Teaching A Toddler

When my 3 year old says “Mom, I don’t know” it really means “Mom I need help finding something to play.”  Both of my boys are very smart and no I did not start labeling them “gifted” at birth.  LOL  However, I do play with them a LOT and we use play time as learning time.  Once in a while we will get out these fun folder games.  There are sites online you can use to find printable games and make these at home.  They are easy to make and take up very little storage space so you can have many varieties to keep your little ones entertained and learning at the same time. Here is a website with tons of games to print: http://www.earlylearningactivities.com/howtoffgames.html


A few that we have made, the top one my son brought home from school but it is double-sided with tons of great info on it and it is made with a tri-fold folder.  It is also laminated!  NICE

I am sure you have also seen lots of “baking sheet magnet games” that are a fun idea as well.  I found this great website that has tons of printable games!  I doubt we’ll use them as magnet games since as you can see we seem to be missing a few magnet letters….probably in with the bathtub toys or under the fridge…but we can easily use them as paper matching games.  Do what makes you happy.  (Yes I gave him the scratched up old baking sheet.  We both know he’ll be coloring on it more than sticking things to it)

letter game1


The bottom line is this – YOU are your child’s first teacher.  Sure they will learn tons of great things at school but by the time they get there so much learning time has already come and gone.

What sparked this post was my search for more printables.  My 3 year old can count to 20, do opposites, etc etc but he has NO interest in letters.  Now I have several new games to play with him and hopefully spark an interest in the ABC’s.  😉  stamp treeI got excited about these.  We use Bingo stampers everyday for chore charts and boy are they thrilling to a three year old.  I’ll reel him in with numbers and then switch-a-roo and BOOM…we’re doing letters!  Think it will work?  Let’s all cross our fingers.

Send me links if you have more ideas!!


4 thoughts on “Teaching A Toddler

  1. Julie VonOntjes says:

    Thanks for sharing! I would love to hear what you do for the chore charts! I’ve been struggling to come up with something I like.


    • Thanks for replying Julie! I use chore charts to lessen the nagging load on me. I let them choose the character chart they want for the week – one for each of them – from this great free printable list: http://www.freeprintablebehaviorcharts.com/chorecharts4-10.htm

      Then I put things on there that I want them to learn to do on their own without my having to nag them. The 6 year old’s chart says “Make my bed, Brush my teeth, Do my homework, Pick up toys.” The 3 year old’s chart says “Brush my teeth, Pick up toys, Play nice with brother, Help mommy.” Most day all I have to say is “Jacob, did you get all of your stamps done?” My house is cleaner, my boys are more responsible, and we are all more calm because of these magical papers on the door. 😉 When they fill the weekly chart they get their reward. This week Jacob asked for $3 for his wallet (another tutorial I need to post). Three little dollars for a week of no nagging. DONE. This comment is turning into a full post. woops.

      PS – I also interconnect school with home so that my 1st grader knows that good behavior at school translates to rewards at home. AKA – you cannot act like an angel at home and a fool at school just because mommy isn’t watching…he tried that. So for every “green or better” day he gets on his daily report card (teacher does this for all students) he gets a stamp on a separate chart that I make in Paint reflecting the current goal (currently a trip to the Aquarium for 10 good days). He has been great ever since. I often find it is the littlest things that inspire them. Stamp away!


  2. Thanks for the link, I seriously spent more time on the computer to find printable activities than actually doing homework with my son. The tip that saved me was the $ store has lots of home school booklets. My son loves them.


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