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Does your 2yo know how to count, colours, shapes or the Alphabet?

(81 Posts)
Snowdropfairy Sat 05-Mar-11 13:02:52


Does anyone's 2 year old now how to count to 10, know the name of shapes, the Alphabet or the name of colours?

I have a 2.1 year old boy who has just learened to say a few words and a family support work has said i need to teach my child all the above now!

I didn't think a child could learn these till they were older confused

I guess i'm just worried that i have let my child run ferral instead of teaching him the above. He is my first so i have nothing to compear him with.

So is everyone else teaching their 2 year olds the above and if so how do you do it?

<Bad mother emoicon>

OP’s posts: |
PandaNot Sat 05-Mar-11 13:06:30

Both my dc could count, knew shapes and the names of colours when they were 2 BUT I also know plenty of children who couldn't and now that they're older it hasn't made much difference to them at school! My dc seemed to pick these things up without really being taught them though IYSWIM, I wasn't sitting them down and giving them lessons!

You're not a bad mother at all, your ds seems perfectly normal and I would try not to worry too much.

ShowOfHands Sat 05-Mar-11 13:09:48

I know at the 2yr check they asked about colours and shapes (ie can you find the yellow triangle) and on average a 2yr old will know some colours and shapes but not sure about the other stuff. Most children will pick it up without active teaching. Throughout the day perhaps just start pointing things out that are certain colours, count things like stairs and socks and shoes and grapes and lamposts etc. At that age they only learn them by rote anyway, it's not meaningful so even if he could count to 20 say, it would just be a party trick really. There's so much time and a vast spectrum of normal.

DD did know her alphabet and colours/shapes etc at that age and had done for a while but knowing other children I think largely it's personality. DD liked reciting things to amuse people. My niece for example prefers to find the most ingenious way to climb the curtains any 2yr old has ever managed (REALLY impressive).

winnybella Sat 05-Mar-11 13:14:10

No, don't worry.

DD just turned 2 and I didn't bother yet with teaching her the alphabet hmm. We all read a lot in this house, and she likes looking at books, so I think it will just progree naturally, iyswim. DS didn't know letters at 2, but by 3 and a half has taught himself to read fluently.

She can counts to 5 in Polish and English. After 5 it goes: seven, ten...

She knows her colours and shapes- but that's just because when we play with play doh I told her which colour is which and when she played with her shape sorter, I did the same thing wit the shapes.

I wouldn't stress, though, because by the time they are 6 or 7 they all will know all this. It doesn't really matter whether they pick it up at 2 or 3 or 4.

BertieBotts Sat 05-Mar-11 13:18:36

At 2.1 no they don't need to be taught any of that! They will pick most of it up over the next year or 2 anyway IME.

DS is 2.5 and knows numbers up to 12, colours, shapes. He can recognise one letter which is the first letter of his name but I think that's unusual.

lostinwales Sat 05-Mar-11 13:19:05

It does not matter a jot, DS1 could, turns out he's ASD (NOT to suggest children who can at this age ARE on the spectrum, it just explains alot about him to me)

DS2 could barely talk at 2 and now he's nearly 9 is top in the class at everything.

DS3 I can't even remember because by this point I was past caring as they seem to turn out ok whatever I do

Snowdropfairy Sat 05-Mar-11 13:23:05

I think my son is more like your Niece smile

He can ride a pedal bike, he can rollerskate, he is really good at kicking a football and throwing and catching, he can open doors and know where to put the key grin

He can keep the cars on the track of his first scalextric, he can hover, put clothes in washing machine, he knows to clean spills on the floor with kitchen roll, he can get himself dressed and put his wellies on and he can swim with arm bands on.

But he can't talk that well on has a few words but he understands everything i say to him and can follow instrutions when he wants too. I'm dyslexic so he might be and this is why i think he is slow talking.

I just didn't think i should be using flash cards and giving him lessons at 2 years old hmm

OP’s posts: |
BornToFolk Sat 05-Mar-11 13:25:44

DS is 3. At 2, he did now colours and shapes. I'm not sure when exactly he picked it up but they are fairly easy to work into everyday conversation "do you want your blue jumper today?", "would you like your toast in squares or triangles" etc.

We talk about numbers in the same sort of way, and also have a few books based on counting.

