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Cindy H. Liu, PhD, clinical and developmental psychologist, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Teaching Toddler At Home?

I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I’d like to start teaching my toddler some things that other kids his age are learning at day care. How can I do this?

Don’t feel the need to go too crazy. Most day care centers revolve around play, not teaching higher math skills or geography. So don’t think that your kid is missing out by not going to a day care center. Even preschools, which are considered early childhood education (for ages two-and-a-half to five or six), still put most of their emphasis on play rather than academics.

Of course, you can always expose your child to basics like the ABCs, shapes and colors. The most important thing to emphasize is to have fun, so turn whatever you’re trying to teach into a game: Use stickers, bubbles or colorful cutouts to create a sense of play with whatever you do.

One big benefit of day care or preschool that you might not be able to offer at home is the opportunity for your child to socialize. So add regular play dates to your calendar or consider signing her up for classes like art, music, or dance.

Plus, More from The Bump:

How to Teach Your Toddler Social Skills

Teaching Your Toddler to Share

When to Teach a Child to Read

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