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There are a TON of television shows designed to both entertain and teach our kids but nothing can replace the bond that’s formed when we interact with them one-on-one. Here are a few TV-free ways we’ve been helping Micah grasp the basics.
After finding out that a certain popular reading system no longer existed, my husband and I sought out similar programs. But we quickly realized we could just purchase a set of affordable flash cards and call it a day!
We’ve been using these since Micah was about 18 months or so and he loves them. We’ve got the alphabet, number and first words cards in full rotation and I’ll be pulling out the colors and shapes cards soon to reinforce what we’ve already been teaching him. I REALLY wanna get my hands on the sight words cards… I think there is where the “magic” happens!
A simple tip I got from a few mom friends is to make your own with index cards. My husband and I wrote the alphabet, numbers and Micah’s name on a piece of paper to get him practicing. Whatever works!
Alphabet & Number Magnets
These seem to be a staple in almost any home with kids! Since Micah loves to hang out with me in the kitchen while I cook, alphabet and number magnets create a fun activity while I keep an eye on him. The colorful magnets stimulate his mind and he’s encouraged to touch and feel as we recite the letters together.
From anything that brings back your own childhood memories — i.e. ANYTHING Dr. Seuss — to newer favorites, there are a ton of books you can grab for literally any age group. We’ve been reading to Micah since he was basically an infant. This can definitely help build vocabulary at the toddler stage and gives them the mental stimulation they crave. He loves books and has a field day at the library!
We found that having a mix of story books and teaching books (letters, number, etc) has helped our son learn so much! When reading stories, don’t limit yourself to just reading the words on the page. Give the characters voices to make it fun and single out a few words to get them on the road to sight reading. Point out the pictures, teach them the colors of what they see… there’s SO much you can do with a book to get your toddler learning.
Anytime is a good time to learn the ABCs but bath time gives you the perfect opportunity to teach your little one while he or she can’t run away *evil laugh*. Besides a hearty rendition of the Alphabet Song, you two can go over the parts of the body or anything that makes up bath time. I talk a bit more about that in this post!
As soon as they can hold a crayon, encourage them to write. We’ve done this consistently and now, Micah LOVES scribbling on any piece of “peh-puh” (and sometimes other things – oy!) and routinely asks for “kay-ons” or “pen-cis”! LOL! It could be hereditary though, seeing as how the hubster is an artist and I dabble. 😉
Of course, while encouraging drawing and writing, names of colors can be reinforced here. Thanks to this, my boy not only recognizes primary and secondary colors but even shades like grey, pink and brown. We’re blown away! I truly believe starting early makes all the difference.
Of course, I’m no childhood education expert and we’ve only got the one kid but that’s a bit of what we’ve been doing over here to get our toddler learning. Maybe it’ll give you a few ideas.
Moms, what have YOU done or are currently doing with your little ones to get their minds going?
Share with me below!