Tag Archive | "toddler education"

Advantages and Disadvantages of Homeschooling For Children

Nowadays, more and more parents prefer to educate their children at home. Educating a child at home requires a great deal of planning and commitment. If you are thinking of homeschooling your toddler, you have to study the advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling for children before taking the plunge. To help you decide, here are some pros and cons of homeschooling.

Advantages of Homeschooling For Children

One-on-one Attention

One of the biggest advantages of homeschooling for children is the teacher’s ability to give one-on-one attention to the toddler. Because the teacher (you) is only dealing with one student, you are able to teach your toddler with a lot of patience and use a particular method to specifically teach the child (personalized teaching) to suit your toddler’s pace, understanding and needs. This will help you know exactly what your toddler is learning at school and how well your toddler is progressing.

Increases Quality Time

A homeschooled child gets to spend plenty of quality time with his parents. The child no longer has to follow a schedule so the parents can spend as much time with their toddler whenever they want to. The amount of time spent together helps both the parent and toddler build a stronger parent and child bond or relationship with each other.

Flexible Time

You can plan vacations whenever you wish. You do not have to wait till summer or winter breaks. You can also organize a fieldtrip for your toddler whenever you want to. Your toddler no longer has to wake up early in the morning to prepare for school which is a very common problem for children who go to regular schools. In addition, classes can begin later in the day when your child is well rested and ready to learn. Also, school days are shorter. Oftentimes, it only takes a few hours to finish a week’s lesson giving your toddler enough time to complete a number of activities, eliminating homework.

Boosts A Toddler’s Personality

A homeschooled child does not have to deal with peer pressure or bullies. He is not under any kind of stress and is more regular at partaking in community activities. If problems arise, you are automatically there for your toddler to guide and support him. All these things help a child grow into a happy and confident individual.

Disadvantages of Homeschooling For Children

Reduces Social Interaction

Interaction is very important especially for a growing toddler. A homeschooled toddler might have limited opportunities to socialize with other children from different backgrounds which can be a big problem in the future.

Risk of Becoming Dependent

Another disadvantage of homeschooling for children is that it does not allow them to face challenges, they depend on their parents to resolve a problem. For example, a toddler who goes to school is able to handle rejection better in case he is not able to make it to the soccer team while a toddler who is homeschooled might be easily in distraught if he faces a problem because he does not know how to cope with difficult situations.

Time Consuming

One disadvantage of homeschooling for children is that it is time consuming especially if the parent has to work. You are in charge of planning your toddler’s lessons, educational trips, daily activities and so on. There is a tendency for the parent to have a hard time focusing on the toddler’s education since the parent has to balance a career.


Resources for homeschooling can be costly. Parents can spend more money on their child’s education than they are accustomed to. Most often, you have to borrow materials from other children who are homeschooled or rely on the internet for free homeschooling resources.

As you can see, there are various advantages and disadvantages of homeschooling for children. Consider the needs of your toddler first before making the important decision to homeschool your child.

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How To Help Children With ADHD Succeed In School

ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition that makes it difficult for a child to concentrate and control reactions to what is going on around him. ADHD can cause a toddler to have problems in school. But fortunately, parents can do something to help their children with ADHD flourish academically. Here are some strategies on how to help children with ADHD succeed in school.

Work With The School and Teachers

One way to help children with ADHD succeed in school is by communicating the toddler’s needs to the teachers and other school personnel. Make an appointment to speak with your toddler’s teacher and make sure you communicate often. Know your child’s schedule. Share information about your toddler’s condition. Create goals together. Discuss special accommodations for your toddler such as extra time to take tests, having him sit in front of the class and adult supervision. Teamwork is very important in helping your toddler achieve independence and academic success.

Know Your Toddler’s Strengths and Boundaries

Recognize your toddler’s weaknesses to avoid pressuring your little one. A toddler with ADHD who is constantly pressured is likely to have poor self-esteem. Once you have determined his limitations, do not dwell on them. Instead, focus more on his talents and strengths. Develop them and build your toddler’s self-confidence for future successes. For instance, if he is passionate about Lego’s, include Lego’s to his math lesson.

Set Reasonable Goals

Another tip on how to help children with ADHD succeed in school is by plotting reasonable goals. Doing this will be easy once you are aware of your toddler’s limits and strengths. Set goals that are achievable yet stimulating such as finishing his homework within a certain amount of time or without getting up from his seat or reading a harder book every month.

