“Can you recommend any educational workbooks or other items for toddlers?” This is a question I received often as an elementary teacher. My answer was always the same, “Children at that age learn the best through play and conversation.”
Now that I have a daughter of my own, I can honestly say that I still whole-heartedly feel the same way. Interacting with your children is the best educational tool you can give them right from the start and it doesn’t cost a cent.
Here are some tips for educational interaction:
• Reading books to your child from birth
• Point objects out to your child and explain what they are, whether you’re at home or out for a walk – “Can you hold the red ball?” “Do you see the green leaf?”
• Talk about what you are doing – “I am pouring a cup of flour into the mixing bowl.”
• As you are playing with them you can ask questions about their toys – “What color is this puzzle piece?” “What is this called?”
• Attend your local library story time for their age group
• Do age appropriate arts and crafts projects with your child
This past summer my daughter really enjoyed using sidewalk chalk. She would request I draw shapes and letters. As I drew them, I would prompt her, “What letter is this?” “What color am I using?” “What shape is this?”
Education doesn’t always have to involve sitting at the table with workbooks. Even with my own elementary students I would consistently make an effort to find out of the box activities to simulate learning. Dena has a great post about how she is educating her son at home. I plan on trying out her shape activity with my daughter this winter!
As a mom, I now realize from my own experience that my answer won’t completely satisfy every parent, myself included. This past February, as I was filling out countless preschool waitlist forms, I had a mini “freak out.” Even though preschool is a year and a half away, in my mind it didn’t feel like enough time to make sure she is prepared. When in truth she is very prepared. Through reading and play she has learned her colors, shapes, numbers, alphabet, and counting.
But I will admit – through my own panic of feeling as though preschool is fast approaching, I myself, began searching for educational tools. Any teacher will tell you their two favorite places to shop for classroom items is the Dollar Tree and Target’s dollar section. So this summer, I found myself making a few trips to check out their inventory. I found some great items that we use a few times a week! So if you are looking for those additional educational tools, I recommend shopping there!
What fun, educational activities do you do with your children?
Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You