10 Things to Teach a Toddler in 10 Minutes or Less

I’m about to start working (my parents are nodding their heads with vigorous enthusiasm at that assertion) – I hear it’s the thing to do in your fourth decade of life (I’m 30…but that means I’m entering my 4th decade… Right? Ack. Say it ain’t so!)  Naturally, I’m suddenly panicked about just how little time I have left with my little Bean before I abandon him for the thing they call…. The Grind. So today I have a rundown for ya of 10 things to teach a toddler in 10 minutes or less.

I’m scrambling to impart my decades (so many decades!!) of wisdom before this happens.  There’s no formal schooling happening in our home right now because I’m a firm believer that kids learn through play – but according to our 3-15 chunks – we do try to do a teeny bit of slightly more “formal” learning everyday.

In a way, it’s an experiment to see just how much a little 2-year old brain can process (spoiler alert:  EVERYTHING), it gives a little more structure to our day, and he finds it highly amusing. Win-win-win.

So if you find yourself with some time to kill (Some of these work really well in lengthy car ride situations as well) – go to town (pun so intended) with some of these!

10 Things You can teach a toddler in 10 minutes

10 Things to Teach a Toddler in Under 10 Minutes

1. A capital of a country, or where the extended family lives (i.e.: Auntie Annie lives in Pickering)

10 things you can teach a toddler in 10 minutes

2. A letter and what it is for (N is for Nana, or M is Mommy’s letter)

3. How to (properly) do a small chore (tidy up the shoes in the hallway, put dirty clothes in the laundry machine, make a bed, wash your hands, put away books)

4. How to say “hi” or “thank you” in another language (the little will sometimes blurt out “merci beaucoup” and there is nothing sweeter)

5. A short Bible story or verse (with actions, always with actions)

6. A fun new song

7. A game that gets them moving (like “tag”), or how to do a squat, oh and lunges are aaaa.dorable.

8. How to put on or take off an article of clothing (shoes and socks have been a doozie for my little Einstein! Haha!)

9. How to write the number “1” or “7” (the easiest I reckon for their pudgy, uncoordinated hands)

10. How to give better hugs or kisses (puckers and squeezes for daysss) …. The gift that keeps on giving – for at least a decade….right?

What else have you seen success with?  I love how independent he is becoming, and we’re having the best time enabling him!

62 thoughts on “10 Things to Teach a Toddler in 10 Minutes or Less”

  1. I found one of the best parts of being a mom is to watch kids grow and learn. They are amazing. I’ve been doing some of the things on the list, but I got a lot more ideas to use. Thank You!

    1. Wonderful 🙂 I totally agree – it’s fascinating. Sometimes I just sit back and marvel… what little miracles human beings are!

  2. Wonderful ideas. Cooking is also good to start, mixing ingredients, tasting, patting as in dough. Rhyme colours sizes opposites.

  3. I was a working mother when my first child was little and I became a SAHM after the birth of my second child. I am noticing so many things with #2 that I missed with #1. It is absolutely amazing to see how much a little bitty toddler brain can take in and really, truly understand!

    1. Honestly – it just blows me away! We can expect so much from them…. And somehow they step up! Amazing.

  4. I think these are great things to teach a toddler and, bearing in mind that children learn very fast. I like how you thought of making each thing fun, like a game.

    1. Thanks Joanna! I think my son will only oblige to anything if he thinks it’s a game…. Hahah 🙂 thanks for stopping by!

    1. Awe thanks so much! Fun for the win 🙂 who doesn’t love to play and laugh right?! Thanks so much for stopping by!

    1. It totally could be :). Great idea – it would be wonderful to have older kids teach some of these to younger kids too!

    1. Thanks so much! Gosh I’m nervous about leaving him… But it’s a short contract so at least I can test the waters so to speak.

  5. Great tips! it’s important that kids learn to be more independent, learn new things on daily basis and learn things that will help them during the day in every day life. Just saw two kids, both in the same age playing – the other one was able to take her cardigan off when it was too warm, fetch a glass of water when thirsty, but hte otehr one couldn’t do any of these without help of her mother.

    1. I couldn’t agree more – and really think that they LOVE to learn :). I honestly don’t know how we would fill a day if not for some teaching and learning! THank you for sharing and stopping by Tiina!

