Give your toddler a concrete lesson on the concept of high and low.

High & Low Activities for Toddlers

by Laura Roberts

Reinforce your toddler’s understanding of the words "high" and "low" by concentrating on its various meanings – both spatial and musical. Through acting out tangible lessons on the concept, your child will gain a new level of perception about the simple words. Take advantage of kinesthetic learning tools to cement his new knowledge.

1. Exercise Activities

Sneak in some exercise with a toddler version of cardio, centering around practice with high and low. Indulge in a game of animal role-playing as a wiggly worm and leapfrog to reinforce moving high and low. Crank up the children's music while your munchkin wiggles along the floor like a worm. When you stop the music, your toddler can jump into the air like a frog. For more exercise reinforcement, sing a rousing version of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” Talk about which body parts are high and which ones are low.

2. Music Activities

Give your toddler an introduction to classical music by listening to the highs and lows within compositions. Put on something like, “The Planets: Jupiter” to listen for the triumphant high violins, soaring flutes and the low haunting strains of the cellos. Next, sing a familiar children’s song starting in a low key, and then jump an octave to give a high rendition. If you have access to a piano or keyboard, let your toddler bang his way through the low keys and tinkle through the high notes for a concrete illustration of the concept.

3. Follow-the-Leader Games

Lead your child through a practice of reaching high and low with a series of "Simon Says" moves like, “Reach for the sky” or “Touch the floor.” Move onto a different twist of the game to provide an added exercise for your toddler’s mind. Tell him to follow what you do instead of what you say. In other words, give directions while demonstrating them. As an occasional surprise, give instructions other than what you are demonstrating. For example, say, “Touch your knee” while you touch your ear instead. Watch the giggles erupt at your trick.

4. Playground Patrol

Explore the highs and lows of the great outdoors. Tell your toddler to be a high-low investigator so he can find all of the high things in sight – from the blue sky to the tall tree branches to the high slide and the tops of ladders. Send him on a journey down that slide to hunt for the low things, such as playground mulch, a bouncy bridge, a fort hideout, or a basketball court blacktop.

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