Monday, September 26, 2011

T is for Toddler

I'm constantly amazed at how quickly Bean is learning to recognize letters and numbers at two and a half years old. Especially letters, and especially the ones in her name. Everywhere we go she points out E's and As, the first and last letter of her name. On billboards, in stores in the aisles, on cereal boxes, on every one of the 10 chalkboards we have in our house, and in every book we read (which means reading books takes a lot longer these days). She gets so excited when she recognizes them. If there's two E's in a word, she'll shriek "Mommy look TWO E's!!!" As a former teacher, this whole phase of her grasping the concept of printed sounds is awesome.  My inner teacher is kicking in and I want to have print all over the house for her to soak in with everything she does. Not that I care about her being a child genius or anything like that. I just fully believe that reading and writing skills are two of the BEST skills ever. Math and science are definitely important too, but if you can't read efficiently and you can't express your thoughts in writing, then your math and science skills won't matter as much. That's why I'm so big on all of the chalkboards in our house, and all the books scattered around making a complete mess of the place. Children need to see print everywhere long before they begin to grasp the idea that those sounds we make are represented by something on paper, but especially once they grasp the concept. Anyways, there are all kinds of great ideas out there for alphabet activities for toddlers and preschool kids. Here's a few I found that I really like:
 Alphabet Box from Play Talk Learn.
These ideas from Disney Family Fun-hands-on alphabet and shape-up. 
 This alphabet wall from Fowl Single File
This alphabet sorting game from Pinterest
This alphabet art project also from Pinterest, original source unknown
You could use the same pictures from this artwork to make this book, from Disney Family Fun
This easy alphabet book from Education.com

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