Activities for an advanced child (if this is advanced, I've got no idea!)(28 Posts)
Please don't think I am here to boast. My DS is 2 and 3 months and I know that every parent thinks their child is clever but sometimes he freaks me out with the things he knows and I worry I will fail him by not really knowing where to go with it. I just wonder how I can keep helping him to develop, really. I'm scared that my lack of understanding of child development will cause his learning to slow down and I don't really know any other children so I have absolutely nothing to gauge it against. (Well, there are children at the play groups we go to of course, but from the time spent with them its not easy to tell.)
So far he :
* Knows all the basic colours
* Knows all the basic shapes
* Knows all the days of the week
* Knows his address
* Knows the names and ages of close and extended family members
* Can understand familial relationships (ie knows that his Nan is my mother and his uncle is my brother)
* Can identify all letters except Q which he thinks is O, and tell you a word beginning with each letter
* Can identify numbers up to 10, count to 20 and can tell you the amount of something you are holding (he counts by pointing)
* Knows what denomination of pound note you are holding
* Understands the concept of time, ie asks me what time it is, as 2pm is roughly nap time, 4pm is pick up daddy time, 10am is playgroup etc
* Can hold a full conversation
* Can sing Incy Wincy Spider/Baa Baa Black Sheep/Twinkle Twinkle/Happy Birthday/Candy by Robbie Williams
Yesterday he called his dad from my phone on his own (ie found his name in the address book and pressed call) and said "Hello Dad, its me!"
If this is normal, then great. If its advanced then what do I do? Should I be finding games to play to keep him interested or just continue as I am? I dont want to let him down.
When I say names and ages of close and extended family members, I mean he knows his grandparents and great grandparents real first names, not just calling them Nanny & Grandad! I realise most kids can do that one! Haha!
keep talking to him, keep reading to him. If you think he is probably exceptional cf. the other dc you see regularly, have a go posting on the Gifted & Talented forum.
I would say thats advanced for that age. There are flash cards and educational games in Mothercare you can get. There are blogs with information on activities too.
Just talk to him, lots. He's obviously interested in what is going on around him and he sounds like he'll do his own learning as he goes along.
I think children just learn things - quite naturally. They lead the way/direct the process. Perhaps story sessions at the local library, looking at picture books together, plenty of conversations and activities involving making things will all be appropriate.
Kids who are hothoused - put on some kind of advanced development programmes - sometimes/often dig in their heels later on.
I think even very bright kids basically need love and stimulus - as all children do.
That sounds pretty advanced to me! I don't have any advice but just wanted you to know you are not crazy.
Oh is there a forum for that! I didn't know, thank you. Thing is I don't really know if this is gifted and talented. And is it too soon to tell anyway? I'm wary of saying (to anyone in real life) that he's G&T because you hear it all the time and think "Yeah yeah, of course they are..."
just go and post on there and they will tell you if he sounds G & T or not. I think is he a lot more advanced than my dd was at that age but it is so long ago that I cannot remember it all very well now.
Keep talking, expanding his vocabulary, show him things, demonstrate, have him help. Exactly what you have already been doing. He is obviously an alert little boy.
Just to be clear, I am in no way intending to get the flashcards out and start putting up pictures of the periodic table on the wall! Haha! I just want something to keep him entertained that's a bit more interesting than puzzles and matching games.
Agree with those who've said support his curiosity - he's clearly avid to learn - but for well-rounded brain development it would probably help more to focus on the things that he doesn't do so well. How is he with puzzles, for example, and his gross motor skills?
Read with him, all the time. Take him to interesting places and discuss everything you see. Language is the way we all access the world and if you equip him with language, he can do everything else for himself. He sounds great!
I hate the term G&T. This might be because a bit like your child, I was very verbal and my mother - not wanting me to be bored - taught me to read early. However this meant that I got horrendously bored at primary school, because I already knew the stuff other kids knew. And they didn't like me. And my brother probably resented the fact that my parents were so proud of me for doing stuff early.
I think different children do develop differently anyway. My daughter didn't hit developmental milestones particularly early - but in adolescence has suddenly become quite ferociously clever in some specific ways.
