27 answers

Lesson Plans for 2 Year Old

I am a stay at home mom and my son just turned 2. He is very bright and has started letter recognition and counting, and is hit or miss with his colors. We do lots of educational activities throughout the week, but I would like to sit down with him at home with some "lessons" in mind. Don't worry, I will not be forcing him to do anything that he is not capable of, like sitting for a full hour of "class" or anything like that. I would just like to expose him to things that they might be doing in a daycare/preschool setting. I want to start working with him more!

Any suggested resources for free lesson plans? I would love to hear about websites that you like or hate. Thanks!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Every minute in a toddler's life can be a teaching moment. Singing songs, playing silly games - they all teach something - fine motor skills, language skills, listening skills, etc.

Just play with him. I know it doesn't "feel" like you're teaching, but you are!

I think mostly what you should try to teach is empathy and the ability to listen and follow diections. That will take him a long way. Just yesterday I got an e-mail from Love and Logic talking about teaching empathy by modeling it!

6 moms found this helpful

Children this age learn by playing. Put together different activities for him. Use tactile stuff to teach - not paper and pencil. Play-doh is good for strengthening his hands. Stringing beads (be right there with him - you can't believe how kids will put them in their ears and nose or mouths) will help him with small finger movements. You can sing and count while you do it and say "Hand me the red one" to help with teaching the colors. Puzzles are SO terrific - they teach spatial awareness. Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends is a greating teaching tool because building the tracks uses the spatial part of the brain. And telling stories about what the trains are doing develops language.

Get his stuffed animals together and let them help him tell a story. Say things like "Bear is going to the store. What will he bring home from the store?" Let him use his imagination.

Don't get into the habit of always doing this stuff WITH him. He needs to do some on his own. If he feels that play is only done with his mom, it will hamper his development.

D.

5 moms found this helpful

I work with 2 year olds at a montessori school. At this age, you really can't plan lessons and stuff like that. They learn through playing. You really shouldn't be going over letters, numbers, colors yet. You can if he is interested, but I wouldn't push it. Even just building blocks, painting, playing with playdough they are learning. Things that help them build up fine motor skills are good. Not so much academics yet.

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers

um....your child is 2. Why not just read books and point out animals, cars, fish? or how about coloring? Or singing songs? Going to the park? Having play dates?
I have a son that was VERY bright as well. At your son's age he was doing the same things, colors, letters....it was amazing! He had a dinosaur book that we read every single day (Dinosaur ABC's. it had a dinosaur name for each letter) and my son knew EVERY SINGLE ONE! He knew the names of all of the construction vehicles too. It was crazy. At 5 he couldn't remember A SINGLE ONE.
Just because your son memorizes things at such a young age doesn't mean that he is going to remember it as he gets older. What your son needs is interaction, play, talking, reading, laughter, and singing. I am sure that you do all of those things! Just continue to do them. Let him be a kid, he is going to be reading, writing, and at school before you know it.
Laura

9 moms found this helpful

It's wonderful that you are involved w/ your toddler !

As a parent educator, I can tell you that I just volunteered to do a consult (a few wks ago) w/ a woman who taught her daughter everything under the sun when she was 2, 3, and 4. She is in Kindergarten now and is bored out her mind. In turn, the Mom said she does not like the teacher. After we talked, the woman assured me that she is not pushing her toddler to " learn" so much because it backfired on her.

In turn, some kids learn alot of "academics" and don't quite soak it all in anyway.

I did read that you will not overdo it...And that is wonderful !!!

Playing, songs, fingerplays, puppets, finger paints, blocks, outdoor play etc... and discipline are a huge part of what should be taking place right now.

If you take the plastic red barn out and play "farm" w/ him for 15 minutes...That is teaching. When you read or look at pictures in a board book/toddler book...That is teaching. When you recite "One, two, buckle my shoe"...Hold up your fingers as you count...That is teaching. Even going to the grocery store and talking about the foods, etc. is a language lesson in itself. Taking him to a 2 yr old playgroup is all about parallel play/ socializing...That is teaching, too.

He should be going to a playground geared for younger kids. I took my kids to the playground alot. Gross motor skills are extremely important, too.

Playdough and Scribbling w/ lg crayons are great, too. Activies like this will build the muscles that will be used for writing... later on.

Discipline means to teach. Teaching him play w/ another child and begin to teach him to take turns is teaching. If he has a tantrum because you say no to an ice cream cone just before lunch...That is teaching him self-control. He will also do best if you have a simple daily routine. Toddlers thrive when they know what is going to take place, of course w/ some flexibilty. Let him sit and play independently, too. He might not want to sit and name all of the colors of the animals. He might want to put them in the barn and close it up. Then, open it back up by himself. This is exploratory play. It's just as good !

