Are you looking for play-based ways to homeschool your toddler?
If you’re homeschooling there’s a good chance that you’ll have a toddler around at some point – whether you’re specifically focusing on homeschooling your toddler or you have a toddler to entertain while teaching older children.
It can be quite tricky with this age group and can definitely provide some challenges. I won’t lie – you’ll have days that will be hard and days where you get nothing done, but having a good plan in place can definitely help.
One of the best ways to teach your toddler is through play. I can’t emphasize this enough – play is the best way that your toddler will learn. There are countless studies and research to back this up and it’s well known in the early learning sector that toddlers DEFINITELY learn through play.
Set up activities that you can use over and over again
I often see people trying to plan new activities every day and they end up burning out. At this age, children love repetition. I’m sure you’ve all read the same book over and over again, and it can be the same with activities. If you make a sensory bin put a lid on it and bring it out again tomorrow, or put it in rotation and bring it out again next week. If you were using scoops and cups in a rice sensory bin today, add toys in it tomorrow and then hide foam letters in it the next day. Don’t make things harder for yourself than they have to be.
Turn everyday experiences into a learning opportunity
Learning doesn’t have to take place only at home. Toddlers are inquisitive, always looking around, taking everything in and asking questions. You can turn any activity into a learning occasion.
If you’re walking to the park, talk about the colors of the leaves, count how many stairs you walk up or down, go on a listening hunt and talk about what sounds you can hear.
If you’re at the grocery store let them help you find the green apples or help you count out 3 bananas.
If you’re in the car, look for letters or colors on signs, or try to find blue cars or red buses. Everyday tasks are a great opportunity to learn.
Throw away the worksheets and flashcards
At this age, worksheets and flashcards are not the way to go. I see a lot of people trying to increase their child’s vocabulary with flash cards, when they actually learn language quicker via play. Set up a pretend play area – a hospital, a shop, a vet surgery, etc. and get involved in the play.
The language that will naturally occur during the play session will be much more valuable than learning a random word on a card. Even if they are too young to be doing a lot of the talking they will be listening to you, repeating your actions, and learning the language in context.
Make it fun!
It doesn’t matter how old you are, if something is fun you’re much more likely to want to keep doing it and there are so many great fun ways to include learning in your toddler’s play. One of the main questions that gets asked is how to teach children letters and numbers and these topics are so easy to learn through play. You can find a huge collection of play-based toddler learning activities and ideas HERE.