Encouraging your toddler to learn, while having fun at the same time, really is child's play! We asked Tesco Loves Baby Club members to share their favourite ideas.
"My little girl loves play dough! We practise making shapes together using brightly coloured cutters – she is two years old but can easily recognise star, circle and square shapes. Rolling the play dough flat has also helped with developing her motor skills."
Maria, mum to Anya, 2
"I encourage my son to play and learn with role play: when he is playing with his toy kitchen I ask him to make me something, like a cup of tea, and then ask him to tell me what he will need – for example, a kettle, cup, tea bags and milk. I also made up a game where my son told me the colours of cars and other objects he saw while we were out. If he didn"t know the answer, I would tell him, and even though he has learnt his colours now, he still likes to play this when we're out."
Katie, mum to Micah, 3
Grow your own
"Planting fruit and veg with my little girl has helped to make learning about food fun. Helping Mummy in the garden is her favourite game, and she gets so excited when she uses her own little trowel to dig up the food we've grown – the whole thing is a big adventure for her. We then cook and eat the food so all the time she is learning about where food comes from, without even realising it!"
Michelle, mum to Mya, 2
Read all about it
"My little boy Ryan loves books, so whenever we want him to be prepared for a change we get a book for him to read on the subject and then he feels like an expert! This worked brilliantly before he moved from a cot to a big boy bed. He read a book about Elmo doing this for a couple of weeks before the move, so by the time it was his first night in a big bed, he was so excited that it was no problem at all. We have also used books to prepare for potty training, going to hospital and the arrival of his new baby brother!"
Anne, mum to Ryan, 3 and Jake, 2 months
Copy and learn
"I've covered a door with blackboard paint so my son can have fun drawing pictures or copying shapes that I've already drawn."
Mykila, mum to Dayne 16, and Manny Tao, 2
"We look out for traffic lights. I started by asking my daughter what colour the lights were and she'd say green or red. Once she got the colours memorised, we told her that green means go and red means stop. So now when we come up to lights she tells us what colour they are, and what I need to do! Also, without us saying anything, she's mentioned the orange lights too!"
Amy, mum to Nicole, 2
"My son loves singing, so to help him learn a new song, I sing all but one of the words and let him finish the line. Then, the next time we sing the line I leave off the last two words. For example, I would sing to him "Ba Ba Black..." Once he can remember "sheep" easily, I then just sing "Ba Ba..." and encourage him to sing the rest himself."
Michelle, mum to Misty, 5 and Myles, 2
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