Printable busy books offer an easy, affordable way to satiate a toddler’s constant thirst for learning, and I design books based on early childhood developmental and educational milestones.
My First Learning Busy Book marks my best-selling quiet book on Etsy and includes a variety of learning activities geared toward educational and developmental milestones for young toddlers (1-2 years). To expand on this concept, I recently launched an educational busy book with learning activities based on 2-3 year old developmental milestones: First Lessons: Learning 2.0 Busy Book.
Around two years of age, children start becoming more independent. For instance, they may want to pick out their own clothes. I don’t mind when my toddler picks out her own clothes (I encourage it), but it gets tricky when she wants to wear something that isn’t weather appropriate.
Some activities such as shape matching and color sorting expand on concepts from my first book; however, my Learning 2.0 book also introduces numbers, counting, pre-writing, size sorting, and more.
To help my toddler understand the importance weather has on choosing attire and decrease our morning arguments about clothes, I developed a sorting activity based on warm, rainy, and cold weather. By sorting clothing based on weather in their busy books, kids learn the correlation between weather and clothing as well as what is and is not appropriate for various seasons.
In addition to choosing their own clothes, 2-3 year olds start to become more interested in other kids. Playing with other kids opens the door to learning social skills such as taking turns or saying please and thank you.
Chief among social skills at this age is sharing. However, we adults may be sending some mixed signals when it comes to sharing. We tell our kids to share toys, but we don’t let them eat off our spoon or use our toothbrush. Toddlers may not understand the difference between objects you should share and objects you should not share.
To provide an overview of sharing as a social skill and help toddlers differentiate what is and is not appropriate to share, I created a sharing sorting activity. My toddler loves this activity (I’m actually a little surprised that it’s her favorite page in her book right now).
Between 2 and 3, my little one also really loved activities about numbers. Many children learn to count to fiver or ten early on, but they may not draw the correlation between counting and actual quantities (10 grapes is a lot more than 1 grape) or the meaning behind our numerical symbols.
To assist toddlers in learning not only to recite numbers in order but give them a greater understanding of these numerical symbols, I included the following mathematical activities:
- Counting Fish marks a fun activity to help toddlers learn numerical symbols as well as quantities. In this activity, they have to match numbers 1-5 to put the fish back in the bowl. Caregivers may also ask kids to line the fish up in numerical order on the side of the page.
- Vehicle I-Spy combines a toddlers’ love for I-Spy games, vehicles, and counting/number recognition. For example, they have to find 3 fire trucks in the picture, so kids have to understand the numerical symbol 3 and be able to count to 3. To provide an additional learning boost, I encourage kids to circle or mark the vehicles they find with a washable marker. Using a marker helps them hone their budding fine motor and handwriting skills. Plus, the marks will wipe off laminated pages, making this a fun activity they can do over and over again.
- Number Puzzles offer a wonderful way to introduce higher digits to young toddlers. I chose two hot air balloons because they reminded me of one of my friend’s kids (whose nursery was decorated with them), and it marked a fun way to introduce a unique mode of transportation that young toddlers may not have seen before.
In addition to my I-Spy page, I included another pre-writing activity in which toddlers are asked to trace various lines to “feed” the animals. Feeding a pet marks a popular chore for 2-3 year olds, so I felt that toddlers would relate to this activity and have fun learning that different animals eat different types of food. If laminated, this page is a fun activity that kids can wipe clean and do over and over again.
Finally, I included some shape matching, color matching, and size sorting activities to expand on popular learning activities for toddlers. I included some shapes that were not covered in my first book such as diamond, pentagon, and octagon to encourage kids to count the shapes sides. Furthermore, I expanded on my first book’s color sorting activity by including both primary and secondary colors.
Around two years old, children also start sorting things by size. My toddler started doing this by labeling everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) as daddy, mommy, or baby size. Help kids develop their vocabulary and size sorting skills by introducing big, medium, and small. Furthermore, I used circular items (balls) and triangular items (party hats) to encourage shape-object recognition, which I will expand upon in my next book, First Lessons: Learning 3.0 Busy Book.
Finally, I include a movement game in most of my books because toddlers are always in motion and movement games are always a favorite! Between 2-3 years old, toddlers should be able to throw and kick a ball, stand on their tip toes, and run. They should also practice catching a ball and jumping, so I created a sport-themed movement game that targets these physical developmental milestones.
If you are interested in purchasing my First Lessons: Learning 2.0 Busy Book, you can find it here in my Etsy store. I update the store frequently, so check back to my store or follow my Facebook page for more learning activities. I love making these books for my toddler, and offering the printable files online to offer a fun, affordable resource for other parents, caregivers, and teachers.
Plus, this book comes with step-by-step instructions (including pictures of how I set up each page)! Honestly, if you can cut and paste, you can put these books together easily.
Play. Learn. Inspire.