teaching

Katie - posted on 02/01/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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Hi, I'm a first time mom and stay at home mom to a wonderful 18 month old daughter. My question is how to work on teaching your child colors, shapes, letters, ect. I discovered that we aren't very good with those, esp not the colors. We do attend a playgroup and storytime once a week, but there's not really any structured learning going on. I've attempted to Google for suggestions and I'm overwhelmed.
any suggestions? thanks

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I'm a homeschooling mom of a first grader, and I also have a 13-month-old. I totally agree with everybody who said that little kids learn the most through play. When they get to school age, yes, formal lessons are necessary, but when I think about it, my daughter still learns an awful lot just by playing, asking questions, and being curious about the things we do and encounter throughout the day.

Here's a really cool example. She came out of the bathroom one day, and asked me where the pee goes when she flushes the toilet, and so I explained to her about pipes, sewers, and the like. That lead to a lesson on sewers. Now, in my past life (before kids) I was in Civil Engineering, and part of my job was to design sewers!! I took this opportunity to teach her all about sewers. We checked books out of the library, looked through my old college textbooks, talked about the environmental impact of indoor plumbing, and even read books relating to the topic. It was a really great week's worth of lessons.

The previous week, we'd studied sharks because she saw sharks at the aquarium in Minneapolis when we visited her uncles, and she'd been curious about them ever since. We read books on sharks, did math relating to sharks (how much bigger is this shark than that one? How many fish would three sharks eat in one day? etc), and did art projects with shark teeth.

I'm a big believer in kids learning along the way. Go with their natural interests, which will change daily when they're young, and use the opportunities that come up as your way to impart lessons. (For a toddler, it can be as simple as, "Let's put the YELLOW block on top of the BLUE block. Now we have TWO blocks. One, two.") Kids learn more if they're interested and receptive, and those windows come and go throughout the day. Learning through play and going with their natural interests are the best ways in my opinion.

Julia - posted on 02/02/2010

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I haven't read all the suggestions that other moms have written, but I wanted to share what I did with my little ones. I got posters from the local teacher's store that had the colors, shapes, or letters on them. I put one poster up at a time in an area where we changed diapers or got dressed. I would then talk about the colors, shapes, letters when in that area. Usually it started with the child pointing to a picture and I would name it. Later on I would name a color or shape and they would point to it. Keep it fun and enjoyable. The posters helped me to remember to work with them. Reading to your child is another great way to teach. Check your local library for books about shapes, colors, and letters. I did both of these ideas and I now have four year old twins that are reading well above their age level.

[deleted account]

I agree w/ most of the posters who said she's a little young to be worried about it, but this is how I taught ds.

We had a "color of the day" so he learned one color each day and we would randomly repeat them. All we did was decide the color in the morning and he would wear a shirt that color, or a shirt with a lot of that color in it.

Then, through out the day, we would point out everything we saw that was that color. It was fun and he was SO proud when he would spot the color before I did ;)



We never did well w/ flash card, ds didn't like them for anything, but if we made learning a fun game, he picked up what ever I tried to teach him really quick. We also played "Letter of the Day" and "Shape of the Day."

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Rita - posted on 02/06/2010

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children love to play and they love adults who are funny you can teach a child anything you want them to know thur playing i did that and it worked out wonderful twice!!!!!!READ AS MUCH AS SHE WILL LISTEN TO.her attention span isn't that long but make silly noises and she will stay focused.i hope it all works out.

Hilary - posted on 02/04/2010

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Every time you talk to her be very descriptive. ex. - look at this tall green plant with the round red flower... the round red flower smells yummy. would you like your cereal in a white circle shaped bowl or a blue circle shaped bowl? I know it sounds tedious but it works!

[deleted account]

MY SON IS 22 MONTHS AN IM A SAHM AN WE DONT DO PLAY GROUPD DOES SHE NO HER ANIMAL SOUNDS IF NOT I MADE UP A SONG TO TEACH MY SON THEM WHEN HE WAS 15 MONTHS AN HE REALLY LIKE IT AN ITS VERY SIMPLE I JUST SAID A COW GOES MOO MOO AN A DUCK GOES QUACK QUACK AN ECT... I NO IT PROBALLY SOUNDS WEIRD BUT IT WORK FOR MY SON, FOR TNHE SHAPES YOU CAN GET A SHAPE BUCKET THEY HAVE THEM AT WALMART OR JUST DRAW SHAPES ON A PIECE OF PAPER AN HAVE HER POINT TO THEM AN FOR COLORS AN LETTER THEY HAVE FOAM LETTERS AN NUMBERS FOR THE BATH TUB AN THOSE ARE REALLY KEWL AN ITS LIKE A 3 IN 1 THING BECAUSE YOU GOT LETTER AN NUMBER AN COLORS AN SING THE ABC'S TO HER ALL DAY LIKE WHEN YOUR CLEANING OR WHATEVER AN COUNT TO TEN ALL THE TIME, IVE BEEN COUNTING WITH MY SON SINCE HE WAS 2 DAYS OLD AN NOW HE WILL COUNT TO 5

(ALTHOUGH HE MISSES 4 BUT I FIND IT CUTE) WHILE HE POINTS TO SOMETHING, I FIND THAT BATH TIME IS A GREAT TIME TO TEACH FOR MY SON HE TAKES ABOUT 30 MINUTE BATH EVERY NIGHT AN THAT THE ONE PLACE WERE HE GOES AN HAS TONS OF FUN BUT CANT GET UP AN RUN AROUND HOPE THIS HELPS

