The foundation of human progress rests on education, a basic right that unlocks a world of possibilities. As our society changes, our understanding of education's significance, especially in a child's early years, grows clearer. The journey of toddler education starts well before school, shaping a young child's growth. It is believed to be more than just gaining facts. Rather, it is a dynamic journey shaping the mind, heart, and body of the child. The initial years are crucial as the brain grows rapidly. If parents and educators don't offer quality early education, they hold back children from their full potential and hinder a nation's growth. When children attend pre-primary school for at least a year, they increase their chances of gaining essential skills for school success and decrease the likelihood of repeating grades or leaving school early. As they grow up, they play a role in creating peaceful societies and thriving economies (1). Throughout the stages of early childhood education for toddlers, they learn different skills like social interaction, verbal, and language. It's a period when children acquire social and mental abilities that will greatly influence their future growth and achievements. Early childhood education also provides an opportunity for self-discovery and exploration of their unique interests. Starting to learn from an early age empowers children to begin constructing their personal aspirations (2).
Not only enjoyable but educational activities for toddlers can also make a big difference in their development and happiness. From games like peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek to jumping in hopscotch, there’s one for every child. All these types of play help a child's mind and body. Playing can help a child learn how to make plans, work with friends, and deal with feelings. It also helps them get better at language, math, and getting along with others, and it's like a tool to deal with stress. Through active participation and joyful exploration, children acquire crucial skills demanded in the modern world, such as teamwork and creativity. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to utilize play to support their child's health and developmental progress, starting right from birth (3). As toddlers grow, they begin to understand how things work. They also start to imagine and play make-believe games. This sets the stage for later playtime in preschool. For instance, when they use a play kitchen's oven timer or pretend to ring a bell in a toy fire truck, it shows that they're realizing each thing has a job (4). As they grow, the things they see and hear, like on TV, the internet, and smart gadgets, can have a big effect on them. Some shows can teach them stuff, while some can have violence that parents don't want their babies copying or being scared of. Sometimes, they also see advertisements for unhealthy foods that aren't good for them (5).
Educational programs for toddlers, such as Peppa Pig, Bob the Builder, The Magic School Bus, Super Why, Timmy Time, and Dora the Explorer, captivate and excite young children with engaging visuals. Parents can opt for shows that offer an interactive and absorbing journey for their toddlers. For instance, quiz programs ask questions about science, animals, and the world of entertainment. There are shows that teach concepts through games, stories, and songs, as well as those centered around shapes, letters, numbers, critical thinking, and social skills evaluation, which can also create an enjoyable and educational experience. To gauge the educational merit of such programs, it's advisable for parents to watch alongside their children. Moreover, some educational apps for toddlers, including puzzles and games, can keep them engaged and entertained.
During the early years of childhood, their mind develops through the surroundings and situations they experience. This is why going to preschool is valuable for toddlers. Attending good pre-kindergarten classes often gives children a strong foundation, helping them do well in elementary school (6). Preschools provide thoughtfully planned lessons that target thinking skills, communication abilities, and emotional growth. With guided play, teamwork, and personal discovery, young children encounter many chances to discover new things and develop a fondness for discovering. Additionally, experienced educators help with academic advancement and track each child's journey, adjusting teaching to fit their specific requirements. By participating in fun and interactive activities at home or enrolling them in a well-known preschool, you can mold what lies ahead for them. Check out our list of toddler education posts below and embrace being a hands-on mentor in your child's growth. Begin the journey towards putting them on a road of continuous learning and achievement.
As your toddler reaches age two, they're like a little explorer, chattering, strolling, and full of vibrant enthusiasm. Your child's vocabulary will be growing, and they will be learning fresh words all the time. They will also enjoy arranging shapes and colors and might even start thinking about using the potty seat (7).
The initial lesson for a toddler is to establish a firm base of communication and social skills. Talking to your little one frequently is essential, as communication holds great importance during these early years. Engaging in activities like reading books and discussing objects while describing your actions can aid them in grasping new words and ideas (8).
By the time they turn five, children can spot the letters of the alphabet and even start writing them. They're eager to copy the words they use a lot and hear around them (9).
Playing, reading, creating a proper routine, learning songs and rhymes, and exploring are the five different ways a toddler can learn. These are a natural, fun, and interesting way for them to explore the world outside while developing different skill sets.
Limiting your conversations with your toddler when they're showing challenging behaviors is thought to be helpful. Remaining calm can also ease these behaviors. By staying calm, you're showing your child the behavior you wish them to adopt (10 ).
The National Association for Music Education (1994) recommends that teachers should help children talk about and imagine music and play activities. These can include saying rhythms, clapping, swaying, copying sounds, dancing, and touching. You can also try these educational activities for toddlers at home to make their senses even more active (11).
A young child might not want to talk about school, or their behavior in class might not be so good. Sometimes, their grades might suddenly go down, or they could be spending a lot of time on their homework. You might notice their attitude changing when they talk about school. However, every child is different and may not show the same signs as outlined. It is advised to talk to the teacher to understand what could be wrong (12).
Teach them about sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.
Now it's time to turn screen time into learning time for your little one.
A safe and nurturing preschool sets a proper foundation for a child's early development.
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Preschools are the first part of a child's social circle where they learn to make friends.
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