Friday, May 30, 2014

The Importance of “Fun of Learning” Toddler Age Activities

I like to engage the “Fun of Learning” type of activities, because this keeps toddlers and preschoolers interest, while they are exercising their different skills or areas of development. In addition, these types of activities provide an opportunity to expand their abilities while engaging in an enjoyable activity. As they grow and develop and get ready for preschool, kindergarten, and regular school, the hope is, they will take this “Fun of Learning” experience with them. 

When engaging your toddler or preschooler in an activity, keep in mind that their attention span and interests are generally limited to a few minutes before they are ready to move on to something new. Generally, activities with toddlers last for about 15 to 25 minutes before they lose interest, or move on to something better. The preschool age group usually has a longer attention span for activities.

I run a child care in my home with little ones of the age of infants, toddlers, and preparing them for preschool. I have a set daily routine, which includes an activity focused on a specific skill. The different skills I touch on are: large or gross motor, fine motor, music appreciation, language development, number awareness & counting, color recognition, and arts and crafts.

So what is the definition of all these different areas of skills?
·         Large Motor or Gross Motor Activities ~ are intended to help develop the abilities required in order to control the large muscles of the body for walking, running, sitting, crawling, and other activities.
·         Fine Motor Activities ~ are tasks that utilize the small muscles of the body like those in the fingers. Toddlers at around a year of age are usually able to perform fine motor skills.
·         Music Appreciation ~ quoted from the National Association for the Education of Young Children

“Children are natural musicians, and exposure to music during the early years enhances the learning process by promoting language development, creativity, coordination, and social interaction. Caregivers can play an important role in incorporating music and movement into a child’s life.”

“It isn't necessary to play an instrument well or sing in tune to help young children appreciate musical sounds, and they should not be encumbered with the need to meet performance goals. In fact, music play (whether recorded or live) can be an enjoyable, developmentally appropriate activity regardless of musical aptitude.”
·         Language Development ~ is the process by which children come to understand and communicate language during early childhood.
·         Number Awareness & Counting ~ Number Awareness is learning what the 10 numerals (0 through 9) look like. This requires strong Visual Discrimination skills since many numerals (such as 6 and 9, or 1 and 7) look very similar. Once a child is able to recognize the 10 numerals and know each numeral’s name, he can develop an understanding of the amount each numeral represents. When first learning to count, a child counts by rote memorization. This means he will likely be able to say the names of the numbers from 1 through 10 simply because he has memorized the order of the words, “one, two three ... ten.” However, toddlers do not yet understand that 5 is 2 more than 3, for example.
·         Color Recognition ~ the ability to identify and name basic colors.
·         Arts & Crafts ~ a fun way to explore with different textures and colors, while using their fine motor skills.

See more activity articles on this blog. Click on the links below, or on the “Search Index” tab top of this blog page. You will find these articles:

For more activities ideas that focus on these skills, as well as various issues for this age group, view my eBook titled Precious Years Leaps & Bounds by Iva Dumas for only $9.99 available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo

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  2. This is really nice topic, which is very useful for me.

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  4. Troy, I would love to learn about your baby topic idea. Send it over.


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