  6. I love the idea of teaching how to give the best hugs and kisses! Never would have thought of that! We also have our toddler push in all the dining chairs after meals. It lets him help while the older ones are taking care of the dishes and sweeping.

    1. Awww so glad the hugs and kisses were meaningful to you. MAN that one pays offfff :). Best.puckers. I really like the idea of enlisting help with pushing in chairs… That’s a perfect “small task” for small hands! Thanks for sharing Julie!

    1. It’s totally amazing just how quickly they understand. I always teach him things I think will be a bit of a stretch and he laps them up :). Good luck!

    1. Awww that’s so sweet! We use Nana for “grandma” around here :). Hope they are helpful for you one day!

    1. It’s so much fun too! he loves doing the actions and reading his “Bible stories” is by far the best part of his day!

    1. I’m so glad you think so! I love that they’re are manageably small so that littles don’t get overwhelmed, but feel a sense of accomplishment. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    1. I love how you said it! I don’t know if it’s a boy thing… But I only ever get a maximum of 10 mins of full attention to work with. So short and fun is key 🙂

  7. Monkey Boy completed loves learning and helping alongside us. At this point, he’s 3 now, I can actually ask him to get or do some small task that either is part of a bigger task/chore, or is it’s own piece (clean up a mess on the floor, put clothes away, vacuum, etc.).

    I’m all about littles learning on their own through doing (and play), but also with a bit of guided or directed learning (shapes, letters, numbers, colors, etc.). 🙂

    1. That’s so wonderful to hear Kendall! Good for you :). It’s so nice when the switch flips from totally dependent to moderately helpful!

  8. Hello there fellow 4th decader! Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? Lol And no, we are not in our 4th decade, but just in our 30’s umm..kay? 🙂 This post is great! I am at that point of introducing my daughter to the fun world of learning. Thanks for your tips!

    1. Hahaha I agree :). Let’s stick with 30’s. 30 is the new 20…right? Haha! Thanks for stopping by Vinma – glad these are helpful for you!

  9. Great ideas, I like the one about teaching them countries and where other family members live. I am trying to teach my little one to count past 10 and the alphabet, he surprises me how quickly he learns and I love seeing his little face when he gets it right xx

    1. He loves to “go exercising” and it’s a great way to get me moving as well :). Good luck with it! I hope your little one embraces the lunge too!

  10. Love this idea of breaking down learning into little chunks like this – I’d never thought of it that way when doing these kinds of things but yes, it is amazing what you can teach is a short space of time. My two also love learning words in French – and I love hearing them come out with them every so often 🙂

    1. Awww yay!! I love little kids who intermittently speak French :). Best. Glad this was helpful for you!

  11. Isn’t it amazing how their little brains are knowledge sponges!?! My kids always seem to amaze me with the knowledge they’ve soaked in. My son loves to read interesting fact books, he has retained those facts and I’m in complete awe.
    Thanks for sharing with us at #MMBH.

    1. That’s so awesome to hear. It’s true – things I don’t even remember teaching him and he just seems to know….once is all it seems to take! Haha 🙂 thanks for stopping by!

  12. Oh these are great! I do some of these already like saying a few words in another language; both my daughters seem fascinated with this! But I’ll definitely try some of the others like teaching a letter, writing a number or talking about other countries- I need to get a map! #TwinklyTuesday X

    1. Hi Cheryl! Yes – other languages can be so funny – and I find he picks up the accent identically. It’s SO cool. Glad these were useful for you!

  13. These are all such great ideas and I think learning through entertainment is always a win- win method! My friend has a 5 year old son so your suggestions are very useful to her, I’ll send her this post

    1. Thanks so much Eugenia for passing this along to someone it might benefit 🙂 Appreciate your kind words!

  14. I find car journeys are the best for teaching little things! Even if it’s something like a nursery rhyme. Now he is almost four, quite often he is the one asking questions which I have to provide thorough answers to. If I don’t do it correctly then I get told, that’s not an answer mummy!!! I love watching him learn 🙂 Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Hahaha that’s so fun Lisa :). I can’t speak to little girls… But our little guy doesn’t sit still often… Just prefers to be up and running… So car teaching is definitely the most effective for us! Passes the time too! Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Done have kids of my own but work with young kids at an NGO. I remember teaching them Humpty Dumpty in under 10 minutes. Remarkably they all picked it up quite fast, i though they would take the entire day.

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