Letters take a bit more active "teaching". DS has always been more interested in writing than in drawing though, and he likes it when I write out words and tell him what the letters are. Eventually, he could tell me what the letters are and he likes sounding them out now too (eg mmmmm for M) There are squillions of interactive electronic toys to "teach" letters so I suppose it depends on your level of tolerance for that kind of thing! Another thing we've done with letters is make a scrap book. Each page has a letter on it and we cut letters out of magazines etc and stick them on the right page. DS can also write a few letters and can trace them if I do dotted lines. But this has been a fairly recent thing, he couldn't do it at 2.

Probably the best thing you can do now is read lots of books. He'll pick up loads of information from books without actually needing to be taught anything actively.

mercibucket Sat 05-Mar-11 13:26:00

what's important is to talk/interact/read to/play with your children (ahem sometimes I forget that and spend too long on mumsnet grin)
what isn't important is teaching them the alphabet/colours/numbers - they pick that up anyway from songs (1,2,3,4,5 once I caught a fish alive) books with pictures and rhymes(baa baa black sheep) and mostly in our case from cbeebies smile
mine are now doing v well at school but were v different as toddlers. ds1 didn't talk at all til 2.5, didn't know how to write his name when he started reception, got some of his colours confused etc. ds2 taught himself to count when he was just 2, seemed to know all his colours, alphabet etc by 3. They now do equally well at school - there's no difference between the 'early' and 'late' developer.
for me - it's reading that is the key to learning - so get out the picture books and take it from there

differentnameforthis Sat 05-Mar-11 13:26:57

My dd knows red, blue & yellow. She counts to 4.

That's it.

She has a lot of other skills, so I don't think I need to worry about other things, tbh. It all comes in time & to my mind, these toddler years are about investigating, playing etc. If they learn some colours, numbers, etc fine! Bonus. If they don't...oh well. There are plenty of years for that!

ShowOfHands Sat 05-Mar-11 13:28:18

All sounds good. They ask about that too at the 2yr check. Are they dressing themselves, trying to brush their own teeth, playing role play type stuff etc. They also ask them to build a tower of bricks iirc and check how they respond to instructions.

DD was a brilliant help round the house at that age. She insisted on her own washing line and pegs! Oh and careful with the keys. At 19 months dd locked me out of the house when I went to put the recycling out. grin

All the other stuff will come in time but having a sociable little boy who is learning his way in the world is just fine for now.

mercibucket Sat 05-Mar-11 13:28:50

top tip from a parenting course I once did ...
don't continually test them eg if they are playing with lego, don't ask 'show me the red brick' 'what colour is that one?'
it is massively annoying
try it yourself and see - get someone else to ask you endless irritating questions while you're trying to do some diy for example

instead - do a running commentary. 'oh, you're putting the blue brick on the yellow one' 'now you're putting them next to the red one' 'oh I see - you've made a car' etc

Olessaty Sat 05-Mar-11 13:32:13

My DD is 2 and 3/4 and she cannot do all of those things. She is particularly strong in naming colours because she likes to draw (can do black, white, red, yellow, blue, green, pink, brown etc), but she can't count up to ten (she mixes numbers up, so one, two, three, seven, eleven etc) and she only recognises triangles and stars as shapes. She doesn't know any letters at all, we don't really do that yet as I feel she's quite young and we'll get going when she starts nursery. I'd have said she was quite a bright child, so I'd imaging being able to do all these things is something only very few this age can do, and that you're being asked to encourage development, rather than expected to teach your child all these things.

ShowOfHands Sat 05-Mar-11 13:32:19

What mercibucket says is very true. You probably find that you do it anyway. From being a newborn. Oh look you've found your feet, yes they do taste nice don't they, yummy, and you can wiggle your toes, you're learning to run already aren't you blah blah.

Or am I the only Mum that blethered on endlessly. It was the silence. And the long days. They needed filling.

Susiewho Sat 05-Mar-11 13:39:43

Yes, DD is now 2 years, 8 months. She could count to ten and read the numbers before she was 2 (can't remember the exact age). She can count and read numbers until she gets bored now (and I'm bored of listening, especially on car journeys, counting lamp posts - ugh!)

I remember a birthday party when she was about 18 - 19 months, where there were lots of different coloured balloons, and she could identify the colours. Again, I'm not sure of the exact age when she started naming the colours though.

Shapes, yes she knows the basic ones. I think she's known them for a fair few months. She likes to draw them.

I think around her second birthday she started to recognise letters and can now read basic, three-letter words. I don't think she could put letters in alphabetical order though. She loves to read and is very keen on letters generally.

