How much active 'Educational' stuff are you doing with your toddlers?

(12 Posts)
sebsmummy1 Sat 11-Jan-14 13:43:37

By that I mean not just encouraging them to socialise and look at books/play with toys, but actively try and encourage them to learn stuff?

I honestly don't know what I should be trying to do and as a SAHM currently I feel I should be spending my time doing more than just ensuring he is safe and fed.

We have recently moved and have just started him at a local playgroup that has a pre school progression at the age of 2 (he is now 14 months). We are also doing stuff like soft play. We were baby swimming but I haven't organised this yet in our new county. I don't have many pals with children here so can't say I'm doing lots of mummy meets or anything.

Otherwise he has lots of toys. I bought a Leapfrog phonics letter thing for him for Christmas and we play with letters, the alphabet. I've also got flash cards that I hold up whilst pressing the letters, we might do three a day as I don't want to harass him.

Is this enough or should I be doing more? I can't say he seems hugely interested in anything bar destruction lol, which I don't mind, as long as that enough stimulation

Toecheese Sat 11-Jan-14 15:36:40

I would keep a toddler away from formal letter learning and leap pads. Avoid going down the electric computerised route and concentrate on chatting, reading to DS and creative play.

staverton Sat 11-Jan-14 15:45:45

Yes at this age just play play play
Letters - wait until 3 and half at least and even then not in a formal way
There is a good book by usborne educating and entertaining your preschool child
Stay away from computers- they have adverse effects in behaviour and concentration IMO
Get out to some local toddler groups and meet some other mums

insancerre Sat 11-Jan-14 15:46:06

You really don't need flashcards or electronic devices. I am a childcare professional with a degree in childhood studies, working in a nursery as an early years professional, and my advice would be to just play with your son.
Teach him songs and rhymes, read him stories and enjoy books together.
Do some baking together, play with playdough, paint with your hands and feet, play with bubbles and water and sand.
Give him cardboard boxes, old christmas cards even shredded paper.
Go out every day and explore the natural world, jump in puddles and feed the ducks in the pond.
Play with him and he will learn.

MiaowTheCat Sat 11-Jan-14 15:50:06

If we're putting stuff out or away I'll count it, if she asks me "whatsis" I'll tell her what an object's called, if she points to a letter I'll tell her the sound it makes... that's about it. Other than that the biggest thing you can do (I used to teach Early Years) is just to talk to them - so they have that knowledge of good, well structured language and vocabulary to draw upon later on when they're getting up to nearer school age.

I'm very much more of the view of giving them time to be little children and enjoy that, and just going with what they're interested in - DD1 happens to be really really keen on books and numbers (she would sit and look at books for hours and hours even as young as 9-10 months) so I've only gone along with that - if she wasn't - I wouldn't be. As an example of this - she's currently nicked a book of logic problems off her dad's desk and is stood "reading" them to the world's most stupid dog.

ReticulatingSplines Sat 11-Jan-14 15:50:17

He's only 14mo? At that stage we were doing nothing. He had a brief interest in colours at 18mo so I taught them then. Now he's 2.5 we talk about letters fairly regularly. If he's showing an interest in something we talk about it.

sebsmummy1 Sat 11-Jan-14 16:07:41

Thank you, makes me feel much better about it.

He isn't saying any words bar mama yet, and I don't really think he understands that word refers to me. He just says ma ma, ra ra kind of thing. Maybe because I meet under children of the same age that are saying words I'm thinking not doing enough.

I try and encourage creative play using stuff around the house. He has play dough at play group and he wasn't interested. Preferred to play with the cars and left me cutting out pretty patterns and rolling it lol on my own.

MiaowTheCat Sat 11-Jan-14 21:17:51

Wouldn't worry about it - DD1 was a right chatterbox... couldn't roll over and crawl till she was nearly a year, was the last kid I know of to learn to walk - but she could bloody hold court and command you to do her bidding (god help me when she's a teen). Kids do different things at different rates and I tend to find with mine they'll go through a motor skills explosion, followed by a communication explosion in fits and starts.

If you believe what some people say - they're writing Shakespearian sonnets out of playdough from morning till night... they're not - they have the same spurts of doing something and then going making a cuppa for a bit of quiet time we all do.

bella411 Sat 11-Jan-14 21:18:45

As insancerre said learning is play based when they areso young. Think it's important to talk as you do stuff (not saying you don't ) and through this talk numbers and colours etc are dropped into the conversation, not so much they said to be learnt just more they are said. When putting dd in high chair, coat on I say 1 arm, 2 arm etc.

Songs, picture books and rhymes are all good too.

I'm also an advocate of learning from the environment and what they see outdoors.

my2bundles Sat 11-Jan-14 21:48:07

To put this into persepective, 4 and 5 year olds spend their reception year learning letter sounds, you dont need to start with little babies. let your baby be a baby, play chase, sing songs, swimming but you really dont need a group, build up blocks etc. Let a baby be a baby.

DIYandEatCake Sat 11-Jan-14 22:58:38

My dd's always learned most from being out and about - sometimes I do things to give her new experiences and me a bit of a change, like a bus or train trip for the sake of it, going to watch diggers on a building site, etc. the weekly supermarket shop is a good one for learning things too - like I can ask her to put say 4 onions in a bag now and she can do it by herself (she's 2.10). I think they only learn things if they want to, and your ds is very little still. At that age dd loved those books with photos of everyday objects, they helped with her first words.

sebsmummy1 Sat 11-Jan-14 23:03:35

He loves flap books and will spend ages looking through them and ripping the flaps out!!! Same with musical books where he can press buttons. He also really likes taking things out and putting things back. It's very cute.

Thanks for everyone opinions, I appreciate it.

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