For now, don't push letter recognition, colors, or number recognition at
25/26 or so months of age.

6 moms found this helpful

Every minute in a toddler's life can be a teaching moment. Singing songs, playing silly games - they all teach something - fine motor skills, language skills, listening skills, etc.

Just play with him. I know it doesn't "feel" like you're teaching, but you are!

I think mostly what you should try to teach is empathy and the ability to listen and follow diections. That will take him a long way. Just yesterday I got an e-mail from Love and Logic talking about teaching empathy by modeling it!

6 moms found this helpful

Children this age learn by playing. Put together different activities for him. Use tactile stuff to teach - not paper and pencil. Play-doh is good for strengthening his hands. Stringing beads (be right there with him - you can't believe how kids will put them in their ears and nose or mouths) will help him with small finger movements. You can sing and count while you do it and say "Hand me the red one" to help with teaching the colors. Puzzles are SO terrific - they teach spatial awareness. Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends is a greating teaching tool because building the tracks uses the spatial part of the brain. And telling stories about what the trains are doing develops language.

Get his stuffed animals together and let them help him tell a story. Say things like "Bear is going to the store. What will he bring home from the store?" Let him use his imagination.

Don't get into the habit of always doing this stuff WITH him. He needs to do some on his own. If he feels that play is only done with his mom, it will hamper his development.

D.

5 moms found this helpful

Concentrate on LIFE experiences - zoo, park, waking around the neighborhood, going to the store, making crafts, playing games. You can work numbers, letters, etc. into that just by talking about everything. When it is time to do structured learning, in preschool or school, it will happen.

At my son's daycare, they sang songs, did crafts, there was a garden, they listened to stories, etc. Don't "work" with him. That's all he'll be doing when he goes to kindergarten. PLAY with him. Children learn by PLAYING - it's actually their job. We all learn better when we're enjoying it, so just have fun with him, enjoy the world, experience it through his eyes and he'll have enrichment and growth from that.

5 moms found this helpful

I have 5 two year olds in my daycare/school. The word "lessons' hits me the wrong way, but I think I know what you mean. You've gotten a lot of good suggestions so far. It sounds like what you're looking for is a lesson plan for you to follow so that you have a better structure and more ideas to go by...?

Do remember that kids at this age learn best through play. Almost anything you do throughout the day is an opportunity for teaching and learning. Your awareness of what your son doesn't know and talking to him about what you observe are good lessons. Offering new experiences with regard to places, activities and other people and children are good lessons.

Some of the things that we do in a typical day are: (small motor skills), playdoh, puzzles, legos, bristle blocks, wooden blocks, "feeding" Mr Tennis Ball (which is a tennis ball with a cut along the seam, and a face drawn on so when you squeeze it it looks like he's opening his mouth.... then the kids "feed" him with small beads ), coloring with small chalk and crayons (we break them to encourage correct pencil grip for handwriting later). Trace and play in different materials; corn meal, shaving cream, birdseed... scooping and pouring (water, rice, birdseed etc...) Using small tongs to pick up different things and transfer them to another container. Ripping paper.

(Large motor skills) running, jumping climbing, balancing, dancing.

We do have a circle that lasts about 20 minutes. We do LOTS of teaching through songs. All of my kids know their colors, the days of the week, their parent's names, and lots of rhyming songs and finger plays. We also read books, work on letter recognition and sound (through songs).

We go outside every day, whether it's a wagon ride, playing at the park, playing in my backyard, or just a walk in the neighborhood. We talk about the weather, the wind and clouds, the seasons, sun prints, dig in the sand, play in sensory boxes I make, or sensory bottles, parachute play, group games, chase, kick balls, play catch, hunt for (plastic) bugs or other things I hide in the yard. Observe animals and bugs.

We play with musical instruments; some are bought, some we make, dress up, dramatic play where we act out stories or pretend play with dolls or toys. We do lots of art; glueing, painting on a table (using different materials; brushes, feathers, sponges, q-tips, handprints made into elephants, ducks, trees..., foot prints, and easel with brushes using different kinds of paints, finger-painting. "painting the fence" with brushes and water.

Because we have a group of children we also work a lot on sharing, using your words to ask for things or express feeling, labeling feelings...

There are so many fun things to do that don't even seem like lessons or teaching. if you keep that in mind with your interactions with your kiddo, you'll do just fine!!

5 moms found this helpful

Playing is his plan for lessons! You build his vocabulary by talking to him about what he is doing. There isn't anything out there better than reading. There are tons of good books at the library for free. Even when he goes to school, they read for homework. A few abc magnets on the fridge and wha-la you have a a whole plan for his day!

4 moms found this helpful

I work with 2 year olds at a montessori school. At this age, you really can't plan lessons and stuff like that. They learn through playing. You really shouldn't be going over letters, numbers, colors yet. You can if he is interested, but I wouldn't push it. Even just building blocks, painting, playing with playdough they are learning. Things that help them build up fine motor skills are good. Not so much academics yet.

