What Learning Activities to Do With a 2-year Old


As a private school educator, my mentor Barbara B. Baker taught me that small children learned best when having fun. That oftentimes they didn’t even know they were learning; rather, they were just having fun.

Educational activities with your 2-year old should include:

  • Counting,
  • Sorting by color,
  • Coloring pictures,
  • Tracing both numbers and letters,
  • Rolling and kicking a ball, and
  • Listening to music and singing.

Each of these activities can be done around the house at little to no cost, but doing these activities early and often can have immediate and long-lasting effects on your child’s development. Having fun with these activities will truly be a success multiplier.

How to increase the effectiveness of learning

One particular way to add joy and increase the retention of the activity is to do it to music or while singing a song. Barbara explained this concept to me by asking me to recall, when I was a child, what was my favorite commercial on television. She asked me what was memorable about the advertisement. Interestingly enough it was a jingle that was vibrantly pulled into my memory (I don’t even like mustard, but recalled the commercial well).

Then I recalled another product. Again the jingle was what my memory had pulled from twenty years earlier. I even attempted to sing the catchy tune (I don’t like hot dogs all that much either).

She then sang a couple of jingles and I instantly knew the products (a beverage and a computer company). She explained that for most people music and singing unlocked a part of the brain that helps us to retain information better.

Let’s test your memory, what product produced this song?

I got to experience this for my self in the preschool classroom. I was amazed at what toddlers were able to accomplish when an activity is set to music (with the cue of the cleanup song children ran about the room excitedly picking toys, crayons, and blocks up and placing them in there designated bins). To do learning activities with small children well a teacher or parent must include music. The following list of activities, when set to song, will transform the experience for the child.

  • Learning the ABC’s and their sounds,
  • Counting,
  • Colors,
  • Learning the days of the week, and
  • Cleaning up.

Here is the same list, but with references to lyrics or music that the activity can be performed to.

  • Learning the ABC’s and their sounds,
  • Counting,
  • Colors,
  • Learning the days of the week,
  • and (especially) Cleaning up.

According to “Your Child at 2: Milestones” (WebMD.com) your child should be able to

At this age, your child should be able to*:

  • Stand on tiptoes.
  • Kick a ball.
  • Start to run.
  • Climb on and down from furniture without help.
  • Walk up and down stairs while holding on.
  • Throw a ball overhand.
  • Carry a large toy or several toys while walking.

*Your Child at 2: Milestones from WebMD.com

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