Does anyone have any fun learning ideas I can try with my 2-year old at home? He is a very active little boy and does not like books particularly so would really appreciate any active learning ideas.
Thanks in advance!
there are a lot of great resources on many blogs out there. we do montessori at home, but here is a list of some awsome websites in general for homeschooling.
What is it you are wanting him to learn? I don't mean this in a snippy way, its just IMO 2 is too young to be thinking about any extra activities beyond just day to day life (unless of course he were asking, say, to learn to read)
Personally I feel that 2 year olds are still learning a huge amount from just seeing you interacting with your environment and the people around you.
I never did any extra work with my kids until they turned around 5 or 6 (dep on child), even then not loads, before that we just lived and I think this has given them a great foundation for learning now. They both have really general knowledge, concentration skills and a great understanding of how the world fits together.
The book thing-all mine were a bit late to come to books. Can't remember exactly but 2 seems about right. Hasn't held them back. Once they started paying attention to books it was like a light had been switched on, nothing but reading to them for hours.
Play dough is always fun. Great for developing hand strength as well. I usually make my own using the typical flour, salt, oil, water, cream of tarter recipe. There are tons of recipes out there online. I usually let my kids pick the color--and stick to one color at a time. Then I give it to them with some cookie cutters, plastic knives, rolling pins, jar lids, etc.
Arts and crafts of any type. At 2, finger painting (and painting with a brush) are still quite fun. Also, drawing with crayons, pasting stuff, etc. I really like the Kumon workbooks designed for 2 year olds. There's one called Sticker and Paste, I think, which my DD really loved at that age.
If your son doesn't like story time, what about music? Just put on some music you like and dance with him. Or make music with pots and pans, maracas, etc.
There are some Montessori at home type websites that give you ideas of things to do. Spooning things and using tweezers is probably age appropriate. Have two bowls. In one bowl put some uncooked beans or rice and give your child a soup spoon or one of those Chinese soup spoons. Have him spoon the items from one bowl to the other.
You can also do practical life stuff with a child's size pitcher, dustpan and brush, etc. Set up a dish pan filled with warm soapy water on a low table (or having a stool for your child), let him wash his breakfast dishes, etc.
Nursery rhymes... Grand Old Duke of York, Peas Porridge Hot, Humpty Dumpty, etc.
Just play :)
I agree with the previous poster.
What do you think he needs to learn above and beyond what goes on in normal life?
I am certainly good with a lifestyle of learning, even at young ages, but IMO that is very simply done, nothing "special" needed.
At that age we have lots of conversations. We talk all the time. I talk to them, I listen to them talk to me, I ask them questions, I answer their questions. I point things out when we're walking (Hey look, I see S T O P! Do you see those letters?). They have all loved their alphabet puzzles at that age, though I didn't do anything formal with them. We count things as we use them (blocks, cheerios, socks, etc).
I've just noticed your name-are you in the UK? I am too.
It might just be me but I sense we get more worried about academic stuff, and sooner, over here. I think we have a less strong culture of homeschooling, but also, not sure where you are but round here (Wales) kids start school, often full time, at three. So with that in mind, I can see why you might be thinking the clock is ticking...
To reassure you again I did nothing formal. Actually because I have a 2 year age gap between each of my three, even reading and so on was a bit thin on the ground at times. I don't see its harmed them, really.
Montessori! Look up Montessori preschool activities, read about the philosophy.
Preschool Montessori is primarily about "Practical Life" skills. It's not about academics. It's about giving them the skills to DO STUFF, stuff they really want to do. Montessori believes that children are naturally inclined to be driven to activities that practice and develop the skills they're developmentally ready for and acquiring. So it's totally child-led, it's just about giving you ideas and activities to allow them to practice the things they WANT to practice -- like pouring, water play, spooning stuff from one dish to another... it seems like simple things to us grown-ups, but it holds endless fascination for toddlers. It's extremely empowering for them, too. One of the excellent books on preschool Montessori is actually called "Teach Me To Do It Myself" -- which sums it up beautifully. Show them, model it, then GET OUT OF THEIR WAY and let them figure it out from there :) At that age they are just SCREAMING to do stuff by themselves, Montessori gives them the skills to do it and gives YOU the confidence to LET them do it. ;)
My daughter is now 4, and she's almost TOO independent lol... She helps with cooking (at all stages), cleaning, laundry, organizing, has been able to completely dress herself for a couple of years, is starting to tie, she's writing, etc etc... she's not afraid of trying things and she is able to deal well with frustration when something is difficult. She asks for help when she needs it, but she doesn't give up at the first difficulty either. And we've totally learned to trust her own development. It's brilliantly fantastic. :)
My DD is two and she loves going for nature walks. We sometimes bring a box and pick up leaves, pine cones, sticks and rocks we find interesting. She also does a lot of finger painting, mostly in the bath tub where I can clean it up easily. We talk a little bit about what colors mix together to make other colors. We have alphabet and number magnets on the fridge so she gets used to how they look, sometimes we make words with them-we also have foam ones for the bathtub. We have one of those shape toys that have different shaped holes on the outside and you put the shapes into the appropriate holes and she loves that, she learned her shapes so easily from that. Sometimes I'll get out different types of dried beans and put them in a muffin tin and sometimes we separate them by color sometimes we put the same amount of each color in each cup, which she really loves. We're pretty relaxed about it though. Like PP have said life is all about learning at this age no matter what you do.