One teacher-y thing that I’m currently loving is this Teach My Toddler kit from Amazon. It comes with four curriculum packs: numbers (1-10), letters (upper & lowercase), shapes, and colors. Each pack includes a poster, foam pieces, flashcards, and a book. It also comes with a little teaching guide that explains how you can use the pieces to teach each set to your toddler. The guide is really helpful with getting you started. Over the last few weeks we’ve adapted the way we use the packets to target more speech-related goals.
If you make an activity fun and incorporate stuff they’re interested in, it’s amazing to see what kids can learn. Drake enjoys playing with these because that’s exactly what it is – playing. We include everything he finds fun: throwing and catching the pieces, reading the books, singing, watching videos, balancing the pieces on our head, you name it… all while talking about what we’re playing with. We just go with the flow and keep him entertained until he’s over it, haha.
“Do you want to play with your shapes?” I like to offer this as an option in the morning – it gives me some time to feed Ford, make coffee… all that stuff. While I’m taking care of what I need to, Drake will be shouting out “OVAL!” 200 times while flailing the piece around in the air until he knows that I’ve seen him. He’ll usually play with it for ten minutes or so and then we’ll watch some YouTube videos. We’ve been using these for a while now, but I thought it’d be helpful to share the general timeline we used and what we started doing to add some speech therapy into it:
- INTRODUCE one packet by pulling out the poster and talking to your babe about what you see. I’d pick the one that you feel they’d be most confident with to start – we chose colors.
- I started with MATCHING because it’s just like doing a puzzle – and Drake loves puzzles. You can match the foam pieces to what’s on the poster. REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT as you match. Narrate everything. 🙂
If your toddler isn’t about puzzles, here are some other ideas: BOOKWORMS? Start with the book. POINTERS? Start with the poster. GREAT WITH REPEATING? You can start with the flashcards. NOT INTERESTED AT ALL? I’d leave it out and let him/her do their own thing with it until it’s not a “new toy” anymore.
As they learn, you can start to tie in other requests that will challenge them in different ways (where the speech ideas come in):
- POINTING: Can you point to orange?
- HANDING: Can you hand me the yellow piece?
- COMMANDS/REQUESTS: Put the green piece in the cup. Can you throw the green piece through the basketball hoop? Can you share the pink piece with your bear?
- BODY PARTS: Put the red piece on your nose!
- OTHER PEOPLE: Can you give the blue piece to Ford?
- PLAYING OUTSIDE: Draw it out with chalk – Can you jump on the yellow box?
- TWO-PART REQUESTS: Can you put the yellow piece on the chair and the purple piece in the bucket?
I’ve found this is a nice resource to have in the house. Not only is great for teaching a bunch of different vocabulary/skills, but it’s also great for having your kids follow directions and clean up after themselves. Drake might whine while doing it, but he knows that he can’t have another packet until he’s put everything away. Lord knows that doesn’t happen all the time (have you seen our playroom on IG stories? Destroyed 24/7) – but I like that this is something he knows he has to clean up when he’s done.
Paired YouTube videos: Just a heads up that these are annoying and repetitive. Sorry.
- Lotty Learns // Shapes for Kids
- Busy Beavers // Shapes Songs Collection, Volume 1
- Stevie Steamer // Counting Shapes from 1 to 10
- Lotty Learns // 3D Gumball Colors for Kids
- Lotty Learns // Learn Colors by Painting Cars
- StoryBots // COLORS
- Busy Beavers // Color Songs Collection, Volume 1
- Lotty Learns // Learn Colors with Flowers
- StoryBots // Counting to 10
- Lotty Learns // Counting Fruit 1-10
- Lotty Learns // Learn Numbers with Surprise Eggs
- Busy Beavers // Numbers Counting to 10 Collection
I love seeing what resources parents use to teach their kids new things. There’s so much out there. We don’t have an iPad but some of the apps I’ve seen people use are awesome – I’ve started a list already but would love to hear what resources/apps you loves for your kids.