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how to develop very bright toddler

(60 Posts)
Cornberry Tue 18-Apr-17 19:13:48

I know this is a controversial topic but my 20 month old is very bright and apparently advanced (what we keep being told as she is our first) and I just want to to know what to do to make sure she is getting the stimulation she needs to make the most of her ability. She attends a wonderful nursery where she receives a lot of attention and they target activities at her level, which is fantastic. I just want to know what you do with a gifted child. She can speak well already, count to ten, say the alphabet, understands most things, has a remarkable memory, picks things up very fast and startles us daily by using words we're sure she's only heard once. She started walking at about ten months and has always been big for her age. Today at nursery they said she was recognising names of animals on flash cards. Should I be doing something to help her?! I don't want to inflate her achievements and I wouldn't have thought much of it having no frame of reference, but the nursery stuff make such a fuss that I want to do right by her and help her potential to be realised. Thanks for advice!

Temporaryanonymity Tue 18-Apr-17 19:23:07

Just relax and enjoy your time together. Bake together, paint, look at the flowers. Read with her, get muddy, ramble through the Park. Just enjoy being together. Engage with her. Just let her play and entertain herself too.

My DS was like yours. At 10 he is still quite bright but nothing exceptional. Sometimes early developers get caught up. Most important to to just make sure she enjoys life and doesnt feel the pressure.

70ontheinside Tue 18-Apr-17 19:28:42

Read to her, talk to her, bake, draw, make stuff, sing, dance. Don't "teach" her anything in particular, just let her develop through play.

Teach her to be independent: get dressed, tidy up.

NeverTwerkNaked Tue 18-Apr-17 19:29:53

Just enjoy it. Don't push them, bright or not they still deserve a childhood! And remember to ensure they are a rounded person. My parents were so thrilled that I was very bright that they under estimated the importance of developing other skills (social/ sport /practical)

ElspethFlashman Tue 18-Apr-17 19:30:11

She's a baby. Ignore the over excitable nursery. All she wants to do is play. So play.

Girls often "get" language staggeringly early. I remember when my son went into nursery at 20 months (with one word) there was a little girl in his room called Rachel who was having entire conversations. I went home shocked.

But by 2.5 he had caught up and they were on a par. No difference between them after that really.

HomityBabbityPie Tue 18-Apr-17 19:31:20

Er you just raise her like you would any other kid?

HomityBabbityPie Tue 18-Apr-17 19:32:27

And what you've said doesn't sound hugely unusual for the age range. They all tend to level out by about three.

ImperialBlether Tue 18-Apr-17 19:33:52

I would encourage reading and stories and verbal play. I wouldn't let a child play games on an iPad or watch crap on television but good programmes and films (when she's older) are different. I'd try to encourage independent play, too, so that she's using her imagination a lot. Apart from that, I'd let her discover the world in her own time.

Primaryteach87 Tue 18-Apr-17 19:34:07

The biggest thing you can do is ensure emotionally she is developing well and relating well with her peers. From teaching reception sometimes v bright children tend to find it hard to meet friends as they lack social skills. Also, be aware that she will likely be 'caught up' by other children and don't base her self esteem on being 'cleverer' than others. I'm sure you wouldn't on purpose but make a point of praising her for trying at things she finds hard at, being kind etc

LiveLifeWithPassion Tue 18-Apr-17 19:34:31

I agree. Just stimulate her with every day stuff. Show her how to bake biscuits, cakes and bread.
Give her pens and paints.
Take her for walks and show her nature.
Share books.

monkeyfacegrace Tue 18-Apr-17 19:35:40

Even if you hadn't said it, I'd have asked whether this was your PFB.

REALLY, honestly, they all mostly even out.

My dd2, just 2, speaks in 10 word sentences and knows bloody everything.

My dd1,10 YEARS knows practically nothing grin

She's just a kid. That's all. Enjoy her and love her but she's very very normal.

NeverTwerkNaked Tue 18-Apr-17 19:38:30

And yes, DS was v similar at the same age. He's still top of the class now but not spectacularly ahead of his peers, but he is well rounded, happy and sociable and I am glad I let him have a lovely feral childhood rather than hot housing him

Dragongirl10 Tue 18-Apr-17 19:40:49

Totally agree with posters above........just spend lots of time with her talking , singing, making things, look at lots of books with pictures and a few words...