Keep It Short and Clear

When giving your toddler instructions, try to keep them brief yet clear. A toddler with ADHD will not do well when given lengthy directions. Hence, it would be best to keep them short and simple. Make sure you look your toddler in the eye when giving directions and have your toddler repeat them back to you.

Be Consistent

Toddlers with ADHD have difficulty with time management and getting organized. To help your toddler focus, establish a consistent daily routine. Create a chart and include things like homework, short breaks, playtime and even chores. See to it your toddler sticks to his schedule.

Remove Distractions

Children with ADHD are easily distracted. Thus, it is important that you remove anything that can divert your toddler’s attention. When he does his homework, turn the TV, radio and computer off or ask family members to lower down their voices. Keep his study area free from objects except his reading and writing materials.

Give Rewards

Rewarding your little one for his positive actions (e.g. getting three stars in his reading homework) go a long way in motivating a toddler with ADHD to do better. It can be as simple as cooking his favorite food for dinner, allowing him to eat ice cream for dessert, extra time for playing outside or watching TV.

Provide Positive Reinforcement

The most important tip anyone can give on how to help children with ADHD thrive in school is to give praise and encouragement. Appreciate your toddler’s accomplishments no matter how big or small they may be. Give him a hug and a kiss. Say “I love you.” often. Let him know you are proud of him. Toddlers get a kick out of hearing their parents gush about how happy they are. Positive reinforcement increases a toddler’s self-esteem and helps him realize that he is capable of doing well.

Bear in mind that there is no reason why a toddler with ADHD cannot succeed in school. All it takes is patience, effort, determination, a positive outlook and lots of loving and support.

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Games That Teach Children About Money

Teaching children about money is very important. It is a skill that will benefit them for a lifetime. Here are some fun and easy toddler games that can help teach children about money.

Piggy Bank Game

Toddlers love putting coins in, whether in the meter or a piggy bank. Give your little one a piggy bank. Buy him a Money Savvy Pig piggy bank instead of a traditional one-slit piggy bank. A Money Savvy Pig is a see-through piggy bank with four slots – spend, save, donate and invest which allows your toddler to see that his money is really there. Each time you give your toddler allowance, say, if he gets $5 for a week, give him five $1 bills instead of a $5 bill. This will help him allocate how much money he wants to drop in each slot.

Sorting Game

Toddlers love sorting things, so let your little one pile your coins with this entertaining game. Write the numbers 1, 5, 10 and 25 in four clear plastic cups. Then, give your toddler your spare change and help him arrange those dimes, nickels, pennies and quarters into their corresponding cups.

Money Bingo Game

Money bingo is a fun substitute to the classic bingo game. This game teaches toddlers the value of currency. On every square, you will see a picture of a group of coins instead of a number. Ask your toddler to determine how much money is in each square. Encourage other family members to join to make this game more exciting.

Cash Register Game

Role play with your toddler by setting up a pretend grocery store or restaurant using empty food containers. Use play money to pay for the products and take turns buying or ordering items and working the cash register (you can buy one from your local toy store).

Payday Game

Payday is a classic board game of earning and spending money. Start by setting the number of months the players are going to play and then start budgeting. Your toddler will be able to learn a lot from this game since something happens every day such as paying bills, birthdays, going on trips and doctor visits. Your little one will have to pay all of his bills and see how much cash he has left. Your toddler might have some trouble playing this game at first so make sure you guide him.

Open For Business Game

Put up a mini store filled with snacks, inexpensive toys, stickers or tickets for weekend trips. Give your toddler chores for a week. Pay him with play money. Give him a dollar for picking up his toys, two dollars for making his bed, three dollars for setting the dinner table and so on. At the end of the week, ask your toddler to count how much many he made and then let him spend his cash to buy what he wants from the store. Your little one will surely enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Teaching your toddler about money can be tricky. But through these games, your toddler will learn the difference between a dime and a dollar and that money does not grow on trees.

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The Importance of Reading To Children

Reading is one of the most common activities parents share with their children. Even if a toddler is still unable to completely grasp everything, he can still learn a lot of things. Here is why reading to children is very beneficial.

