'How do I homeschool my toddler?' is a question that is getting asked a LOT in our Facebook group. While this site is for toddler crafts and activities to do at home, all of these can easily become part of your toddler's homeschooling curriculum.
How do I homeschool my toddler?
Some of you are asking how to specifically homeschool your toddler, and some of your are more in the 'Help, what do I do with my toddler while I homeschool my older children' camp. Either way, this post will help you!
Now if you're looking for worksheets and curriculum books for your toddler this isn't the site for you. Early learning education is all about PLAY! No flashcards, no worksheets just lots and lots of PLAY! All the research supports this and I can't encourage this enough. To an outside observer, it might seem like they are 'just playing' but you will be amazed by the amount of learning going on during this play.
What are the benefits of play for toddlers?
This article goes into more detail, however, the highlights are that play:
- develops creativity
- encourages their imagination
- teaches them how to interact with the world around them
- increases their confidence and resilience
- teaches new skills
- encourages working together, in small groups and in pairs
With free play time being reduced so much, especially when children get to school I strongly encourage you to focus on play as much as possible. A mix of play where you are involved and free play is perfect. Below I've provided a mix of general play ideas, along with some of our play-based activities for learning skills like letters, numbers, colors etc.
A years worth of Toddler Homeschool Activity Ideas
Yes, a years worth! Bookmark this page and you'll have more educational, play based toddler homeschool activities than you know what to do with! Make sure you also follow along in our Facebook group and on Instagram - follow @myboredtoddler for more toddler activity ideas.
I've split these into categories for you and I'm sure you'll find them helpful!
I recommend setting up a sensory bin each week. These don't have to be complicated - a container of rice and some scoops is always popular! I normally store these in a container with a lid so that I can bring it out each morning and then put it away when they've had enough of it for the day. Sensory bins are great for independent play if you need time to work with your older children (they'll also love to have a play in the sensory bins, trust me!). You can find all of our toddler sensory bin ideas HERE.
Play dough is a great way for your toddler to practice fine motor skills and develop their creativity. It's also an activity that can be used for learning or for free play. If you visit any early learning centre you'll find that playdough is an activity on heavy rotation and it's a really easy one to do at home. You can find some great playdough activities for toddlers HERE.
Fine Motor Activities
Many children are starting school lacking the fine motor skills to do basic activities like holding a pencil or using scisssors. Fine motor skills concentrate on the smaller muscles in the fingers and hands and there are so many fun, play based activities to focus on these. You'll probably find you're already doing many of them, but you can find a great collection of toddler fine motor activities HERE.
What about teaching letters & numbers?
If you've been to any parent group or in any parenting facebook group you'll know that everyone is worried about how many letters and nubmers their toddler knows - there's often a lot of comparison and then a lot of concern as well. As a teacher I can promise you that your child does NOT need to know the alpabet or how to count to 20 or most or how to read at 3 years old. While it's great if they do - it is NOT expected. Up to the age of 4 these things will come naturally if you include them in play. Point out letters and numbers on signs, count how many steps you walk up or how many dogs you can see at the park. Talk about the colors of a plant or a rainbow. This should all be a natural part of your day - not a session where you sit down to 'learn numbers'.
I've put together some great play based activities that focus on literacy and numearcy and you can find them below.
Read, Read, Read!!!
I hope you find these toddler homeschool activity ideas helpful!