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Please help me through the quagmire of educational toys for 3yos...

(16 Posts)
EugenesAxe Thu 11-Oct-12 22:20:33

My DS will be 2.10 at Christmas; I think he'd enjoy some kind of 'computer'. Preferably, I would like something that teaches phonics well, the basics of the alphabet, numbers and colours.

He's got colours fairly well, all of a sudden, but they could be strengthened. He cannot recognise letters (except the ones in his name... when he 'reads' he says the letters of his name and then 'sheep' or whatever it is we're looking at). He can barely recognise numbers and hasn't mastered 11-20.

The general consensus I get from online reviews is that Leapfrogs are boring and small, but durable, and VTech are broader scope but break quickly. Arrrgh! Is there any kind of electronic learning device your child LOVES that does some or all of the above? Letters and phonics most important to me I think.

Thanks very much. I'll probably be back for opinions on some other toy soon...

OpheliaBumps Thu 11-Oct-12 22:41:30

My twins (3.2) use my ipad under my supervision, it's the best value option as the apps are so cheap.

Don't worry about not knowing his letters or numbers past 10, these will come. I found my two really developed quockly after they turned 3. Letters still aren't great, but their counting is much better, and ds was really poor with colours till he turned 3.

Fuchzia Thu 11-Oct-12 22:46:10

Bump. Id like to know this. Are there any apps you'd reccomended for the iPad Opheila?

AuntieShirley Thu 11-Oct-12 22:50:19

Why don't you just get him some books?
He doesn't need a computer thingy to learn numbers/letters/colours. Just read books and point stuff out to him surely?
Don't worry that he doesn't all his letters/numbers yet. He isn't 3 yet, and this stuff comes pretty quickly at 3/4 years old. Just keep on getting him to enjoy books and it will come naturally.

AuntieShirley Thu 11-Oct-12 22:53:34

Sorry - I just realised I sound like a right smart arse!I didn't mean to be. I more meant relax about the letters thing and enjoy some books, because electronic devices are not necessary to learning (at this stage anyway!)

QueenBeebread Thu 11-Oct-12 22:56:34

DS is 2.10 at the moment and enjoys his Vtech bus. It does all the phonics and alphabet (plus 26 tunes thrown in for each letter when it's set to music mode]] and DS likes it because he can ride on it.

He's not really that into phonics; the only time he pays attention is when I get him to spell out ROBOT on youtube so that he can watch robot videos hmm.

bacon Thu 11-Oct-12 23:06:31

Second the VTech bus! It was DS1 but its built to last. Honestly I wouldnt worry to much I dont think they learn at this age and phonics absolutely not and hope you are having a laugh at recognising letters!!! I would rather buy building blocks and concentrate on basic toys.

I wouldnt worry about electronic toys at this age, I think its sad surely they would rather have blocks and simple toys. Both my boys are 3 & 6 and wont be having electronic toys for a while yet.

Electonic toys are best kept to older children once they have mastered the basics and whatever age is on the box you can add 2 years to it. We use the VTech bus for DS1 now who is year 2 (6-7). Not sure what phycologists think about toddlers having their brains confused with flashing screens.

He wont concentrate either. You'll end up buying stuff they wont be interested in playing with. I love the megablocks in the cart and little tikes for this age.

AuntieShirley Thu 11-Oct-12 23:12:28

Yes, yes bacon I think they learn far more from simple toys, crafts and books at this age.

MySecretSelf Thu 11-Oct-12 23:20:06

DS got really interested in letters around the age of 3 so we bought some jolly phonics workbooks for him. He loves using them. Computer wise, he likes playing alphablocks games on the cbeebies website and has absorbed loads from that.

MySecretSelf Thu 11-Oct-12 23:22:20

Oh, and it might reassure you to know that DS who's now 4, along with other friends the same age still haven't quite mastered 11-20.

EugenesAxe Fri 12-Oct-12 07:31:20

Sorry if I sounded neurotic about the learning thing - I'm not concerned about his development. To answer a few things:

He loves books! We have lots and I read with him regularly. TBH I am investigating this as I need 'big' present ideas mainly for PIL... sigh.

He already enjoys games on cBeebies website on our computer, and has some apps on my iPhone (My Very First App, Elmo's MM, Peekaboo Barn are most popular. Oh and that annoying Tom Cat thing!). He probably plays too much with electronic shite really.

Really not having a contest, but for the record at 2.9 my friend's DD could say all the letters and numbers when they were held up for her to identify.

He often gravitates towards toys like this whe

EugenesAxe Fri 12-Oct-12 07:34:57

Arrgh! ...when at other people's houses, so I thought he'd like his own. I will look at the phonics bus but yes, perhaps I should revert to more imaginary play things, and Lego etc, at this age. I need about 3-4 big presents to cover birthday and Christmas and was just brainstorming last night on what we could go for...

MySecretSelf Fri 12-Oct-12 07:40:13

DS first got some playmobil when he turned 3 - he really enjoys playing with that. Lots of different sets etc.

Does he have an easel with a magnetic board? We've got some magnetic letters that DS enjoys using to spell out his name.

AuntieShirley Fri 12-Oct-12 09:29:33

Magnetic letters are a great idea. Also ds had a floor puzzle (ELC I think) with the alphabet and he loved doing that.
I would say one of the biggest things that helped my dc learn letters/spelling was old Sesame Street DVD's (you can get them at the kind of crazy comic book kind of shops or online). I mostly got them for me as I loved (and still do!) Sesame Street (all the cool jazz whilst a little kid tells you about his Dads job as a postman - amazing!). The dc loved them! Maybe a Sesame Street boxset could be a biggish pressie?

EugenesAxe Fri 12-Oct-12 14:32:12

OMG - Sesame Street is a fantastic idea. I have already initiated him (via YouTube) to the 1-12 pinball... I will look into it. Personally I always loved the 'noo noo noo' typewriter, of whom I have a vague recollection used to type about 15 times and then say something like 'CAR!'...

Playmobil is already earmarked as a big present. He also liked the look of this bleeding expensive rocket thing in a brochure. I think you are right - lets go back to the roots of play. Which include TV and Sesame Street hmm. That's directed at myself BTW! He does have an easel and letters... bought last birthday so I think I need to rediscover it.

MySecretSelf Fri 12-Oct-12 15:02:17

Other options for imaginative play are play shops/post office/till. Lots of options on that front from gltc/amazon.

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