Strengthens Parent-Child Bond

Now that your toddler is able to run, walk, play and explore his environment, you will have less time to spend with your toddler. Reading a book with your little one allows the two of you to stay close to each other. It is a special activity that offers one-on-one bonding time you enjoyed when your toddler was a baby. Cuddling with your toddler and hearing your lovely voice not only builds strong connections but also offers your toddler a feeling of security.

Hones Language Skills

Toddlers learn words through listening. Reading to your toddler everyday exposes him to new speech concepts and develops his capability to construct sentences. A toddler’s brain is experiencing massive growth which means he can understand words at a faster rate as compared to you. In addition, reading teaches your toddler how different words are spoken and used. This experience provides your little one an opportunity to improve and enhance his language skills. As a result, he will be more likely to communicate and express himself in a positive manner.

Builds Literary Skills

Literary skills are the skills an individual needs to manipulate words and form sentence structures. Reading is the perfect way to build the foundation for mastering the alphabet and grow phonemic awareness (an understanding that words are made up of groups of sounds) as well as comprehension that the marks on a page symbolize words or letters.

Preparation For School

Reading gives your toddler a head start for school. According to studies, children who are exposed to books at an early age are more inclined to read earlier themselves which helps them excel in their studies. After all, if a toddler has difficulty forming words and sentences, how can you expect him to understand more complex instructions, math and other concepts he will be presented when he starts elementary school?

Teaches Life Lessons

Books cover a variety of topics that toddlers normally go through – moving from a crib to a toddler bed, potty training, welcoming a new sibling, making friends, etc. Reading books is the best way to show your toddler that other children have the same problems and frustrations he is experiencing which can help him adjust to changes more easily. Plus, hearing stories about other children can teach your toddler the value of sympathy as well as how to respect different people, cultures and beliefs. Furthermore, reading will encourage your toddler to use his imagination which will enable him to make sense of the world around him.

Helps Develop Personal Interests

Reading is also another way to help your toddler discover and follow his hobbies and passions. Reading books that tackles a topic he is interested in helps him learn more about his interests. This can be an instrument in honing your toddler’s talents which will help him succeed later in life.

Reading to your toddler is fundamental for his overall development. Make this activity a part of your daily routine and watch your toddler reap the rewards of reading.

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Fun Activities To Improve Writing Skills of Preschoolers

Writing is an important part of everyday life. However, it is a skill that is learned one step at a time. Here are eight activities to improve writing skills of preschoolers.

Experiment With Surfaces

White paper is a must. But, why not let your preschooler write on chalkboards, dry erase boards, easels, walls and sidewalks. Just buy washable paints, markers, crayons, chalks and pens if you are concerned about the mess. For sure, your toddler will have lots of fun while enhancing his writing and creative skills at the same time.

Modeling Clay

Start by making big flashcards with basic words or letters of the alphabet. Then roll out thin strips of clay. Have your toddler trace the letters or words on the cards using the strips of clay. This activity not only helps him identify words but also helps hone muscles in his fingers, boosting the fine motor skills he will need for writing.

Letter Stencils

Start out by spelling out his name with the stencils. Give your toddler a jumbo crayon or maker for a solid grip. Then assist your little one in tracing along the inside of the letter stencils. Let him doodle around or color the letters after tracing. This helps enhance your toddler’s letter identification skills while letting him practice outlining the shape of the letters.

Writing Tray

Help your little one make letters and words by giving him a tray filled with salt or sand. Ask your preschooler to draw curves, lines and other shapes in the salt or sand that are similar to letters or numbers. He can use his hand to wipe out the marking if he wants to start over.  If you do not mind cleaning up, glitter, pancake batter, candy sprinkles, shaving cream and whipped cream also works for this activity.

Keep A Diary

Toddlers love writing in a journal. Give your toddler a small diary (preferably one with a lock and a key) and encourage your toddler to write a few words or a sentence every day or two. Give him different writing tools to keep the activity fun. Make diary writing a part of his bedtime routine. If he is having trouble getting started, you can ask him to write what he did for the day.

Play Games

One effective way to improve writing skills of toddlers is playing word-based games such as Hangman and crossword puzzles. Or, why not let your toddler use the computer and check-out websites that focus on helping preschoolers improve their writing. Online games such as Bookworm, Tumble Bees, Word Hunt and Zoodles are great learning tools that enrich writing as well as reading skills.

