Planning family home evening lessons for toddlers can be a difficult task. It is one well worth the effort. If you can establish the expectation of family home evening on a regular basis you will make it easier for your family to continue this habit when they are older. One of the biggest difficulties is bringing the lessons down to your toddler’s level. Here are some tips that will help.
1) Keep your lesson short and to the point. A toddler’s attention span is fairly short, so a five-minute lesson is a good length. If you feel you want to go more in depth than break up the lesson by switching learning activities every few minutes. You can sing a song that goes along with the lesson, tell a story using flannel board figures, play a game and then review the story again.
2) Visual aids make a big difference at this age. Toddlers are still sensory learners. The more senses you can involve during the lesson the better. If you are telling a story show the picture. Let your child hold the pictures and play with any props that you have. If you can incorporate food into the lesson as well, do it.
3) You can use the Nursery manual as a basis for your family home evening lessons. I have had people report that this has reinforced the lessons at home and helped their children to fully grasp what was being taught.
4) There are suggestions for adapting lessons for small children in the resource section of the Family Home Evening Manual. These include suggestions that can carry over into everyday activities for your children.
5) Remember that your children are learning even if they seem to be looking the other way. Keep the tone of your family home evenings loving and positive. It is more about participation, than perfect behavior at this age.
Establishing a habit of family home evening will bless your family. Teaching your children the gospel at this young age will help give your children a firm basis in the things, which are truly important in life. They do remember what you teach them and what you do. What tips do you have for families with young children?