I am now a full time mom, taking care of a 6 week old baby girl and a 21 month old active boy. Nina is quite content with being fed every 2-3 hours, being bathed, being put in the baby swing for her nap, and being read to every once in a while. Kevin on the other hand is now learning rapidly from what he sees and what he hears. So 3 weeks ago, I decided to start a "school" hour with him - 1 hour, everyday, playing school. It is quite amazing to see how much a toddler develops. It was not a long time ago that Tim and I were cheering him on when he said his first word.
I'd like to share what we have done the past few weeks for all the moms or dads out there who are looking for activities to do with their toddlers. I believe that it's never to early to expose our kids to learning. :) No pressure to master any academic skills, just taking advantage of this stage in their development.
I start with the goals of the week. Each week, we learn one letter, one number, one shape, one color, one fine motor and one gross motor skill, one practical skill, one music concept, and one project. For example, for week 1, these were my goals :
Letter A (vocabulary words : ant, alligator, astronaut)
Fine motor skill : Pasting
Gross motor skill : Running
Music concept : Steady beat
One project : Letter A book
I break down these goals into 5-10 minutes per day, so that all the activities are quick and easy. We all know that our kids' attention spans last only a few minutes.
We start our school hour by singing some songs, then sing about the alphabet,numbers 1-10, basic shapes, basic colors, and I show him the materials we are using for the whole week. Then, we do the activities I have planned for the day. For example, on Monday, we decorated the letter A with small cut out apples. We then looked at pictures of words that begin with the letter A. After that, we run around the garden while holding a drum and playing a steady beat. We come back inside and color some pictures we need for our number 1 poster. That's it for the first day.
So far, Kevin has been loving it. Whenever I say, it's school time, he runs to our school spot in our living room and sits quietly with his hands on his lap! He is excited about what we are to do and feels proud of his accomplishments.
I figured, he spends 8 hours playing with his toys, or outdoors with his friends, 2 hours eating, 2 hours napping and 12 hours sleeping through the night...what is 1 hour of preparing him for school ?!?
We display his work in his room.
He is able to identify the letters in his name!
Show your teeth! Show off your hat!
Week 3 materials
Most of the time, Nina is taking a nap during school hour.
Using the Ipad to look at flash cards
Nina wakes up after school hour. Thanks Nina!