Pretend Play

Pretend play is also a great activity for honing a toddler’s writing abilities. For instance, you can build a pretend restaurant and provide your toddler with a small notepad or a magic drawing board so he can write down the order.

Write Letters

Encourage your toddler to write notes to daddy, grandma or a sick playmate. Have him write thank you notes when he receives gifts from family and friends. Helping him write a grocery list or filling out an order form also helps.

It might take some time for your toddler to perfect his writing, but these activities will help make his practice entertaining and exciting.

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Five Things Every Toddler Should Know Before Starting Preschool

So you have chosen a preschool for your toddler and classes will start next month. Think everything is all set? Think again. Does he know everything he needs to know? Here are five little lessons your toddler should learn before starting preschool.

Personal Hygiene

Your toddler should be fairly self-sufficient before he starts preschool. Meaning, your toddler should know how to use the bathroom, recognize and tell the teacher when he feels he has to go, wash and dry his hands, dress himself, raise his hand when he needs something, eat on his own, remove caps and covers and hold things (spoon, fork, cup, pencil, crayons, etc.) correctly. Train him as early as possible so he will not feel so helpless.

How To Interact With Other Toddlers

The first day of class is always terrifying, especially for toddlers. This is normal. But, do keep in mind that your preschooler has to co-exist with other students. Having appropriate social skills will make everything easier. Teach your toddler to say “please” each time he asks for something and “thank you” whenever he receives something. Spend more time at the playground so he can mingle with his peers. Organize play dates. Let him order his food at the restaurant. Try role playing and have him introduce himself to you. Read books or watch videos about friendship. These things will teach your toddler essential social skills such as sharing, cooperation, taking turns, listening, respect and making friends.

Basic Math and Reading Skills

No, your toddler does not have to know a lot of words nor memorize the multiplication table. Expecting your preschooler to learn those things is unrealistic. Knowing how to recite the alphabet, recognize letters and shapes, count to ten, identify numbers, sing songs and nursery rhymes, talk in 5 to 6 word sentences and write his name will put him at an advantage. Let him read a lot of books and practice drawing shapes, counting and sorting objects and writing his name at home.

Safety Basics 101

Safety is an important lesson preschoolers should know. If his mode of transportation is a school bus, attend practice rides. Take a walk with your toddler to his bus stop and give him a list of information he has to know – what time the bus will arrive and leave, where he can find his bus after school, how to use a seat belt, what will happen once he is inside the bus, what he needs to do once he gets off the bus and how to obey a crossing guard and watch for vehicles when crossing the street. Tell him that he should never talk to strangers. Make him memorize your phone number and address.


A few days before school starts, take your toddler to his school. Let him see his classroom, meet the teacher, walk the hallways and play on the playground. Talk to him about school and at the same time, acknowledge his fears. Assure him that you also got scared when you were little and share stories about how you made friends with your classmates. The more acquainted your child is with school, the less nervous he will be.

Preschool is a place for learning and fun. By teaching your toddler these things early, he will be able to savor this important milestone in his life.

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Managing Anxiety In Children Who Are Starting Preschool

Starting preschool is a difficult time for your toddler. New faces, a strange environment plus the thought of being away from you will truly make him nervous. While you cannot erase his first-day jitters completely, you can help ease some of his anxiety so he can welcome this big change more openly.

Recognize Your Toddler’s Fear

Being in a new environment scares toddlers. Ignoring your toddler’s anxiety or telling him everything is okay will only backfire. Get your toddler talking about his fears. Listen to what he has to say, no matter how irrational they may seem. Ask him why he feels that way. Let your little one know being scared is normal and that you understand how it feels. Remember, fears will not go away when you disregard them.

Talk About It

A few days before preschool starts, talk to your toddler. Keep your conversation casual, say, over dinner, while playing or giving him a bath. Keep your voice jolly so he knows it is something he should be happy about. Use simple sentences to explain what he can expect like who will be there, what will happen during class and the likes. The more he knows, the better he will feel.

Expose and Explore

Read books about school. Watch videos about a little boy who is preparing for his first day of class. A week before classes start, tour the school. Visit his soon-to-be room. Introduce your little one to his teacher. Play at the playground. Doing this helps him familiarize himself with the surrounding, easing some of his anxiety.


