When teaching toddlers, your lessons should last less than 20 minutes or you will lose her interest and find yourself wondering why you bothered. There are so many delightful commemorative days in September that you both should have fun discovering this month. Plan a few field trips to get out of the house and enjoy the fall weather and colors in lessons that are more about observation than something to sit and do.

September is...

September is classical music, Hispanic heritage, courtesy and baby safety month. Honor classical music by playing it in the background during the month. Consider introducing your child to Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” where each character is represented by a specific instrument. Your tot could enjoy watching an animated version of the composition. You could learn some Spanish words this month, such as counting from one to 10 or learning to greet family and friends in Spanish. Practice saying “please,” “thank you” and "it’s my pleasure” as part of your courtesy lesson. Talk to your tot about ways to stay safe, such as not climbing on furniture or jumping on the bed.

Colorful Outdoors

You could see the colorful leaves of summer cascading from the trees as you walk in the park or play in the yard. Teach your tot colors of the leaves, such as red, yellow, orange, green and brown. Collect leaves and make a leaf collage or do leaf rubbings for interesting September place mats. You could talk about how the fall leaves crumble during the winter to nourish new plants in the spring or how squirrels scurry to collect nuts so they will have something to eat in the winter. Visit a farmer’s market to see the fresh fruits and vegetables and take some home to add to your dinner table. Stop and look at the colorful fall blossoms such as pansies and marigolds.

Service Recognition

The first Monday in September is Labor Day. Take time in September to teach your tot about those who serve your neighborhood, such as the police, fire and postal workers. Fly a flag to remember service personnel who served to keep our country free. You could walk past the school to see all the older kids headed back to class and the teachers who work there. You could take a field trip to your local fire or police station or out to a farm to learn how plants grow and appear at the grocery store.

Special September Days

The first Sunday after Labor Day is Grandparents Day. Call the grandparents and practice courtesy and expressing love. Ask them to share a story about their past with your tot. International Literacy Day and Read a Book Day occur in September, so take time to read a few books together or visit your local library for story hour. International Peace Day and World Gratitude Day also appear on the September calendar, so pray for peace and express thankfulness for the world.

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