4 moms found this helpful

Sing songs, read stories, provide interesting toys and enriching field trips.

3 moms found this helpful

What they do with daycare and preschool for kids this age is try to teach them silly songs (with hand motions) (The Wheels on the Bus, The Eeensy Weensy Spider, etc).
They also play with a parachute - everyone grab onto an edge and shake it, then put some light (nerf or ping pong) balls on it and shake it some more. They can walk in circles with it and they can raise it up (so it billows up) then bring the edges down to sit underneath it for awhile.
I can't think of anyplace that let's them play with crayons yet (too many 2 yr olds would try to eat them) (same thing with play dough).
Stacking blocks and sorting cubes (you know - they have shaped holes that you put the shaped blocks through into it).
It might be a little young for Duplo yet.
There's physical things like jumping and skipping.
Really it's all playing - but they are still learning a lot when they do it!

3 moms found this helpful

My kids both went to school reading above grade level and more than ready just by playing and reading together. No lesson plans. No structure. They have their whole lives to be structured. Now is not the time. If you're looking for fun online games, you can try starfall.com and fun4thebrain.com. But as stay-at-home-moms, we tend to think we have to manage every moment of their day and structure their learning. We don't.

3 moms found this helpful

Sleep, eat, play, play and more play.

3 moms found this helpful

He's only 2 years old. He's doesn't need "lesson plans." Just keep doing what you're already doing and play with him as much as he'll tolerate. And remember that not everything HAS TO BE educational. He learns from everything around him, and life lessons are the best. Life skills and social skills will be even more valuable than the book learning.

So just have crafts for him to do that include coloring and cutting. Shape sorting. Color sorting. Identifying the letters in his name. Having the ability to sit and listen while reading, and then telling the story back to you. Having the ability to tell a story based on the pictures he's looking at. Stacking blocks. Climbing. All of these things are skills he needs to learn and practice.

3 moms found this helpful

To me the term "lesson plan" and "two year old" do not belong in the same sentence. The key to raising a bright, well educated kid is to not give them the idea that learning is work. At least not until middle school and by then hopefully they're already hooked.

Learning is fun and a two year old can do it anywhere in a million different ways. Concentrate on experiences, reading aloud, singing, rhyming, puzzles, building things and talking about what he sees, hears and feels. That's the only lesson plan you need and I promise he will soak it all up, all day long without even knowing he's building a foundation for the rest of his education. Just have fun, there is so much time in his future for sitting still and learning.

3 moms found this helpful

play! go on scavenger hunts. talk to him like you would anyone else, and tons of music

3 moms found this helpful

At two he is learning all the time.
Read to him, a lot. Talk to him and engage him in what you are doing.
Sing counting and alphabet songs.
He will pick colors and shapes up easily over time as he discovers the world and looks at books and watches shows like Sesame Street.
Go on walks and talk about nature, point things out.
When he's 3 and 4 you can start doing "preschool" things with him. Have him sort objects, play with sand and water and do puzzles. Those activities build spatial skills. Make sure he gets lots of practice beading, lacing, cutting, gluing and coloring. Those are the things build fine motor skills and will prepare him for writing.
These are the things a quality preschool program focuses on (in addition to the social skills of sharing, being kind and taking turns.) They don't do "lessons" until kindergarten, because THAT is the age when most kids are generally ready to sit and focus for short stretches of time.

2 moms found this helpful

Play with him on the floor, talk with him about everything you see, hear, smell, etc. That helps with vocabulary too. Don't talk down to him but just talk. I did painting, drawing, puzzles, games, etc. with our kids and when you do anything like give apple slices, etc. count them out to him and let him count them. It's just daily playing, talking, learning. When my kids were little there were no computers so can't help with web sites I used, but I will say my grandson I babysat knew rivers, countries, etc. from Google earth and he loved it.

2 moms found this helpful

I agree with previous posters, NO Lesson Plans. I homeschooled my son all the way through 9th grade when HE decided he wanted to go to public school. At 2 don't worry about lesson plans. READ as much as possible. PLAY as much as possible, if the games include colors, numbers, and letters AND HE enjoys them, great.TALK to him, don't talk down to him, don't use baby talk. Answer ALL his questions, if he asks what a word,color, letter, number, animal, item, etc., tell him. Ask him what he would like you to read to him, take him to the library and let him help you pick out the books.

2 moms found this helpful

Not a free resource, but Before Five in a Row is an excellent resource for this age group and a very gentle way to start lessons. It cost $35 and we got all the books needed for it from the library. I did it with my oldest when she was a 2 year old, and plan on repeating it next year with my younger child. I love that it has so many ideas for incorporating educational activities into your day!

