Sunday, March 15, 2009


I'm apologizing up front for the quality of these pictures. They were taken on a dark and rainy day.

Teaching a very impatient and stubborn toddler his ABC's is not the easiest task in the world. I've found that drilling him with a deck of flashcards doesn't work very well, especially when the toddler you're quizzing leaves the room by the time you get to "C." Here's what does work, turning flashcard time into a big guessing game. I lay out about 6 or 7 cards at a time, starting with the first letters of the alphabet, and then ask Finn to find letter "A." Once he finds the letter, we set it on the table and continue this way until he's found every letter and we've arranged them in succession. After we've finished, Finn heads for the fridge to find the matching letter magnets. He started this part on his own. This game is a great way to learn letters, as well as colors, and matching. And because he is actively involved in the process, he doesn't get bored easily and leave as quickly.
Another way to keep little ones interested in learning their ABC's is to grab a cookie sheet, and have them find the letter magnets to place on the pan. A similar concept, and just as effective.

A few things that are helpful in these learning games are to have multiples. No, I don't mean to go out and try to have a set of sextuplets and get your own show on TLC. I mean have multiple sets of supplies. A plethora of letter magnets is good to have on hand because these things tend to get lost under the fridge, or carried off to use as L-shaped laser guns.

The same goes for flash cards. I have several sets of ABC flash cards. I don't think one of them is complete, but with multiple sets, I can combine the cards to have a complete alphabet. Like magic!
Also, the last tip is to not force your kids if they're not ready. If you are fighting to get your toddler to learn something he or she is just not ready for, it will be stressful on the both of you. Learning should be fun at this age. It's not until they're older that you can make learning boring and tedious. Note the difference in expressions:



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