How do I play with my toddler? This is the question that kept popping into my head over and over again once Little Miss turned two years old. I wanted to make sure that I was playing with her in a meaningful way while also teaching her important skills she would need once she started preschool. The teacher in me just had to know that I was providing meaningful and worthwhile activities for her while still having fun and playing together. I started to create the Learn and Play guides and activity packets for this reason. I wanted to make sure I was exposing Little Miss to important skills that she would need to be successful but not with a worksheet. Because let’s be real, what toddler is going to sit for a worksheet? I can barely get mine to do a coloring book!
The April Learn and Play Guide and Activity Packet took on a special meaning because I was not just creating this for my own daughter but I wanted to create this as a way for busy parents to learn and play with their own toddlers while they may be juggling so many changes during this Covid-19 quarantine. I always pour my heart into these activities because I want my own child to enjoy them, but this month I love them so much more because I know they will help so many other busy parents entertain their toddlers.
Both the April Learn and Play guide and activity packet are aligned with developmentally appropriate standards for 2-3 year olds. These standards cover skills that they need to be successful at their age. I have tried to incorporate all of the important categories that will set them up for success. Each activity is carefully created to help develop toddler’s sensory, gross motor, fine motor, early literacy, early math, social/emotional, science, and social studies development. These activities will expose them to important skills in a fun and hands-on way!
The activities include Easter counting mats from 0-10, Spring letter mats, In Your Own Backyard Nature Hunt, Spring Garden cutting tray cards, Jelly bean color sort and threading practice, Bunny Hop Color game, Easter bunny emotion card matching game and so much more. My hope is that these activities keep your toddler moving, playing, learning and having fun.
The Learn and Play Guide that gets sent out to my newsletter has the remaining 10 activities that I have carefully gathered from around the internet that are perfect for sensory activities, crafts, and science experiments throughout the month of April. Sensory activities are crucial for toddlers and preschoolers and I am so excited to try all of these activities with my own daughter this month. We have already done the Fizzing Easter Egg Science experiment from My Bored Toddler and it was a huge hit!
I am constantly trying to incorporate fine motor practice for my daughter because that is truly the foundation for writing as she continues to grow. The packet of activities has multiple opportunities for her to work on strengthening her muscles. In particular, the jellybean bead counting fine motor tray that you see above is one example. This activity combines both beginning pattern work with fine motor development. The goal is to choose the color jellybean beads or pony beads if you don’t have these and create an AB pattern (pink, red, pink, red) of beads on the pipe cleaner. This is one example of a hands-on activity that we will complete together during the month of April.
With the Learn and Play guide and activity packet, I also try to focus on activities that help develop social/emotional skills for our toddlers. This time in their life is so confusing and difficult that it’s important to have an open and honest discussion about emotions and how they are feeling. I have included an Easter Bunny emotions match game to play with your toddler that will get you talking and learning about different emotions. You can do this as a match game with a matching mat or cut up all of the cards to use as a card matching game. I hope this activity allows you to talk and play together about emotions without your child even knowing they’re learning!
The April Learn and Play Toddler Activity Guide and Packet is a meaningful way for you and your toddler or preschooler to spend time together. Setting these activities up for your child for when they wake up, throughout the day, or after nap time is an excellent way to keep them engaged and entertained during this difficult time. The key is to plan ahead so you can be ready with these activities when your child may need a break or you want to set some special time for you all to spend together. You can purchase the activity packet in my Teachers Pay Teachers store here and sign up for future guides to be sent to your email by signing up for my newsletter here!
Please let me know if there are other ways I can assist you while you are home with your toddlers and young children. I hope these activity ideas lessen the load you may be carrying so that you can have some fun and a way to learn and play together!