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Best educational/stretching activities for just 3yo DD?

(17 Posts)
titferbrains Wed 24-Aug-11 19:14:08

Following on from my grumpy "dd doesn't need sleep" thread, I am wondering if ~I can use evenings to help her learn something instead. Not just reading/listening to story tapes, but something that is a bit mentally stretching. What sort of things are suitable for an almost 3yo? Should I get some word/picture flashcards or attempt to teach her phonetic sounds for letters so she can start stringing words together? She has never been into puzzles but are there particular ones I can do with her to encourage better concentration?

This is my positive "if you can't beat 'em, you might as well join 'em!" attitude btw <twirls> - you like? grin

madwomanintheattic Wed 24-Aug-11 19:17:14

um, it might backfire? more stimulation might be the very last thing she needs lol!

didn't see the other thread though, and sometimes you do just have to run with it if nothing else is working. dd2 was reading at that point, so just reading with her was good. we didn't do teaching reading really.

didn't see the other thread, but were epsom salts mentioned? a few folk have been having success recently i think.

titferbrains Wed 24-Aug-11 19:22:06

no it was me ranting like a loon title "go the fuck to sleep". Really if she is running about or lying in bed concocting excuses to come down and bug me, then let's put that energy to use!Just trying to think of things I can sit down and do with her. Can do them earlier in the day, perhaps mental stimulation is what she needs. She definitely likes getting things right and getting better at things but then again I thought all kids were like that until a bit older.

Am really looking for activities and will decide when we can do them depending on her mood.

madwomanintheattic Wed 24-Aug-11 19:38:21

buy a trampoline. wink

<bet someone said that already...>

titferbrains Wed 24-Aug-11 19:47:34

am going to order one tonight! do you think it would be crazy to order what is essentially an outdoor one like this if it's for our decked garden or for use in tv room? I was going to buy an indoor one with the little handle bar on it but the bigger one looks more fun and better value. Poster who recommended it hadn't had accidents but had used it on lawn I think.

madwomanintheattic Wed 24-Aug-11 19:53:24

god, don't buy a teeny one with a handle. get the biggest one you can fit inot whatever space you've got. the handle ones get grown out of so fast (or they do roly polys round the handle)

no expericne of using one on a deck... would it be possible to fix it down using the wooden slats? as long as it can't move or slide around it should be ok i would think.

trampolines are a godsend for busy kids.

madwomanintheattic Wed 24-Aug-11 19:55:13

<i did see the 'go the fuck to sleep' title lol. if it helps, dd2 was up having a bath at midnight as she developed some sort of scratchy hivey rash thing and couldn't sleep. we had 6mos of night terrors with her when she was 2, so i share your pain. clever busy kids do seem to be the worst blinking sleepers.>

madwomanintheattic Wed 24-Aug-11 19:55:58

check head clearance in tv room too. wouldn't want overly bouncy kids to end up in a&e with head injury.... <peers at dd2>

titferbrains Wed 24-Aug-11 20:44:48

cheers, will go ahead with this one and can drag into park across road if need be, but ceiling is pretty high in tv room.

Primafacie Wed 24-Aug-11 21:04:11

Do you have an iPhone or iPad? There are lots of good toddlers apps. We have tried the following: Peppa Pig's Party (currently on sale, DD 2.5 likes it) VH Caterpillar (sweet), Monkey lunchbox (costs pennies, DD likes this a lot), Shape-O, Talking Tom (silly), Toy Story (free, good), Cut the Rope (addictive). Am not doing phonics yet but I am sure there must be some too.

titferbrains Wed 24-Aug-11 21:13:58

yes have ipad, it's practically dd's she absolutely loves it.

will look at the apps you mention.

Only want to do phonics if it's worth doing ie. if they would retain/use the info at this age. Have no idea and no desire to make work for myself if it will fall out of her brain and teachers have to do it all again! But am seriously longing for her to be able to read just to get her out of my hair a bit.

BTW dd has started drawing faces. What is best to encourage her to draw next? More complex faces ie with ears, hair etc or shapes? every bit of paper she picks up is now covered with big scary eyes and wobbly smiles...

TheMitfordsMaid Wed 24-Aug-11 21:19:32

How about lots of long walks, or a balance bike? I find my pre-schoolers need exercising like dogs or we don't get them to sleep. My DS is 4 but we quite often cover around 2-3 miles on his bike while I jog. Good for me, too!

Personally, I wouldn't bother with phonics. I'd also worry about the trampoline you've posted; I'd worry about accidents without a net. Get the biggest you can, but definitely get one with a net. I throw my 4 and 2 year old out onto ours an watch themselves bounce until they drop.

tiggerandpoohtoo Wed 24-Aug-11 21:28:09

I saw today an 8ft trampoline on sale in morrisons with net - £60. My in laws have just bought one for my DD and paid much more than this.

Iggly Wed 24-Aug-11 22:27:34

I second the suggestion of plenty of fresh air. We take DS around the park at every opportunity - if he has a day where he hasn't been out much, he's a Nightmare.

Tgger Wed 24-Aug-11 23:26:24

Yes, get her to walk everywhere and then some more ;-)). My nearly 3 year old DD is addicted to the trampoline and goes on it every day- luckily we have big garden. I wouldn't bother with phonics, leave that till nursery/reception.

Drawing is cool if they get into it, so is making (but more time consuming for parent, I have a mister maker on my hands, groan.....looking forward to him being more independent on that one..getting there now he's nearly 5...). Faces, stick people, houses..... DD hasn't got the drawing bug yet but DS draws every day and for ages smile.

titferbrains Wed 24-Aug-11 23:39:27

see my thread - DD is difficult at night regardless of how much exercise she's had seemingly. Or maybe it's just that I'm trying to live normally around the time that we go out - yes, if in theory she was out from after brekkie till suppertime, she'd probably sleep better, but we wdn't be able to get into the front door past the dirty dish/laundry mountain....

Hope that 2nd baby will make me a bit more organised about getting out of the house early but I have to say I find spending 2 hours at the playground pretty tedious. I try to manage 1 1/2 hrs on a good day. Our garden isn't big enough to exercise her, just small decked area. We do get out of house everyday.

TheMitfordsMaid Wed 24-Aug-11 23:55:33

Oh I agree about playgrounds! Seriously, the balance bike and trampoline combination has worked wonders for us. He is now on a pedal bike but can go for miles. When I'm at home with them they tend to bounce for around 2-3 hours a day (I kid you not) and we usually fit in a long walk or bike ride too.

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