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Look Around! Activities to Build Toddlers’ Brains Right at Home

Photo by Lauren Naefe / Stocksy / 1826144
Photo by Lauren Naefe / Stocksy

By Rachel Ward

We teach your toddler about the world and build their vocabulary while they’re with us at KinderCare, but there are some easy ways you can help grow their skills at home, too. Check out our ideas below!

“Toddlers soak in every word and idea that they hear—which means conversations with their teachers and friends help them label everyday items in their minds and figure out their purpose,” says Meg Davis from KinderCare’s education team.

4 Ways to Build Your Toddler’s Brain Throughout the Day

1. Look at It!

We know the days can get pretty busy with a toddler in the house, but every once in a while, stop and take a look at something they may not have seen up close before—like a bunch of honeysuckle or a worm in the dirt. Having a minute to absorb what they’re looking at, from the color to the shape, helps toddlers understand the world. You can even grab a large, plastic magnifying glass to add to the fun!

Photo by Julia Forsman / Stocksy / 725401
Photo by Julia Forsman / Stocksy

2. Move It!

Okay, so toddlers are already tottering all over the place in search of their latest and greatest find, but there are all sorts of ways you can help your child focus on movement. Whenever your toddler is exploring something new, show them how it can move! Does it roll, bounce, or slide? Can it move fast or slow? Can your child make it move that way, too? If they’re really antsy, get their blood pumping with an impromptu dance party!

3. Feel It!

Keep a bin full of items with different textures (think soft pieces of fabric, small squares of sticky duct tape, etc.) in your car so your tot can be entertained on a drive, and switch out the items once they’ve had a chance to explore them all. Walking from the car to the house? Stop and let your child have a few minutes to dig their hands into the soil. Reading before bedtime? Check out some of our favorite touch and feel books.

4. Talk About It!

Is there an airplane in the sky that your child is fascinated by? Talk about its color, its shape, what it is, who flies the plane, where the passengers might be going—anything and everything you can think of is fair game! Talking to your tot about the things they see, hear, smell, and feel teaches them more about what those items are and helps your child build a large vocabulary.

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