Two- and 3-year-old children are indirectly learning with every activity that they participate in. Activities not only keep children busy and entertain them, but are good learning experiences that can give them a head start for school. It's very simple to entertain children, and you can usually create games and activities with the resources you already have in your home or nursery.
Play With Textures
Two- and 3-year-old kids are at the age when fun games can be learning experiences for them. Gather a few textured items such as construction paper, a fur blanket, sandpaper or a piece of plastic and ask them what the item feels like. The child may not know exactly what they are feeling, so guide them in the right direction and give hints. For example, show the child a fur blanket, let them touch it and tell them, "This is soft."
Toddlers love story time, so choose a book with lots of pictures and read a story that suits their interests. If they have a favourite book, reread the story as many times as they'd like. Toddlers love to hear their favourite stories over and over again, and eventually they will begin to memorise the words.
Provide your children with writing utensils and something to draw on. Then set up an arts and crafts project. Washable crayons, markers, paint and chalk work best and are safest for children. Either set up an easel with a large sheet of paper, or purchase a small chalkboard for them to draw on. Get the largest workspace that you can to allow your children to fully use their hands and arms while colouring. While they're working, give them tips and tricks to draw better; teach them how to draw shapes, lines and explain to them what colours they are using.
The Bag Counting Game
Take 10 small balls and draw the numbers one to 10 on each single ball with a marker. Get three small paper bags and place any number of balls into the bags. Have the children take turns removing the balls from one bag at a time and count each ball with them. When you count the ball, display the number on the ball to the child so that she can begin to familiarise herself with numbers. Repeat with the other two bags. This simple game encourages children to work on their speech, begins to teach them numbers and will keep them busy for a while.