Tag: toddler

Early Literacy Tips For Parents of Toddlers | Video Training

Early Literacy Tips For Parents of Toddlers | Video Training

Toddler Literacy Tips: Free Video Training | toddler literacy activities, fun learning ideas, reading at home, tips for parents, language development, listening activities, nursery rhymes, tot school, preschool at home, parenting

If you have a busy toddler, you know how tricky storytime has become! There are fun ways to keep your little mover interested in books, and we’ll talk about them in this free ONLINE video training about raising readers. Get five simple toddler literacy ltips that you can use immediately to set a good foundation for raising a reader!

Scroll down for all the resources mentioned in this training.
Click on the image below for more information about our online class for little ones & their caregivers!

Join us for a FREE online Literacy & Language Class for babies and toddlers!


Get ideas for an educational playlist for your toddler here! Listen and learn while you move and play.


Books and resources mentioned in this video:

(Rolling Prairie Readers does use affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if you purchase any items we recommend. For the full disclosure policy, you can click here.) 


TOP TODDLER LITERACY TIPS:

  • Toddlers learn by doing. Allow them to move while you’re reading or choose quiet toys for reading time. (We love bristle blocks.)
  • It’s okay to flip through the pictures with an impatient toddler–attention spans are only about two-minutes long at this time!
  • But don’t give up on reading! The more you do it, the more stamina your child will have.
  • Use audio books or personal recordings so your toddler can listen “on demand.”

Read and re-read favorite books. Young children are obsessive about their favorite toys, T.V. shows, and friends—books are no different. (We often let our girls pick a book and we pick something new/more literary to complement our reading time.) Click here for more on the importance of repetition!

  • Make story time at the library a priority! Use the time to meet other local families, meet the librarian, participate in family reading challenges, and check out books each week.
  • Choose interactive books at this age: lift-the-flap, books that make noise, and flashlight books. (All Better is one of our favorites.)
  • Leave small groups of books in each room your child is in. You will be amazed what “strewing” can do to pique interests.
  • Choose lots of interest-based books for daytime reading. (Construction books near the matching toys, etc.)

Grab our FREE Guide for Parents of Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers!

Grab our FREE Guide for Parents of Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers!

Raising children who love reading doesn’t just happen. So let’s be more intentional together, okay?

Jingle Bell Sensory Bin + Activity Ideas

Jingle Bell Sensory Bin + Activity Ideas

“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way…”
“Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock…”
“I love those J-I-N-G-L-E bells, oh!”

Christmas is on its way, and our toddlers and preschoolers could not be more excited! But trying to keep their little hands away from the Christmas tree might be a full-time job, and that’s why I love bringing out engaging activities like playdough and sensory bins. This jingle bell sensory bin has been a big hit at our house, and it might be simpler than you might think.

Jingle Bell Sensory Bin + Activity Ideas | Christmas Sensory Play Ideas, Tactile Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers, Learning Through Play

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you.You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

As I mentioned in this post about sensory bin storage, we keep a big basket down in our basement with all of our sensory bin materials: dried corn, peas, and beans, uncooked popcorn, and various shades of rice and noodles. (You can click here for instant access to our favorite tutorials about dyeing rice and noodles.) 

I had dyed a bunch of noodles green for St. Patrick’s Day. The variety of textures between the wagon wheels, rotini noodles, and shells is a lot of fun for tactile play. I thought it would make the perfect base for this new jingle bell sensory bin. (And noodles are a LOT easier to clean up than rice, which was the base of our last sensory bin!)

Jingle Bell Sensory Bin + Activity Ideas | Christmas Sensory Play Ideas, Tactile Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers, Learning Through Play

We have a set of multicolored bells (similar) that are a great size for my 6-year-old’s hands. I also added a few extra accessories to the bin:

  • green and red cups (these are our favorite)
  • ice cube trays
  • a plastic tablespoon
  • and a jar (glass or plastic, whatever your kids can handle)

You can also work on patterning and fine motor skills with this sensory bin! Place the bells in the ice cube tray (use tweezers, if you like), and then lace the bells on a shoelace or pipe cleaner.

 

If you try this jingle bell sensory bin, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


30 Winter Activities | Free School Holiday Survival Guide {flourishwithyourfamily.com}

While your kids are home from school this winter, try out this list of 30 “boredom-busting” activities for the whole family!