Have fun with it :)

edit - I just read your other responses. I needed more structure and ideas at this stage, so I enjoyed having a "plan" laid out for me. But having a lesson plan and making learning activities into a high pressure experience are 2 different things. Wanting a plan does not mean you are overdoing it. My girls love our little routine we have every morning, they learn a lot, and THEY are upset we don't do "lessons" on the weekends and over summer, so clearly having a plan is not detrimental to their love of learning. But we have always used a literature rich, and play rich approach. I am now using Sonlight PreK program for my older (we plan to continue as homeschoolers, so I am not worried about getting ahead of other Kindergardeners - we are going at a child led, comfortable pace), but both girls LOVE it. It is all about parental attitude. Some parents have an easier time with structure and some don't, so do what feels right to you, and don't let other people tell you you are messing up your kid. Have fun!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

When my kids were little I used the preparatory curriculum from letteroftheweek.com I really liked it. It exposes them to preschool things in an easy way. I spent like 15 minutes on this and the rest of the day was playing. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Preschool is/should be primarily for helping kids learn social skills and how to interact with and communicate with other kids.

Just keep doing what you're doing--no need for "lesson plans."

However, if you really like having structure, then maybe set it up that Monday will be art day (painting crafts), Tuesday will be science day (make a rice box and let him measure & scoop & use it for playing in, etc.), Wednesday will be library storytime day, Thursday will be playdough/clay/cooking day, Friday will be music/dance day, with making music on boxes, or listening & dancing. Or, set specific times for activities (craft/art before lunch) and outdoor play after nap, or similar.

As others have posted, interacting with and talking to him while doing all these things will teach him his colors, numbers, letters.

1 mom found this helpful

read read read to him. the number one predictor of school sucess... is the childs vocabulary in kindergartn.. how to build his vocabulary.. read to him talk to him. take him places and show him things.

you can fit in letters numbers and colors as you do other things.. play with cars and point out the red car.. do a craft and talk about the greeen crayon..

1 mom found this helpful

I think that's great you're trying to teach him! I did the same thing with my daughter when she was that age as well. She is now in first grade, the 2nd to the youngest in her class, and a straight A student. She is advanced in all subjects (according to her teacher) and they'll be sending her to 2nd grade for reading b/c she is on a 2nd grade reading level.

I know you're looking for free resources but if you want to dish out some money, seriously consider getting the Leap Frog Letter Factory. It will teach him the sounds that go along with the letters. Such a great video! All of their videos are great.

At that age, I let my daughter use child scissors to cut paper with (btw, foam is easy to cut). You'll have to supervise, of course. But this is great for strengthing their finger muscles (that's a prewriting skill) and they love it. My daughter would spend a good half hour or so using those scissors. At first she could only make little snips in the paper. Once she started school she was a pro at using scissors. So many kids didn't know how to even hold nor use a pair of scissors in her K class. So sad.

Agreeing with Dawn, play dough is great for finger muscle strenghth (prewriting skill).

If you google prewriting skill worksheets you'll get some printouts for lines..straight, zip zag, etc. for him to trace.

That's all I have time to post. But there is TONS of info on the web & on this site if you do a search (use google to seach this site as this sites search engine isn't the best).

1 mom found this helpful

I love My Father's World. It has a great toddler and also preschool package and they are just like $50 at that level for the whole package and I think you can order individual items as well. When we started, my 2 yr old was really shaky on colors too, which of course is totally normal at that age but I still wanted to help him in that area. The toddler pack for age 3-5 has all these colorful pegs and foam shapes and numbers etc and it is great for just having fun and playing. There are lots of game ideas and my little guy has plenty of his own. Mostly I just play with him and just ask things like 'hey, can I have that red peg?'. And now a couple months later he totally knows his colors and he doesn't even know he was learning :) So maybe check out the My Father's World website and see what you think. My 5 yr old loves to play in all the shapes and pegs too, so they play together a lot as well. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I would look into coop preschool! Benefits for both of you with socializing and learning, and they do play based learning. A 2s class is usually just two hours a day, 2 days a week.

1 mom found this helpful

Puzzles are one of the best learning tools at that age! One of our favorite toys for my daughter was a foam letter puzzle. She loved it and learned her letters so quickly from it! My son wanted nothing to do with it however! ;) They can also teach colors, objects, etc. I would get a variety of puzzles and blocks. My kids loved those nesting blocks with pictures on them, Melissa and Doug makes a cute one. Other building blocks also help teach problem solving, color recognition, physics, etc.

1 mom found this helpful

Read and play...that's all you need at this age. Interact with him while reading and playing and he'll get it. That's what he would do at pre-school.

You can print letter and number pages for him to color. But sit and do it with him and talk to him about it.

1 mom found this helpful

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.