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Handy helpers

Involve your toddler in what you are doing is a great way for them to learn about the world around them. Tasks that you class as mundane, like hoovering or cooking tea, are fascinating for them. They may be more of a hindrance than a help initially but letting them join in (at an appropriate level) gets them learning in an active and engaging way. You are also paving the way for some handy helpers in the house when they get a bit bigger.

Words and numbers

As well as learning life skills at home you can ignite a passion for letters and numbers. Counting games can be incorporated into almost anything, anytime and by keeping it playful you minimize any anxiety around getting things wrong a few times before getting them right. Likewise letters, children are currently taught the alphabet with the use of phonics, the goal of this technique is to enable early readers to decode written words by sounding them out and blending the sound-spelling patterns together. You can break words down using phonics and encourage your toddler to do the same – ‘d’ for door and dog and duck, for example. You might want to use flash cards so that your child associates the letter with the sound.

Fa lal la la la

Lullabies and nursery rhymes have been childhood soundtracks for years, and with good reason. As well as being soothing and mood altering music is a great way to develop language and listening skills. Simple songs and rhyming patterns are retained and word associations built up, incorporating actions can heighten the appeal too.

Story time

Reading to your child is a great for lots of reasons; developing listening skills, instilling a love of books, and good for bonding too. Though independent reading is still some way off your child will memorise favourite stories and ‘read along’ with you. Books with rhythm and repetition are particularly good for this.

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