TODDLER lesson plan tidbits

I know, from personal experience, that writing a toddler lesson plan can be a daunting task so let me share with you a few tips that might help you begin the process using the word TODDLER as our guide…


For this post, a toddler is being defined as a child who is crawling or just beginning to walk and going on up through the age of two.


Before writing a toddler lesson plan, take the time to observe the toddler(s) in your care. While observing, take time to notice…

  • Toddler interest
  • Toddler vocabulary
  • Toddler motor skills
  • Toddler play
  • Toddler interactions
  • Toddler behavior


From your observations, you will begin to see trends in toddler development. The toddler’s stage of development should be the guide behind all planning.


To promote toddler development, the toddler must be an active participant in his or her own learning. Toddler growth and development begins to take shape as toddlers are doing something and interacting with others.


Learning Environment

 A safe but challenging, interesting, and inviting learning environment is a critical part of promoting toddler development.  Toddlers need consistent freedom to explore the learning environment. The learning environment includes any place a toddler spends time – outdoors or indoors.


As a toddler is given the opportunity to explore the environment, a variety of tools and materials need to be present and available that provide lots of different kinds of experiences for toddler play and exploration.


As different experiences within the toddler’s learning environment are repeated, new developmental milestones are both introduced and mastered.

Putting it all together

So now that you have the TODDLER tidbits for what needs to be considered as you design your lesson plans, let me share with you how I would go about putting this all together using one of my own experiences…

As I  observe my grandson, I notice that he has just started wearing shoes and is particularly interested in walking in those shoes.

I know that learning how to walk on a variety of surfaces with shoes on or off is a developmental milestone that my grandson needs to master so I want to give him opportunities to do a little walking by providing many types of walking experiences on different types of surfaces…

I can provide these walking experiences both in the indoor and outdoor learning environment though natural opportunities in play and exploration and the more we repeat the different types of walking  experiences the sooner he will master the ability to walk on different types of surfaces whether he is wearing those brand new shoes or not! …

Forming it all up

Putting the toddler learning experience in a lesson plan form would look something like this…

By |2012-08-24T16:14:42+00:00August 24th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Cerys @ Rainy Day Mum August 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Although not teaching toddlers – keeping your TODDLER in mind it’s got me thinking about my own kids at home and what I should be doing in our planned play times in the day. Thank you

  2. Kelly September 1, 2012 at 1:43 am - Reply

    I just wanted to tell you Thank you so much for creating this website. I just started my job as a Early Headstart Teacher and your site has been so helpful. Eary Headstart is a bit more complicated than daycare, which is where I’ve been the past 6 years in childcare. So Thank you so much keep posting your brillant ideas.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 1, 2012 at 8:03 am - Reply

      Thank you for your sweet comment Kelly! I wish you the very best in your new job!


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