Anyone else get frustrated when you're trying to teach a 3 year old something?

(20 Posts)
Blackvarnish Fri 28-Mar-14 08:36:38

Yes I get it, he's 3 however when I try and do anything with him, he has no attention span and isn't interested. I've tried getting involved with what he's playing with and try to incorporate something educational. He's is really good with numbers and number recognition so it was suggested to try and teach him very basic adding, just starts dancing, singing a song etc. I know people will say he doesn't need to know this yet, don't push him ( I'm really not ) however I don't want him just doing nothing at home resorting to iPad or tv. Any ideas welcomed? He's not a preschool yet so it's just me and him at home and I just want to try and help him learn but feel like I'm never doing enough

odyssey2001 Fri 28-Mar-14 08:39:47

My suggestion is to back off and let him be a little kid. He has years ahead of him being taught stuff he both needs to know and doesn't need to know. Adding is useful but not if he isn't ready or interested.

noblegiraffe Fri 28-Mar-14 08:41:21

He doesn't want to do it, not interested, so why push it? Singing and dancing is good, if he likes that then extend his musical interests. Play instruments, do actions.

ChristineDaae Fri 28-Mar-14 08:44:50

If you really want to teach him things and he enjoys music, make them into little songs. My 3yo is doing phonics in school and keeps coming home with new songs depending on the letter they are doing this week. That said, she is good at numbers and counting but I think mental adding up is a bit advanced. I'd do it with blocks/cars whatever he has.

3littlefrogs Fri 28-Mar-14 08:44:57

He is only 3.
He won't resort to iPad or TV unless you facilitate it.
Just enjoy playing with him.
Take him out as much as possible. He will learn so much just by running around in the park.
If you are stuck indoors read stories, do puzzles, build dens, draw, do sticking. It should be fun, not a chore.

snickers251 Fri 28-Mar-14 08:47:16

Agree with noble, musical instruments sound like a great idea

Do what they enjoy

My 3yo ds interested with numbers but looses interest within seconds if I try encourage learning the alphabet

AFishCalledBarry Fri 28-Mar-14 08:49:47

If he's not yet at pre-school then who made that suggestion? I agree with others who say back off. Children are total sponges and they will learn. Let him play and play with him. Please don't push him to do something he's clearly not ready for.

MiaowTheCat Fri 28-Mar-14 08:50:13

If you're talking about adding - do it in terms of just combining two sets and naturally as you're doing stuff... so things like oh we've got two red dinosaurs and three blue ones - let's count them altogether and see how many dinos we've got. Not in terms of things like formal "adds" at all yet... or three steps and one step more - things like that.

You're never going to have success sitting down with a 3 year old and trying to force it.

Blackvarnish Fri 28-Mar-14 09:14:39

Thanks everyone. Will back off with thinking of it as adding and just do in in conversation or as it arises. I think I just worry I'm not doing enough, I'm sure we all feel like that sometimes. We do lots of puzzles, read through books, loves his train set and kitchen and we always talk through that etc, he's just got interested in crafts so we've been making Easter cards, I just need to try a different approach. Thanks once again

PlumpPartridge Fri 28-Mar-14 09:18:49

I get really frustrated with mine (same age) because he is so bloody contrary. If I try to play a game with him (any sort of game - playdoh, puzzles, reading, drawing, running about etc) he deliberately runs off because he simply will not do anything I seem keen on. Yet if I give up, he won't stop getting in my face with whatever I have tried to do next.

DS2 is not like this at all sad

Suggestions please?!

cashmiriana Fri 28-Mar-14 18:08:11

Adding for Nursery age children is just an extension of counting.

The important skill is to be able to count objects accurately, 1:1 - not just say numbers in order (which is the first skill needed but it's not counting!)

Do that with everything naturally in conversation - we need 3 cups on the table, can you get me 4 teddies etc. Then introduce the concept of one more. I had 4 teddies, let's get one more, how many now?

Tell number stories with farm animals, cars etc. There were two cars and 2 cars drove into the garage, how many are there now?

