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Two-Year-Olds Love to Learn: Worksheets for Your Toddlers
My two-year-old just loves to do his "worksheets." He sees his big sister writing and runs to sit with her and make little letters on his paper. If he didn't tell me what letter he is writing I might not have known. He's just so excited about it, I decided to make some "worksheets" for him. He asks for them every day, and asks for more when we are done.
If you plan to undertake this, the most important thing is not to push your toddler at this stage. Your little one is a sponge for new information and really wants to learn. If she is not enjoying it, it's not for her. Now is the time to instill a delight of learning so please, only do this if it is a delight to both of you. Always stop before your toddler wants to. There is no need to do it every day.
Terrific reading tools!
My son is very familiar with the capital letters and their basic sounds, thanks to The Talking Letter Factory and The Talking Words Factory. I'm not a fan of the square babysitter, but in the winter we often watch as much as half an hour a day. He also enjoys a letter puzzle that we got from the Dollar Tree. Each morning he plays with the letter magnets and we talk about them while I make breakfast. Each of these things are tools for parent/child interaction that leads to pre-reading skills. When I read to him, I point to the text as he reads it. By the time he was two he would flip through books pointing at the words as he went along. He also asks me to read things if I skip them or don't point to them while reading them.
This brings me to the worksheets. I was looking for a way to help him learn the lowercase letters better. The LeapFrog videos use exclusively capital letters and our letter puzzle only has capital letters. I had shown him the Your Baby Can Read videos and some other materials from Brillkids.com so he was somewhat familiar with the lowercase letters, but I wanted something to give him more opportunities to get to know them.
They are really simple. Just one short word with a common ending such as "at" or "ig." I started with "up" and "at" because they are words in an of themselves. It's more rewarding to start that way. Subsequent worksheets should have the same endings. If you choose "ig" you might do big, pig, and wig. If you choose "at," you might do at, fat, sat, cat, hat, pat, and rat. Choose words that your child knows and can say. I did these in Print Clearly Bold font, which you can download for free, and then used the font tool in Word to make them outlined. However, you might find it easier to just do them by hand.
The most important thing is that you interact with your child. Point to the letters and say each sound. Note: "t" says "t" not "ta." Encourage your child to decorate within the letters, but it is not really important that they do so. They will learn, but they don't need to understand it all at once. The more opportunities your child has to see large (large is really important) letters and words, the more prepared he will be to learn to read.
My son's favorite way to complete these worksheets is to put them on the carpet and use a pencil to punch holes in the paper. It is good to use heavy paper for this. I printed these on the back of my husband's outdated resumes that were printed on heavy paper. We have also tried marker, glitter, and finger paints.
- Relax and have fun: a positive reading experience is much more valuable than a thorough reading lesson.
- Keep talking: your child needs to hear letter-sound associations many times before she can use them herself.
- Do not insist that your child finish: Children under four will probably not benefit from being forced to do formal lessons. Also, stop before your child gets tired of it. Keep these worksheets special.
Ideas for words
Ideas for decorations
Don't limit yourself to these ideas; be creative. I would love to receive comments if you have new ideas.
- paint, crayons, pens
- beans and pasta
- puncture with pencil or knitting needle