During your playtime, why not role play what happens in school? The two of you can take turns pretending to be the teacher and student. Dress the part. Use his stuffed toys as his classmates. Give him certain scenarios (e.g. introducing one ’s self, shared activities, etc.) and see how he handles them.

Increase Social Interaction

If your toddler is anxious being with other children his age, he will truly have a hard time  getting along with his classmates. Train him by organizing play dates with other children in the neighborhood. Ask your friend’s kids to join you for a picnic or a trip to the park. Enroll him in a workshop. Visit the playground more often. Even if they will not be in your toddler’s class, the exposure will help your toddler deal with unfamiliar faces once he starts school. In addition, this is an excellent way to teach your toddler important social skills such as sharing, taking turns, listening, cooperation and respect.

Teach Your Toddler How To Be Independent

Maybe the reason why your toddler is so anxious about starting preschool is because he does not know how to do things on his own. Teach him how to dress on his own, use a bathroom and to raise his hand if he has to go to the restroom. Let him eat and drink by himself.

Do Not Show Your Anxiety

Keep your emotions in check. While you may also be feeling scared for your toddler, letting him know will also increase his anxiety. If you are excited for his first day of school, your anticipation will rub off on him.

Finally, when the first day of class begins, take time to get him ready. Prepare a healthy and yummy breakfast. Walk him to his classroom. Give him a hug. Tell him mommy will be back in no time and most importantly, to enjoy.

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Ways You Can Help Your Toddler Succeed In School

It is the dream of every parent to see their children succeed in school. However, in order to achieve that, parental support must be present. Here are some things you can do to help your toddler do well in school.

Be Involved

Children are more motivated to do well in their studies when parents take an active role in their education. Talk about school at home. Ask your toddler how his day went, what they did in class and what he learned over dinner or before tucking him to bed. Help him with his homework. Set a regular time for homework (e.g. before TV or play time) and create a cozy study area with no distractions. If he needs assistance, help him, but never do his assignments for him.

Go to PTA (Parent Teacher Association) meetings and school fairs or performances. Meet with his teacher frequently. Ask if the teacher needs help in preparing next week’s activities. Volunteer to be the chaperone during class field trips. This will help your toddler realize the value of school and how fun it can be and that you want him to try his best.

Help Your Toddler Feel Good About Himself

Ensure your little one gets adequate hours of sleep, a well-balanced diet and a good morning experience. Remind him that he is a good and smart child. A well-fed, well-rested, cheerful and motivated toddler will have no problem trying to perform his best in school.

Read A Lot

Reading provides a good start to a child’s educational foundation. Read together or encourage your toddler to read on his own. Do not just stick to books - read newspapers, magazines or leaflets. This will help broaden your toddler’s mind. Do not worry if he cannot understand every single word, what is important is that you are exposing him to a lot of materials which will help him build a larger vocabulary and develop better overall skills.

Show Support

Be your toddler’s number one cheerleader. It is easy to be happy when he gets an A in his Math quiz, but during difficult times, make sure you give your child a boost. If he does not understand his homework, go through it together or if he feels like giving up because he is not able to color inside the picture, assure him that it is okay and then help him do it step by step. Try not to focus too much on the negative as this can affect his self-confidence. Maybe all he needs is a little more time and practice.

Give Rewards

Rewards are incentives that never fail to motivate children to do well.  When your young one gets three stars for copying the words on the book flawlessly, offer a special prize. It can be as simple as buying him stickers, cooking his favorite food for dinner or allowing him to eat ice cream. Do not forget to give him a hug or a pat on the back and say “I am so proud of you.” or “Good job baby!”.

School is never easy for anyone, especially for toddlers who are still developing their skills. But, as long as parents are there to guide their children every step of the way and offer 100% of their support, succeeding in school will not be impossible.

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School Supplies Your Toddler Will Need For Starting Preschool

Starting preschool can be a nerve-wracking time for your toddler. A new environment, new routine, new faces, plus the thought of being away from you can send your child into overdrive. One way to relieve some of his fears and make him eager to start preschool is by providing him with basic school supplies.