Then do the same with one less.

That's all that addition and subtraction is in the early years! In Nursery and Reception maths is taught through games and activities that the children would access naturally, often (or it should be) using their interests as a starting point.

Anything more isn't going to work with little ones!

TheGreatHunt Fri 28-Mar-14 18:10:00

He's 3.

Try again when he's older.

Collection Fri 28-Mar-14 18:19:32

I agree you don't want him spending all day on the ipad etc but you can let him dance and sing to his heart's content. IMO far better for his development than early addition skills which they all get in the end anyway.

No harm letting him be "bored" sometimes either. They don't stay bored for long and he will learn loads by investigating and having to find things to do himself.

Theyaremysunshine Fri 28-Mar-14 20:19:56

Agree with backing off. You have to be a bit more devious about teaching small boys!

Have you looked at the Orchard toy games? Brilliant for learning numbers, shapes, colours, basic adding etc. All good fun too. DS is nearly 4 and his favourites are run,run as fast as you can and spooky steps.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 28-Mar-14 20:30:15

Doesn't he amuse himself ever? Surely at this age you just let them play and follow their own thoughts and ideas?

Singing and dancing and playing with trains sounds perfect.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Fri 28-Mar-14 20:36:50

Is go paying in the park - develop gross and fine motor skills as these will be useful for fitness and writing later on.

In reception they will start to add together..
Honestly the time will be gone in a flash, just enjoy doing the things you enjoy doing together.

GiveTwoSheets Fri 28-Mar-14 21:06:44

I don't intentionally set out to teach my child colours numbers etc otherwise i would get frustrated and bored myself it sort of happens like this....

Me: You have drawn on how many walls
Child: counts the pictures
Me: what colour is this
Child: blue, green all the colours that stain
Me: now go find your sisters pink toothbrush so I can scrub walls
Child: brings back my purple toothbrush
Me: that's mummy's purple toothbrush can you find pink one
Child: hands pink toothbrush
Me: well done you found it, how many pictures have we cleaned
Child: counts
Me: how many fecking drawing left
Child: counts

Another example
2 chocolates for mummy, 1chocolate for child, child starts to tell me that its not fair, smart arse child has worked out this isn't adding up equal!

halfdrunktea Sat 29-Mar-14 21:32:40

I get frustrated when trying to teach DS, who's three, letters or numbers, but he's not very interested. My mum says that I was reading before four, whereas my sister didn't read until she went to school, but she was certainly no slouch in the academic department. Three is only very little and there will be plenty of time for formal learning later. I try and incorporate things in daily life, for example asking "How many ducks can you see?" if we're at the park.

He tends to get distracted and throw things around if we try and do anything formal-ish at home, plus his baby sister also walks all over things.

My son loves the letter Y for some reason and often points it out when we're out and about.

Apparently DH got very good at subtracting by eating Smarties but that hasn't worked with DS yet!

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Sat 29-Mar-14 21:34:05

Those of you getting frustrated with 3 year olds for not being interested in learning numbers and letters...?!!?

Why?!?

Just incorperate the language into everyday conversations and let them be children.

HolgerDanske Thu 03-Apr-14 07:55:51

Instead of focusing on addition (which he does not need to learn yet if he's not interested and leading it himself) just get some books or do some online reading on fostering creativity and a general understanding of how things work in the world around him. Much more important for a child of his age than trying to get him to understand sums.

Books and puzzles are particularly good as is anything that he can put take apart and put back together. Play shop - give him one of those play tills and a selection of empty boxes from your groceries, playing with that is just as useful as sitting him down and trying to make him want to 'do addition'. Wooden building blocks (as big a set as you can afford) is one of the best things you can give him. Focus on toys that will foster imaginative play rather than those that only have one prescriptive use. A sandbox is great too. Basically anything that lets him use his hands and brain to make connections. Drawing and painting, baking, play dough, etc. running around outside. Looking for bugs. Learning about the world.

Talk to him as much as you can read to him as much as you can. That's all he needs right now.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now