It seems quite early days. I guess the main thing is just to keep offering encouragement/stimulus and not to neglect the ordinary social development. If your child seems to be well ahead by the time it comes to nursery school/reception etc then I imagine some conversations with the staff there are needed. (I imagine all that side of things is on the G&T forum)
How about a couple of mornings at pre-school? They'll do loads of different things with him.
Follow his interests, looking at the world through his eyes and thinking of things which he might enjoy exploring.
You don't need to buy special games and resources. His world is full of text, numbers and everything else he need to learn from. Give him lots of open ended resources, boxes, glue, masking tape, playdough, pens, chalks for walls or patio, water painting, den building, construction sets like lego basic - not kits with instructions to follow, look at books together and make up alternative stories, plan a fantasy trip, making tickets, menus, an itinerary with times, freeze objects in ice cubes and see how you can make the melt more quickly, plan a meal then shop and prepare it together, do lots of baking with him responsible for weighing measuring,..... the list is endless.
You are his most valuable resource. Be a learner alongside him, asking questions, making suggestions but letting him decide and lead what you explore together. Make him excited about learning because that will serve him 100 times better than being able to read or add up.
That's great, goldmanda, thank you! We do alot of imaginative play as frankly, I really enjoy it. And he always does the weighing for me when we bake (its his 'job') and we do nature collages and talk about the things we see in the street or woods when we walk, and play I spy or Shops where he is the shop keeper (everything costs £2000 and I don't get change!)
I think preschool might be a plan too.
You're doing a great job already then
Just remember that preschool will bring different skills. Independence, social skills, speaking up, managing his personal hygiene, etc which are all really important but the learning you are talking about could be better supported one to one with you following his own interests and not being bound by the routines and needs of others.
My 20 month old can do all of that, except that he only knows a few days of the week and it's never occurred to me to tell him our address! I think it's partly just that children who are more verbal earlier can express more of what they know, hard to know how it will work out later.
DH and I were both 'gifted' at school, so we're quite aware of all the pitfalls and problems. I take DS to physical toddler groups, as we want him to be able to enjoy sport and other children and we're aware of how easy it is to focus on 'cleverness'. His motor skills are way behind the other stuff. We do lots of cooking/drawing/play doh. He finds numbers on buses etc. to talk about, so I don't think we need to think about that stuff.
Do you speak any other languages? DS is bilingual, as we live abroad, and he really seems to enjoy being able to say words in two languages, so that might be something fun to do with your DS.
He is bilingual too but I was holding off speaking to him in Turkish at home completely until he is at school as I thought it may halt his reading skills (as we are in the UK he would learn in english). I have no idea if this is right though! See, I have no clue what I'm doing!!
Shamefully I have stopped mentioning bus numbers as he gets obsessed with them and I found it annoying to hear them repeated over and over! Oops!
I think Soloman is very correct that some children have great memories and are very verbal for their age, but that this doesn't mean they are particularly gifted or intelligent in a meaningful way. Development in the early years is a funny thing, and many children who "peak early" in one area are totally average by 5 or 10, and some who are very slow to walk or talk turn out to be genuinely exceptional later.
I guess what I'm saying is, enjoy your little boy and encourage his natural curiousity and desire to learn, but don't label him as clever or advanced and let that become part of his identity - it is often fleeting!
I love the selection of songs that he knows the words to Are there any toddler music classes you could take him to? Also, from listening to children's CDs in the car, my DS knows the words to probably every nursery rhyme going.
I never mention the bus numbers! I have no idea whether we're doing things right either. What I read seemed to suggest that the second language shouldn't confuse them. DS knows the alphabet makes different sounds in his second language and seems fine with it.
The second language won't confuse a child. In fact the research suggests that children who learn a second language at this age make connections in their brains which make it much easier for them to learn more languages later on. Those connections stick around so you're giving them a long term gift but it has to be done before they are about 10 or 11 I think.
Oh wow, really? I'll start doing more of that then! I suppose that's a very good simple way of encouraging his learning without being pushy. Perfect [Smile]
We did go to a music class locally but it was a bit heavy for smaller ones and I can (and do) the same at home with my old piano. I am on the look out for a good music class that's age appropriate! We have no cd player in the car. I am the cd player!
he can definitely cope with both languages now. In fact this is the most stress-free time in which a person can acquire two languages simultaneously. If he is already bilingual, maybe you just need to find some books to read to him in Turkish to balance it out. I presume ENglish is his stronger language at the moment.
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