Fun Learning Activities for Young Children
Children are constantly learning. Their early years are the foundation for growth and development, and they learn from the experiences they have each day. You can help your child learn by reading, singing, and playing with him or her every day. These activities are suggestions for helping your child’s development and growth. Each child develops at his/her own speed and may do more or fewer of the activities identified for a particular age below.
Birth to One Year Old
Babies learn about their environment by exploring and discovering things around them. This early stage is when they begin to develop cognitive abilities such as speaking, thinking, recollection, and logic. Additionally, babies start establishing their social skills through relationships with their parents, and others.
One to Two Years Old
Toddlers are very active and more conscious of themselves and their environment. Curiosity about new people and things increases, and toddlers will develop recognition, copy others’ actions, speak basic words, and listen to directions.
Two to Three Years Old
This is a time of emotional, cognitive, and social growth for toddlers; their development fosters their newfound curiosity and helps them understand more. Toddlers should be capable of classifying shapes and colors, articulating their feelings, and participating in activities such as playing with their imagination.
Three to Five Years Old
During this stage, children will notice their peers and other people outside of their immediate family. They have a strong sense of curiosity and will inquire more about their surroundings. They will communicate with others more which helps develop their behaviors, attitude, and personality. Children should be capable of noticing gender differences, interacting with other kids, remembering parts of a story, and singing along to songs.
Five to Six Years Old
During this stage, children are entering middle childhood. Children are becoming more self-reliant. This is a major time for social interactions, self-awareness, and cognitive and physical growth. Children should be able to get dressed by themselves, think about future goals, and do basic tasks like setting the table.
*Regardless of your young child's developmental stage, plan to visit the United Way Success By 6® Play Paths in St. Joseph, Missouri, for free, fun and active learning through play. Click here to learn more.
Additional Resources for Early Learning
Born Learning™ - Everyday life is a learning experience for children. Born Learning is a public engagement campaign that helps parents, grandparents, and care givers explore ways to turn everyday moments into fun learning opportunities.
Parent's Action for Children - Parents' Action for Children is a nonprofit organization founded by actor/director Rob Reiner and his wife, Michele. Its purpose is to raise awareness about the importance of early childhood development and school readiness.
Parents as Teachers - Parents as Teachers advocates for early childhood education. Parents as Teachers promotes and supports parent involvement and enrichment of children's preparation for school during the critical developmental years of life.
Vroom - Vroom turns shared moments into brain-building moments, finding ways to nurture children's growing minds. Research has shown how critical the earliest years are in setting the stage for life, indicating that children's first years are crucial for developing the foundation for all future learning.
Zero to Three - Zero to Three works to ensure that babies and toddlers benefit from the early connections that are critical to their well-being and development and works toward the mission of ensuring that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life. Zero to Three provides helpful resources, practical tools, and responsive policies for millions of parents, professionals, and policy makers.