Here’s what’s included:

  • a weekly calendar template with tips for creating a flexible family schedule
  • a “menu” of more than 20 low-prep activities to keep your children happily engaged
  • lists of recommended seasonal books to grab at the library
  • a family reading log
  • our favorite resources for learning at home
  • AND 30 winter boredom busters!
13 Best Learning Toys For Kids: Indoor Version

13 Best Learning Toys For Kids: Indoor Version

We began our minimalism journey when our oldest child was three years old. As first-time parents, we had bought into the myth that our baby needed ALL the things from the infant aisles at Target. When we moved from a three-bedroom house (with a basement!) to a two-bedroom apartment, we realized things had to change. Over the last six years, we have focused on finding and keeping only the BEST learning toys for our two girls.

The key is finding learning toys that will grow with our kids though several ages and stages. Now that our girls are 6 and 9, our toy collection is pretty much complete!

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you.You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

Learning toys for babies:

  • Bristle Blocks

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations
We got this set of bristle blocks for our younger daughter’s first birthday! Little ones love to grab the blocks, the bristles are great for teething, and they are a fantastic quiet toy for read alouds when kiddos get older.


Learning toys for toddlers:

  • Mental Blox

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

Mental Blox are one of our favorite building materials. The blocks are made of a light plastic, small enough for older babies and young toddlers to play with. Preschoolers can sort the blocks by shape and color, or use the enclosed picture cards to recreate structures. Older children can use the blocks for geometry lessons, to discover the differences between circles and spheres, squares and cubes.

  • Kitchen + play food

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

We bought this kitchen on clearance at Cracker Barrel (similar) the year our younger daughter turned 2. Four years later, it’s still a toy that gets played with whenever we have friends over. Our girls love to play restaurant and hotel, and having a kitchen gives them some fun opportunities for imaginative play.

  • Melissa & Doug cutting set

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

Our cutting fruit is a toy that has been well-loved for years. We have a cheaper, plastic version, and I wish we would have invested in a wooden set from the beginning. Toddlers love the Velcro sound when the pieces are separated, plus they are great for learning vocabulary, practicing matching, and having fun making silly combinations.

  • Wooden Blocks/Jenga

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations
Our girls have a set of wooden blocks (similar to these), but they have more fun with our Jenga set that we bought at a thrift store. Last spring, I painted them in gradient patterns for an extra layer of learning.


Learning toys for preschoolers:

  • Dress-up clothes

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

Starting a dress-up box for your kiddos will provide hours of fun! We like to buy individual pieces that can be mixed and matched to create new scenarios: masks, hats, vests, and scarves that can be used in a variety of ways.

  • Train set

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

I never expected my kids to enjoy having a train set, but we slowly added pieces over the years and it is now one of our favorite winter toys. The girls have gone from watching us build a configuration to creating their own.

  • Trampoline

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that we used to live in a two-bedroom apartment. Having an indoor trampoline has been a lifesaver on days when it is too hot or too cold to play outside. Our version (similar) has a handlebar that is easy to remove, making it fit perfectly under a twin-size bed for easy storage. (It also makes a great addition to our reading nook.)

  • Busy Farm

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

Any type of animal counters will serve your children well. From counting, to sorting by color, to using for imaginative play, we have loved our little animals.

Easel

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

We bought our easel from IKEA, and it has provided hours of fun. From drawing to writing messages to each other, it’s the perfect size for toddlers and preschoolers to discover their inner artist.

  • Playdough + cookie cutters

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

Making homemade playdough is one of our favorite activities! We have had this set of cookie cutters for years; it includes letters, numbers, seasonal items, and a variety of shapes. I love that our girls can use them for painting and tracing as well.

  • UNO Cards

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

There are so many fun educational games for families to play, but I picked UNO specifically because of its versatility. I wrote more about the ways we like to play with the cards in this post: 7 Must-Have Math Toys for Every Family


Learning toys for kids:

  • Marbleworks

Best Learning Toys for Kids: Indoor Version | learning through play, preschool, toddler, teaching toys, gift recommendations

There are a number of marble runs available these days, but we are partial to the Discovery Toys version. The quality, durability, and guarantee are SO worth it! We have gotten more than our money’s worth over the past five years or so.

As we enter the holiday shopping season, I would love to hear YOUR family’s favorite learning toys!

Come join the discussion in our private Facebook group, Adventures in Learning at Home:

Come join the discussion in our private Facebook group, Adventures in Learning at Home!