If you teach your toddler at home, you're giving her an academic head start. Toddlers are naturally curious and typically love learning new things. Themes make it easier to schedule lessons and help a toddler remember what you teach if each lesson builds upon the previous one. You can find teaching resources on the Internet or at the library or bookstore. If you incorporate crafts, hands-on activities and movement, your toddler will only want to learn more.
The calendar suggests themes for toddler lesson plans. Each calendar month offers various options based on the holidays, season or special-emphasis themes. For example, February themes include Valentine’s Day, Groundhog Day, snow, the heart, and teeth for American Dental Month. Take a different theme for each week or use one theme for the whole month. You can also combine two themes like Valentine’s Day and an all-about-the heart theme. To do this, make Valentines for family members, a heart collage or garland for your child’s room -- and then listen to your hearts beat and perform exercises together that help strengthen the heart.
Social studies themes can take you in many different directions. Your themes could include discovering the many interesting things your toddler sees when he walks or rides through your neighborhood. Another option is learning about the different people who keep your neighborhood safe and busy, such as police officers, firefighters, garbage collectors and mail carriers. Alternatively, your toddler could learn about social rules such as eating with utensils, speaking to others with respect, or treating others as he wants them to treat him. He can practice the rules during mealtimes.
Science themes can also work for your toddler. Consider weather-theme options such as sunshine, rain, wind and snow. Your toddler might watch the wind blow bubbles away from her, play in a gentle rain as she learns about how the water cycle works, or make cloud scenes using cotton glued to paper. Other options include learning about the animals that live in your neighborhood, or planting seeds to learn how plants grow.
Books can provide many theme ideas. Books about families can help your toddler discover different types of families, including human and animal families. Your toddler might enjoy a theme based on superheroes, which could include a discussion on the different types of powers his favorite superheroes possess. Alternatively, you might read to your little one from a book of children's Bible stories, fairy tales or fables to teach him about important character traits that he needs to develop. Incorporate arts such as Bible puppets, superhero puppets and pictures of families. Movement activities could include a superhero Olympics competition, or encouraging your toddler to imitate the various sounds and movements of the animals you discuss.
- McGraw Hill Professional: 2010 Special Months
- Macomb Intermediate School District: Holidays and Special Themes
- Fun with Mommy and Me; Dr. Cindy Bunnin Nurik
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