You can effectively build your toddler’s vocabulary and knowledge base by engaging in creative and purposeful developmental activities for toddlers. You should consider activities that will build your child physically, emotionally, socially as well as in terms of language development, approach to learning, thinking and communication.

How to Help Overall Development in Toddlers

The following aspects are essential for development in toddlers:

  1. 1. Build language skills. At the toddler stage, your child should be able to understand 10 times the number of words that he is able to speak. He should also be able to understand and carry out simple 2-step instructions. You can build these skills by reading and speaking to your child as often as possible. Practice giving instructions and having him follow through on them.
  2. 2. Development of motor skills. Helping your child to become physically stronger and more dexterous includes providing opportunities and activities for him to write or scribble or manipulate stacking sets of blocks or any other stackable items.
  3. 3. Mental development. Helping your child to strengthen and build mental skills involves supporting creative play, pretend activities, problem solving and self-awareness. Teach your toddler about his body parts and make up games and songs to practice this every day, such as when he is getting dressed or in the bathtub.
  4. 4. Build social and emotional awareness. Model appropriate social behaviors for your child and have her copy you. You can play games of “Mommy Says” or “Daddy Says” and have her follow the instructions. It is also important for growing children to socialize along with other children their age. Go out on play dates or have kids come over to interact with your toddler.

Developmental Activities for Toddlers

Play is important for children. Give your child different items to play with each day in order to help him to achieve her various developmental milestones. These can include dolls, puzzles, blocks, books as well as other items from around the house to make playtime as enjoyable and engaging as possible. Listed below are some recommended developmental activities for toddlers.

1. Label Your Home

Labeling different items around the house will help to build your child’s language development as he will start being able to relate words to pictures. Choose 2 or 3 things to label and change these around every few months. You can label such things as windows, doors, lamps or chairs. Type each word using a basic font that your child can easily decipher. Cut out the words and tape them directly onto the items or glue them onto index cards before taping them. Use different opportunities to have your child identify the words such as word or letter search.

2. Train Organization

You can use the labeling activity in relation with getting toddlers involved in keeping the home organized. Many children are naturally helpful and you should promote this even it can be tedious. Teach your toddler to keep specific things in specific places, such as the sock drawer for all socks and the toy bin for all the toys. You can also make games out of staying organized. Quiz him about where specific items go or play the mix-up game by placing the socks in the toy bin or the clothes in the cutlery drawer. These activities are great for building motor skills, cognitive and social development.

3. Unveiling Picture

The picture unveiling activity is an interesting tool to build language and cognitive development in your toddler. It will definitely help you to practice the use of nouns. Use pictures of animals or common, everyday items. Cover the picture with a piece of cardboard and slowly slide the cardboard away to reveal the hidden picture behind. You can broaden the aspect of the activity by having the toddler explain why she gave a particular answer.

4. Telephone Play

Most babies and young children love the telephone. This activity can serve to develop language, mental and social skills as you model a conversation. You will need a toy telephone. Seat the toddler in your lap and say a sentence into the phone which includes the child’s name. Put the phone to the child’s ear and see if he will speak into to. Put the phone to your ear again and speak a little while longer, such as two or three sentences. Try to have your child speak into the phone again.

5. Sing Vocabulary Characters

Before your child starts to read he is able to learn an average of 9 new words each day. You can help facilitate this by using song in everyday life to teach sight words, numbers, and the alphabet and so on. Make up your own tunes and sing them while travelling, shopping, or during bath time. Speak to your child’s preschool teacher about getting copies of the favorite songs that the children listen to in daycare and play these at home. Get everyone in the home in this by having grandma, babysitter and both parents learn the songs. Singing will not only improve language abilities but social development as well.

6. Color Cards

Playing with color cards will help to enhance all the four developmental skills. Your child will learn matching as well as following through on instructions. For this activity you will need construction paper, a black marker, scissors and clear contact paper. Cut out two sets of squares or different shapes from the construction paper and cover with the contact paper. You may write the names of each color on the back of each card. Lay them out on a surface before you and your child. Pick up a card and have your child find you a matching color. You can do the same with the color names.

7. Establish a Weather Windows Chart

You can have your child create a weather windows chart and display this in a special “Weather Corner” in order to have him interact and engage with his world. This is a truly creative and fun activity which will also stimulate cognitive development. Work with your child to decorate a plain piece of white paper using crayons, poster paints or scraps of colored paper showing the day’s weather. Once this is done, use strips of construction paper to border the drawing to create a window chart. Tie this through with string and hang in a special corner to display the weather for the week or month.

Watch this video for more creative and interesting developmental activities for toddlers: