Toddlers who do not yet have powerful intrinsic motivation to learn can be helped by extrinsic motivators in the form of rewards. Rather than criticizing unwanted behavior or answers, reward correct behavior and answers, small children can be given a balloon, a piece of gum, or a set of crayons. Even at the college level, many professors at various colleges have given books, lunches, certificates, exemptions from final exams, verbal praise, and so on for good performance. Students respond with interest and motivation to teachers who appear to be human and caring.
Being Human and Not an Aloof Authority
Teachers can help produce these feelings by sharing parts of themselves with toddlers, especially little stories of problems and mistakes they made, recently. Such personalizing of the toddler/teacher relationship helps toddlers see teachers as approachable human beings and not as aloof authority figures.