Monday, June 28, 2010

Teaching Our Children: 2-3 Years Part II

You can teach your child with little or no effort. "Toddlers learn best when they use their senses," says Dr. Ellis, M.D., medical director of the Phoenix Children's Hospital's Neuro-Developmental Evaluation Program. Even the most mundane experiences help build important skill. An activity as simple as folding clothes can teach children preliminary lessons in counting and sorting, while also strengthening motor development. Below are more suggestions on "everyday lessons" from the December 2009 Parents issue:

Shopping School:

1. When choosing food at the grocery store, point out, for example, how the skin on an apple is smooth, while an orange fells bumpy. Identifying items in your cart by their proper name as well as describing them with one or tow adjectives will help boost language development.

2. Pick up two boxes of crackers. Talk about what they have in common ("Both contain smacks that are shaped like small squares") and what are different ("This box is red, that one is yellow").

3. Two and three year olds may be too young to grasp what a quarter is worth, but they are old enough to learn that it cost money to buy things. This can build into discussion about needs and wants. Example: "Is ice cream something we need to live, or is it a treat we'd like to eat after dinner?"

Waiting Game:
1. This is a great activity to play while standing in line. Suggest that your child look at people's faces and tell how how he/she thinks they are feeling: Are they happy, sad, or bored? When you reach the checkout person, make sure you and your child say hello and goodbye.

2. Count the people standing in line. Then ask questions to sort them into categories. "How many people are wearing glasses? How many people are shopping alone?"

3. While waiting in the doctors office, play a version of "I Spy." Without telling your child what it is, choose and then describe an object in the room. Ask your child to guess what you are looking at.


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