Busy bodies, running, climbing, tumbling. Busy parents, working, cooking, cleaning, cooking, and cleaning some more. When are you supposed to sit down and teach your toddler? Here is a super simple way!
I can only assume (and hope!) that you are able to slow down at meal times. So, as you sit next to your little one, practice between bites! This is an activity that you only have to prepare once and be able to use multiple times! Time saver for busy parents? Umm... Yes, please!
This activity addresses the following skills:
- Visual Scan
- Visual figure-ground (think, eye tracking)
- Localization (our visual system must know where something is)
- Color perception
- Sustaining Alignment at near (i.e. holding both eyes lined up at the same point up close)
- Simultaneous Alignment at Near (lining up both eyes at the same point up close)
- Sustaining Focus at Near (keeping a clear image of something close to the eyes)
-- Eye Movement Control (the ability to move both eyes together to point at an intended target)
I have my two-year-old play this game in a variety of ways:
- she names the letters from left to right (extra benefit of crossing the midline!)
- she searches for letters in the alphabetical order
- whoever is at the table with her at the time, randomly asks her to find different letters in no particular order. We also have her say the name of the letter as well as the sound it makes.
What I used:
- Contact paper to protect the table surface
Set this up where your child eats most of their meals. Be sure to leave enough space for the actual eating (I used my placemat for reference), and stick the foam letters all around in a random order.
PRO TIP: Kids are clever - they can correctly identify the letters in alphabetical order because they have it memorized. But it becomes much more challenging once they are presented with one letter out of order or the entire alphabet scattered. As always, we want to teach the child skills - not to raise a parrot.
Very simple, very easy, and super effective!
Have fun and practice away!