To be honest though (and no, I'm not a smug mum at all, I promise) DD does seem a bit ahead of a lot of her peers AT THE MOMENT - could all change at any time, of course! So, if your DC isn't at the same stage as some of the others, I don't think it's anything to be concerned about.

winnybella Sat 05-Mar-11 13:41:40

blush at typos and grammatical errors in my previous post

Are 2 yo supposed to dress themselves? shock
DD can put her wellies on, and pull the socks/gloves/hat off and take jacket off with a bit of help. I can't see her putting her trousers on hmm

Susiewho Sat 05-Mar-11 13:43:53

winnybella, is your DD toilet-training? I found that when DD was she liked to pull her knickers and trousers down then, and that kind of encouraged her to do it independently.

She can't do tights though!

BertieBotts Sat 05-Mar-11 13:45:24

He can ride a bike and get himself dressed at 2.1?? See that sounds far ahead physically of where my DS is. t 2.5 he can take off some of his clothes and help put some of them on. He can barely ride a trike let alone a balance bike. And he's terrified of water!

They all do things at different rates, they catch up in the end, or maybe not, but even then, we all have different strengths. I'm hopelessly un-co-ordinated and can't remember things but I'm good at maths and can talk for England. So I'm not surprised DS is a chatterbox who is obsessed with numbers really...

Indith Sat 05-Mar-11 13:48:03

Dd was 2 at Christmas, she recognises some letters, can count reliably to 10 and to 20 with a bit of wobbling and muddling, she knows a few shapes and most colours. She sings songs and "reads" her books word perfect. Her 4 year old brother could say about 5 words age 2 grin. It all comes at some point just from general chit chat "oh look at the brown dog!" "Do you want the green cup or the red one?" and so on.

FreudianSlippery Sat 05-Mar-11 13:51:06

My DD could do all those before turning 2. But my DS is 18 months and is barely talking at all (mostly screeching and pointing, with some signs) - so there's no way he'll be at that level by 2. Swings and roundabouts and all that, don't worry!

winnybella Sat 05-Mar-11 13:52:33

Ah, no. She hates her potty and will not be persuaded to sit on it. I'm about to buy a toddler toilet seat and see how it goes.

As bertie says, your DS can do lots of things that other 2yo can't. I think it's great that he's so autonomous and helpful etc.

WidowWadman Sat 05-Mar-11 13:54:24

daughter is 26 month, can count relatively reliable to 5 in both languages, but gets mixed up higher up, knows colours, knows some letters,and can recognise names on namecards in circletime at nursery.

I guess it all depends how much time you spend looking at numbers, letters, colours etc with them. The name card thing she started a couple of months ago, no idea how, but we assume that she looks at the shapes of the names (no pictures on there to help)

I think it's not worrisome if your child can't do it if it has never been practised with him. Nor do I think there is a need to formally teach things, for us we just talk about colours or count together when we look at a book together.

The only thing we're quite anal about is, is reinforcing both languages "mummy calls this ... and daddy says...)

winnybella Sat 05-Mar-11 14:01:13

Oh, God WidowWadman- yes, it's "what does daddy call it" etc non-stop here. And we are a trilingual family. Argh.

Snowdropfairy Sat 05-Mar-11 14:39:29

I'm Wlesh and Huddy is english and the HV told me to only use english until he is 4 or 5 so i dont confuse him. So my son does not know any wlesh yet but he can't even put more that two words together in English normaly its "more pop" grin

We do read alot with him. We have books were he can get them and always read them when he picks one up and every night before bed. We have joined the local library as well as going to the imagenation library workshop at nursary. We go to tumbletots, play group and he does two afternoons at nursary.

We did a chatterbox course in October and his talking has come on a bit from that. But i just dont know how to teach him how to count or shapes if he can't talk?

I think he knows some colours, he can fetch shapes for his shape sorter but can't say them or gets them mixed up a lot of the time.

Also he can not put his socks on yet and sometimes needs a hand getting jeans over his nappy but tops and coats hats he is good at.

He is very good with building towers and could do that at 16 months old.

OP’s posts: |
winnybella Sat 05-Mar-11 14:42:57

I think you just need to concentrate on identifying any possible speech problems (not that there any necessarily, of course).

Whether he knows his square from his triangle now or at 3 will not make any difference to how well he'll do at school.

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