Learning Through Play, Great Activities for Two Year Olds






Everyone has heard the phases, "terrible twos."  While it is true that this age is associated with specific challenges, it is also the time when children begin to be more aware of their environment and they are in a stage of discovery. 

You can support your child's learning by providing an interactive environment, in which they will be able to seek out the knowledge that they so desire. The book I have selected suggest activities that encourage play, exploration and discovery.   

The Everything Toddler Activities Book: Over 400 Games and Projects to Entertain and Educate by Jodi Levine.

You play with your toddler, but is she learning? You teach your toddler, but is he having fun? Now you can play and teach your toddler at the same time with this book. Written by an experienced child-care expert, this informative and fun guide shows you how to stimulate your child's development with age-appropriate, enjoyable, and educational activities such as: Making Puppets Margarine Tub Jellyfish Dinosaur Eggs Flower Crowns Story in a Bag Camping "Out" Plus rhymes and songs, holiday fun, and crafts galore! This updated edition also includes quick and easy activities for busy parents and new activities you can use to curb your child's tantrums. So if keeping your toddler busy is a challenge, and it usually is here's the answer you've been waiting for.

Baby and Toddler Play by Mona Behan

Engaging children in fun-filled play is the ideal way to give them a great start in life. Gymboree Baby and Toddler Play combines the best of Gymboree's baby and toddler activities into a comprehensive book offering hundreds of hours of fun for parents and little ones to share. More than 170 kid-tested activities have the added benefit of providing children with the foundation for the skills they'll need in preschool. Gymboree Baby and Toddler Play is divided into two sections: Baby Play (for children from birth to 12 months) and Toddler Play (for ages one to three years). Each section contains age-appropriate games, songs, and exercises for mind and body, and every activity was developed in consultation with the child-development, play, and music experts at Gymboree. The book also contains an introduction to each age group, research reports about how children develop, four-color photos of children and parents playing together, and practical solutions to common childhood issues. All in all, this value-packed guide to play offers fun and accessible ways that parents can stimulate their children's imaginations and accelerate their learning. Child-development experts designed each activity, game, song, and chant to enhance learning. - Skill spotlights describe the development and educational benefits of all the activities. Color photographs show parents and children demonstrating each activity.


Toddlers Together: The Complete Planning Guide for a Toddler Curriculum  by Cynthia Catlin 

More Toddlers Together: The Complete Planning Guide for a Toddler Curriculum, volume II  by Cynthia Catlin

Both volume one and two are packed full of activities for young children.  These books are written for teachers, but I feel that parents would also find them useful.  I like the books by Cynthia Catlin for several reasons.

  • * They are a quick reference. Each activity is written on a single page and the information is broken down for you.
  • * She includes a material list.  
  • * Lists skills that each activity focuses on such as, fine motor, sorting, creative expression, etc..
  • * Provides a guide to let you know if the activity is developmentally appropriate. 
  • * Word list to encourage language.
  • * "Teaching hints" throughout the book to help guide you. 

The Encyclopedia of Infant and Toddler Activities: For Children Birth to 3 edited by Kathy Charner

With over three hundred activities written specifically for infants and toddlers, this book will captivate children's imaginations and create wonderful opportunities for learning. This book was created by teacher for teachers.  That being said, I believe that parents too can benefit from the information provided in this book. The activities span a variety of developmental areas, including language, sensory, cognitive, social-emotional, and motor skills.


The Complete Book of Rhymes, Songs, Poems, Fingerplays, and Chants  [compiled by] Jackie Silberg

In this giant book of rhythm and rhyme, you may even find a few of your own childhood favorites!

Games to Play with Two Year Olds  by Jackie Silberg

The games are good for promoting interaction between the parent and child." Harris County Public Library