A toddler’s day is full of high energy activities. But no matter how curious and eager they are to learn, it’s difficult to sit them down for a one-on-one session. It’s up to the parents to find ways to sharpen their toddler’s mind without taking the fun out of it.

The easiest way to put learning and play together is through the child’s everyday activities. Many educational toys are designed for this purpose. But parents or guardians also have to contribute by actively teaching their kids, so involving them in everyday grownup activities will help increase adult-child interaction. Here are examples:

  1. Laundry. A child can pick up plenty of lessons by simply sorting clothes from the dryer. Have your little helper group the clothes into ‘big’ and ‘small’ piles. Announce the color of each clothing piece as you go. If a shirt happens to have big letters on them, read it to your child. You’ll be surprised how much she remembers from this practice when you finally wear that shirt.
  2. Mail. Let your child go through the mail while you show her the different numbers written on the stamps. Ask her to find out which envelopes are ‘heavy’ and which ones are ‘light’. Have her match the sender’s state on a map so she can marvel at the distance the mail has travelled. It is also a good time to teach her about state capitals.
  3. Picking up toys. Playthings go in and out of the toy bin several times in a day. Take the opportunity to teach your child about different colors and shapes when it’s time to tidy things up. Count the toys as they go in the bin and see how far your child can count up to. Be sure to help out when she loses count to avoid her getting frustrated.
  4. Cooking. Cooking and baking can be both fascinating and educational for a child. Let her give you a hand in the preparation process by measuring ingredients or setting the timer, to train her number skills. When baking, set aside a small amount of dough she can use to make different shapes. When preparing a dish, identify vegetables as you cut them up and tell her how each is beneficial for her growth. Who knows, your child may be more open to eat new foods because of what she learned.
  5. Bathing. Bath time is the perfect time to learn about different body parts. Most toddlers love playing in the water. Make your child’s bath toy crawl over the body part you want her to name. Also let her distinguish which ones have a pair, such as the ears and knees. Lastly, practice math by counting fingers and toes.
  6. When you’re on the computer. This is a little tricky, especially when you’re doing something for work. If you are the techie type, install a second screen (dual display option) so your child can enjoy an educational video or software under your watch. Provide another set of keyboard and mouse to play with in case she decides to take over yours. You can make your own using recycles materials. Otherwise, playing some upbeat educational music or nursery rhymes should keep your child busy in mind and in body.
  7. Driving. Car games make child travel less boring. Counting and identifying car colors are some easy games your child can enjoy while practicing her knowledge. Read aloud road signs and spell out things you see on the road such as ‘T-R-U-C-K’ and ‘S-T-O-P’. Toddlers like asking questions about the things passing by the window. Do your best to answer them correctly and enthusiastically.

Let your child know that her participation in your everyday routine is important and appreciated even though it slowed you down in some ways. Simple lessons learned everyday counts big in preparing your toddler for school in the future.