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Any recommendations for Early Childhood Development books/resources?

I'd like to get some ideas about what things I should be teaching my toddlers. I don't want them to get to school and have the teacher say I can't believe she/he can't___________yet. I like learning to be a natural experience for them, but I'm afraid I'll overlook something really important!

Do you have any suggestions for early childhood development books or other resources?



Asked by Anonymous at 4:19 PM on Mar. 8, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (6)
  • I wouldn't "push" structured-type schooling just yet, children are learning by living and watching you. They will get it before kindergarten. Our son's speech therapist says if they know it when they get to school, why do they need to go to school?

    With that said, I do know how you feel, living in this techno-world, education is important. I don't know how old your toddlers are, but my son covered his ears when I sang the ABC song until he was 2-1/2. NOW, on his own, when he was ready, he sings the ABC song constantly. He'll be 3 in a few weeks. But before he was able to do that, we played a LOT with refrigerator magnets, ABC puzzles, ABC learning toys, ABC charts are everywhere, so when he DID get it, he got it very well. (Super Why on PBS is great for ABC's). I'd mold play-doh into ABC's, use hot wheels to make ABC's on the carpet. Blocks have ABC's.

    Start by spelling their names 1000 times. Gets them interested.

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 4:34 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • For numbers, we just started counting everything. For one thing, it gives them something to slow down and focus on. We counted toys as we put them away, raisins on their plates, bath toys as they are going into the hang-up drip/dry bag, steps to the car, stacking blocks, you name it. My son had a little learning toy (Leap Frog, I think) that had math games and counted 1-20. He learned that on his own by playing with the toy. Once he had 1-20 down, I got a little number chart from Mardel's that goes from 1-100. As I said, he's been counting 1-20 since about 2-1/2, and now is do 1-40.

    A little at a time, no need to rush, he's building a foundation for learning. I think that's what you want. It's not as important that they KNOW everything, but that you make learning fun. Curious minds make the best students. Sorry I don't have any book info. We just use all sorts of toys and games and interaction to learn. Have Fun! :)

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 4:41 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • Thanks doodlepobfan. I'm taking pretty much the same approach you are, but I just wonder sometimes if I might be overlooking something really important. My twins are 2 1/2, and they just suddenly seem like they aren't babies anymore.  Kindergarten is not nearly as far in the future as I would for it to be!


    Answer by Anonymous at 4:45 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • PS-If you children are going to start school in a year or so, get the guidelines from the school that they need to know. When my niece started Pre-K, she had to be able to spell her name (first & last), know her address, parents' names & phones numbers. This was about a month before pre-k, and she turned 4 the week before pre-k. She didn't know all that stuff, but picked it up pretty fast once she got there.

    I've thought about posting our names, address, and phone # on poster board charts because my son is visual & I think he'd learn it faster that way. Anyway, didn't mean to write a book! Have a great one! :)

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 4:46 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • OP-I hear ya'! Next year for us. But I will encourage you that between now and next year, their "absorption rate" will be phenomenal, mostly because of their increasing vocabulary and understanding. I don't think that you'll overlook anything. You sound like me, though, just wanting to be a good mom. BTW, are they boys? The reason that I ask is because boys are very receptive to "hands on" type of learning. My son has probably learned as much by playing in the bath tub with those TaDoodles bath tub crayons as anything. He now can recognize all the upper-case letters, and many of the lower-case. That's kind of what we are focusing on now. A got a new puzzle with lower-case, and I write his name with lower-case following the capital, where as I started with all capitals. Anyway, could chat all day about my little smartie, LOL! :)

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 4:58 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

  • OP here - I have a boy and a girl. My daughter's vocabulary is growing pretty fast now, and she is really taking off with everything; she can sing the alphabet song and recite numbers up to 10. My son's speech is a little delayed, but I think things will accelerate for him as his vocabulary improves; I worry about him more, but he is doing really well. They are both really attached to their magic erase (Magna Doodle type) boards right now, and that is giving us lots of opportunities to add letters and numbers into play naturally. 

    Thanks for all the ideas and thoughtful responses!


    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 5:22 PM on Mar. 8, 2010

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