Also let her play alone for a while every day, independent play is very important, let her work things out or make things alone, then she can show you....


irvineoneohone Tue 18-Apr-17 19:49:43

Very sweet, but my ds was counting backwards from 1000 when he was 16 months old...

ImperialBlether Tue 18-Apr-17 20:07:06

But was he doing it in Latin, irvineoneohone?

3littlebadgers Tue 18-Apr-17 20:20:54

Your little girl sounds amazing, and she is very lucky to have a mum who cares enough to seek out what is best for her, but honestly what is best for her is just having your time and love.

I have 4 living dc's all completely different, all completely wonderful (to me). My first was early with everything, walked confidently at 9 months. Was speaking in sentences by 18 months. He is now 11 and although bright is far from being a genius.

My second walked at a year old. And couldn't talk coherently until he was close on 4. He can now multiply hundreds of thousands by hundreds of thousands as fast as any calculator. You would never guess if you met him on the street he just seems like any other child. To me that is the important thing. As long as they are loved and have plenty of time just to be little people everything else is just a bonus.

irvineoneohone Tue 18-Apr-17 20:29:06

Imperial, no, he wasn't.grin
He was/is very hyperlexic.

Atenco Tue 18-Apr-17 20:42:30

I love Mumsnet on this issue.

I'm trying to teach my normally intelligent 3-year-old dgd the names and other properties of plants, the trouble I need to study up myself grin

JustRichmal Wed 19-Apr-17 07:52:57

No matter what the genetic intelligence of the child, I would chose to educate as I do think education makes a difference to their academic ability. Just as long it is balanced with other activities: social, physical and imaginative play.

I used to make the learning into games, such as "Can you find the shape?" or "Close your eyes and see if you can guess how many counters I have taken." I did teach her to read by 2 or 3, but did not teach her the alphabet or just word recognition from flash cards. However, her nursery does seem to be making a good job of teaching her.
Dd is now in secondary and doing very well academically. I doubt she would have been at this level had I just left her education to the school system.

NeverTwerkNaked Wed 19-Apr-17 08:26:03

I dong think anyone is saying not do do stuff like that just. I am sure that's what everyone does!

JustSpeakSense Wed 19-Apr-17 08:33:57

I agree, spend lots of time with her, chatting about daily life & tasks, every enjoyable moment is an opportunity to learn.

Instilling a love for learning at this age would be the most beneficial (so not forcing learning on her but encouraging her natural inquisitiveness) praise her for being clever and inquisitive often 'that's a clever question' etc.

Good social skills, good manners and confidence will get her far in life. Help her develop her emotional intelligence as well as academic intelligence.

corythatwas Wed 19-Apr-17 08:55:35

The most important thing ime is to recognise the enormous importance of everyday life as a learning resource.

Baking a cake together= maths, coordination, motor skills, chemistry.

Going for a walk together and talking about what you see= biology, geography, history, English language.

Imaginative role play= English language, creativity, people skills.

Some people get hung up on the idea that academic learning = worksheets and think that if it doesn't look like an oldfashioned classroom no learning worth having can take place. If you teach your child this, you will limit their opportunities to learn and to make the most of any learning in the modern work market.

NeverTwerkNaked Wed 19-Apr-17 08:56:34

Exactly cory

Isadora2007 Wed 19-Apr-17 08:58:20

Definitely focus on emotional intelligence, resilience and people skills. A lot of "very bright" young children are more comfortable with adults and gravitate towards them for interaction. This can alienate them from their peers and further emphasis a gap between them. Being able to play independently is a much under-valued skill and one particularly lacking in PFB children as well.
So make friends with similar aged children and encourage play dates and set her things to do alone without needing constant encouragement or attention.
The rest can and will come naturally. I'd also be very very wary of thinking she is "gifted" as she is in all likelihood a bright wee thing who will level out alongside her bright peers by 6/7...

corythatwas Wed 19-Apr-17 09:01:59

My impression is that employers are increasingly tearing their hair out over large numbers of candidates who have been encouraged to stretch themselves with more and more impressive A-levels but have not developed the ability to get stuck in and learn from what they see around them. There are very few jobs that depend entirely on rote learning.

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