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Little children can absorb a lot more than one would notice. With everything being so new to them, their curiosity keeps them interested in learning and this is a great time for activities that will develop your toddler both mentally and physically.
- Play with texture - toddlers are sensory learners. They like to play with things through sight, touch, smell and taste as they begin to try to understand their surroundings. Let them play with letters and numbers, trace them on papers and give them materials of all textures like sand, paper, pasta and more and let them feel the letters and numbers. Say them out loud while they are playing, put their poster somewhere they can see it and regularly call out the letters they made.
- Count - count everything - how many sweets in a box, people in a car, apples in the bowl, whatever you can! Use their toys or items around the house to measure things like how many apples tall the table is or how many Lego blocks tall the TV screen is. Remember to count as you lay down each item and soon your child will be counting and measuring lots of things!
- Hunt for items - try an "I spy" game or, when in the supermarket play a game where you have to search for certain items, for example all yellow items. This will give them the sense of exploration and discovery that children love and stimulate them around the house or wherever you're playing the game. Identify noises - loudly identify noises like the door bell when it rings or a car when it honks, a bird when it sings, a child when it cries, a person when they talk.
- Be descriptive - mention as many details as possible when talking about something to your toddler, for example instead of "look at that truck", say "look at that big, red truck". This will encourage them to be more observant when they look at something.
- Make every trip worth a discussion - as you drive by different areas, point out things like supermarkets, schools, hospitals and discuss what happens there, who works there and why people go there.