Morning Activities with your Toddler

Turn routine activities at the beginning of your child’s day into learning moments.

Are you looking for fun activities to do with your toddler at home? Our team of early childhood curriculum experts thoughtfully curated these activities from our proprietary Life Essentials® curriculum to help your family Learn On® at home. Whether it’s during mealtime, playtime, clean up time, bath time or bedtime – our at-home curriculum is built so you can easily integrate learning opportunities in seamless, easy and fun ways.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Level of instruction: Easy

When: Getting Ready for the Day, Bedtime, Outdoors, Playtime

Time recommendation: 5 minutes

Participants: One-on-one, Siblings

Learning Domain: Physical Development

Learning Standards: Develops control and coordination of body movements, Seeks to be active and participate in active play for a short period

Materials: N/A

Instructions:

Invite your child to play a version of “Simon Says”. Ask him or her to watch you perform a simple motion, and then imitate the action. Relate your examples to jungle animals, for example, Pound your chest like a gorilla! Hop like a tree frog! Slither on your belly like a snake!

Observe your child, imitating the suggested action. Was your child able to mimic the animal sounds and motions?


One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

Level of instruction: Moderate

When: Playtime, Getting Ready for the Day

Time recommendation: 15 minutes

Participants: One-on-one, Siblings

Learning Domain: Cognitive Development

Learning Standards: Participates in activities that compare, match, or sort objects

Materials: Shoes from each family member, Nursery Rhyme “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe”

Instructions:

Place the shoes in a pile on the floor. Recite “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” with your child and encourage him or her to join you in the movements. Count the shoes you collected with your child. Invite him or her to match the pile of shoes. Talk with your child about the colors, features, and how the shoes are the same and different. Invite your child to identify the owners of the shoes.

Observe to see if your child can find his or her shoes with or without support. Is your child able to match the shoes?


Drop Dance

Level of instruction: Easy

When: Getting ready for the day, Playtime, Outdoor

Time recommendation: 10 minutes

Participants: One-on-one, Siblings

Learning Domain: Physical Development

Learning Standards: Demonstrates balance, Moves body to music, Demonstrates a basic understanding of instructions

Materials: Music, music player

Instructions:

Demonstrate for your child how to bend and squat. Tell your child that when you turn on the music, he or she will do the “drop dance.” Turn on the music and bend and squat slowly for the child to see. See how I was dropping my knees. That is what you will do. Your turn to “drop dance” too! Turn the music on and encourage your child to practice bending and squatting. Pause the music occasionally encouraging your child to freeze. Continue for as long as your child is interested.

Observe to see if your child can balance while squatting and bending. Did your child respond to the music?

Looking for more activities for you and your toddler?

  • Playtime: Playtime is a great way to teach your toddler without it even feeling like learning.
  • Outdoor time: The great outdoors can be the best classroom of all.
  • Mealtime: Learning can happen at any time – even while eating.

Or return to the Life Essentials® At Home page to find activities to explore with other age groups.