Toddler Time: Let's Get Wet and Learn!
- Start early. By the time your child is 12 months old, he or she will begin to recognize amounts. Count with your child whenever you have a number of objects to count. Write numbers with crayon and paper and count them. Count splashes in the tub. Count food, toys, socks ... anything.
- Sort and classify objects. Again, you can use any object your child is interacting with while pointing out differences and similarities. Say things like, "I see two blue blocks and one red block. You have three carrot sticks and four crackers."
- Match objects and create patterns. Most toddler toys will be primary colors and shapes. Match similar objects while talking out loud about what makes them match. Create color and shape patterns, like red, blue, blue, red. Encourage your child to continue the pattern by saying, "What comes next?" Even make patterns of sound with instruments or clapping.
- Play with water and sand. Pouring, dumping and transferring sand and water from different containers and using different utensils teaches valuable concepts of weight and volume. Encourage your toddler to count the scoops it takes to fill a container. Talk about how a container feels when it is full and empty. Compare sizes while talking about big and little.