School Readiness Tips for Toddlers

What to do:
✔ Set several on the floor and let your child have at it.
✔ Give your child a large box to push around the room. It might become a wagon for stuffed animals or toys. It could become your toddler's favorite new seat.
✔ Cover a table with a sheet that reaches to the floor. You've got a rainy afternoon playhouse!

6. Healthy Eating Habits

Creating good eating habits now will save your child from weight and health problems in the future. Make eating healthy foods fun. Here's how:

• Serve fruit as a treat.
• Make popscicles or ice cubes from freshly mashed fruit or fruit juice.
• Make foods into faces, boats and shapes on your toddlers plate.
• Offer nutritious finger foods like vegetables and healthy dips.

7. Make Play Dough

Young kids love to squish and pound dough. Helping make the play dough adds one more opportunity to learn. It gives your child the chance to begin learning how to follow directions, count and measure.

What you'll need:
✔ A play dough recipe
✔ Food extracts, such as almond, vanilla, lemon or
peppermint

How to make it:
✔ Follow your recipe's instructions.
✔ Add food extracts to different chunks of dough to make each smell different.

Playtime tips:
✔ As your making the dough, talk about what you're doing. Let your toddler help you with measuring and adding ingredients.
✔ Let your child handle some of the door when it's still warm and again when it's cooled off.
✔ Play with it! Bring out straws or popsicle sticks to poke into the dough. Hit it with a toy mallet. Make impressions with jar lids, bottle caps and cookie cutters.

Other "readiness" activities get your toddler sorting, counting, throwing, sharing and pretending. Do you and your child have a favorite game?