again And Again|
|Your child will probably want to hear a favorite story over and over. Go ahead and read the same book for the 100th time! Research suggests that repeated readings help children develop language skills.|
|Tips#6: Talk About Writing, Too|
|Draw your child's attention to the way writing works. When looking at a book together, point out how we read from left to right and how words are separated by spaces.|