Every child needs a backpack for carrying school supplies. Look for a backpack that is durable, has wide, padded straps, waterproof, easy to open and close and has outside pockets for storing crayons and pencils so your toddler can just grab one instead of rummaging through his bag. When choosing a design, opt for a backpack in your toddler’s favorite color or one with a simple print of his favorite cartoon character or superhero.

As much as possible, choose a backpack that comes with a tag. If unavailable, buy a bag tag so you can input important information. Include your child’s name, home address and emergency contact numbers. A piece of advice: Do not hang the tag outside of the backpack for everyone to see, attach it to the inside.

Writing and Coloring Supplies

Pencils are a must-have for school. Make sure your toddler has two so in case one of his pencils gets broken, he still has something to use. Paper is another necessity for school. Buy a pad of handwriting paper and at least 2 notebooks with red and blue lines. Of course, do not forget to stash his backpack with crayons. Do not buy the 24-piece or 64-piece crayon set, save them for your toddler’s art time at home. Get the smaller box of crayons, one that contains the 8 basic colors.

Other less essential items you may include in your little one’s backpack are glue stick, child safety scissors, bond papers and markers.

Set of Clean Clothes

Toddlers tend to be very messy. Pack an extra set of uniform (if his school has one), t-shirt, pants, underwear and socks (make sure they are weather-appropriate). This way, he does not have to endure wearing a stained or wet shirt until the end of his class.

Cleaning Items

Diapers, tissues or wet wipes and a travel-sized sanitizer will help control inevitable messes and accidents. Store them in a clear, medium-sized pouch so your little one can easily spot them.

Lunch Box

Choose a lunch box that is easy to clean, water-resistant and spacious enough to fit your toddler’s water bottle and small plastic containers. Skip lunch boxes with snaps or buttons as this will only give your toddler a hard time opening and closing it. One with a zipper closure will do.

Napping Gears

If your toddler’s preschool has a nap or rest period, pack a nap mat (if the school does not provide one), small blanket, pillow and a lovey or comfort item (e.g. his favorite stuffed animal, a t-shirt with your scent on it or your old handkerchief) to help him doze off and ease his nerves if he starts missing you.

Help your young one calm his first day jitters by providing him with the supplies mentioned above.

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How To Help Your Child With Math

Math will be one of the most challenging subjects your toddler will tackle in school. But, if you teach your child early math skills, it will be easier for him to comprehend this subject. Here are some tips on how you can help your child with math.

Use Math Everyday

The key to promoting your toddler’s math skills is to start on the basics early. Ask for his help when you measure out ingredients for a recipe, pay bills or count how many t-shirts needs to be laundered. Count everything around you – the number of steps from the living room to his bedroom, the trees in your backyard, the buildings you see in the park or the people standing in line.

Drill Your Toddler

It is pointless to make your toddler memorize rules. Let him manipulate objects so he can better understand basic concepts. For addition, have him pile up blocks and then count how many blocks are present. For subtraction, take out one or two blocks and then ask him how many blocks are left. When you buy him ice cream, let your toddler pay and bring you back the change. Count the change together to ensure the change is the exact amount.

Play Math Games

Show your toddler that learning math does not have to be boring. You can play simple math games at home. Here are some fun examples:

  • Connect The Dots – let your toddler trace over the numbers that you have written or you can buy connect-the-dot coloring books
  • Count and Sort – ask your little one to help you fold and classify laundry, mix up his toys or plastic spoons, forks, knives and cups and let him organize them by type and tally how many there are in each group
  • Counting Songs – listen to children’s songs about numbers such as “The Ants Go Marching”, “10 Little Indians” and “Five Little Monkeys”. He will have fun singing along while learning numbers at the same time.
  • Make A Call – write a relative’s phone number on a piece of paper and have your toddler dial the number

Ask Questions

For instance, if there are apples on the table, you can say “There are 4 apples on the table. If daddy gets one apple and mommy gets another one, how many apples will be left?”. Encourage him to think out loud and to answer on his own. Do not worry if he does not get it right, what is important is that he is learning.

Teach Your Toddler To Ask For Help

Teach your child that it is perfectly fine to ask for help. Explain to him that if he does not understand a problem, he can ask you, you will not get mad. Once he seeks your help, make sure you are available to help him out.

The best way to help your toddler with math is by showing genuine interest and putting as little pressure on him as possible. When he sees you enjoy math and you show him that math is a part of his daily life, the more inspired he will be to learn.

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