CaSondra - posted on 02/04/2010

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PLAY! that is the best way for a child to learn! And don't worry if she doesn't know them all....she is still young! Just remember that she learns through interaction and play...so use toys that have different shapes and bright colors and just talk about these things during play! For example "Wow, that ball is a pretty pink!" Structured learning is simply over-rated! It does not work well for young children! For my kids, I would point out colors, shapes, letters, and numbers as we went through our day. That is how they learned! My five year old is now spelling some simple words and can read a few books, BEFORE he is suppose to start school! This is because he has picked these things up from his older brother and sister and also from play time! Just have fun and cherish every moment! They already grow up too fast!!! :)

Maria - posted on 02/03/2010

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Hi when My daughter was that age I started with pointing the trees and saying the name of the it and the color and the sky and the color and such. The numbers is easy integrate it with the food and for example give her two pieces of apple and count with her also let her know the orange is a circle this box is a square shape and such... we sometimes think kids dont like learning but they do especially if you make it fun. Don't force her into anything she doesnt want but when she responds or says something she learned clap and cheer her on. You can also find preschool workbook in walmart for beginers to elementary kids look for them and they only cost very little. .

Julia - posted on 02/02/2010

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How to teach your 18 month old colors & shapes...play, talk, sing, hug, laugh, and love her. If she does not learn them soon have her assessed for a developmental delay.

Susan - posted on 02/02/2010

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We've been reading to Lily since she was itty bitty. We also "teach" thru play and we talk to her all the time and explain what things are and colors, shapes, sounds, etc. She's 16 months old and has the vocab of a 2-3 year old, she's a little sponge. We didn't push her and we don't sit her down and make her do anything I just really think that she herself loves to learn. When we speak to her you can see her studying our mouths, it's ridiculous! ;)

Tinika - posted on 02/02/2010

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Hi Katie, I would suggest "Your Baby Can Read" DVD program. I bought that for my son and it does work. They can learn to read words, shapes, colors and numbers. It is a really great program. Check into it! This is the perfect time for your child to learn because they are like sponges. They absorb everything so quickly.

Christina - posted on 02/02/2010

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I wouldn't just sit down and say "OK this color is blue etc." Teach your child by incorporating learning in everyday activities. For example, while dressing your child point out that the shirt is pink or that her snack bowl is round. Your daughter will pick up on what your saying. Plus, she will start mimicking you and when she dose allow her to point at the object. Kids are so smart. Just have fun!!!

Holly - posted on 02/02/2010

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Structured isn't always the best way - keep in mind EVERYTHING is a learning experience, especially at that age. (I homeschool, and currently, my four year old reads, writes, does addition, subtraction, and story problems - my ten year old tests out at the college level) . Bragging rights over, sorry.



A doorway is a rectangle, a cupboard, a refridgerator. the wheels on the dishwasher for circles, balls, then there are always manipulative toys, which ALL of my kids at their present ages still LOVE to play with. Have fun - some kids learn structurally, while others need tons of freedom. Have Fun!

Katie - posted on 02/02/2010

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Thanks everyone for the comments. I guess I got a case of my baby isn't right from hearing and reading other message boards about what kids her age are doing. She not a big pointer and likes to play and explore on her own, it seems if I or my husband get down to play with her we are the play toys. She knows her body parts and in the last week or so had a word explosition.
Dana, you weren't offenstive. I"ve heard that before, but I'm one of those people that things my baby is behind since she isn't doing the same thing. My sister's kids(the only in real life kids i really know) went to daycare and so naturally they know a lot of stuff that my daughter doesn't.

Stacy - posted on 02/02/2010

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I also think through play and with my daughter I found that she really soaked things up through books. Also just count things around you stairs whenever we go up or down I make sure to count them.

Jessica - posted on 02/02/2010

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I did not start teaching my kids until they were three. before that it was just playing and repeating colors, shapes, sounds, number and letters. Now we are on to the harder part of writting and understanding. At that age I dont think that it is fair to force them to learn. It has to be fun or they will not want to do it.

Rachelle - posted on 02/01/2010

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ok. first you shouldn't be worrying about that. when my kids were that old i sat on the floor and played with them. we make block towers and knocked them down. we counted blocks and i showed her the colors around the house and diferent names of objects. there is no way to structure learning at this age. my oldest is 4 1/2 and i still do a LOT of unstructured learning. we listen to sounds outside and try to guess what is making them and we watch catterpillars and make snowmen just to watch how they melt. have fun and don't stress!

Rachel - posted on 02/01/2010

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hey try looking up "your baby can read". Its an amazing program, unfortuantly I didnt learn about it until myne was a little older but I think you'd be really happy with it. They even send it to you and let you try it before commiting, and for everything you get, its not very much, plus its suppose to be one of the better learning systems

Bethany - posted on 02/01/2010

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Charlote is a week from being 1. We talk about the colours all day, and the animals, and vehicles, and we count things. I say oh, hear that? Dog, Dog. oh, you have a blue block, see (point) blue, blue. Hear that, that's a car, car, car. Just everything, all the time. She's sucking it in, storing it up.

Every sound she hears she says "dat, dat" and points, and I say car or truck or birdy or dog or whatever it was. She looks around the room while we're eating and points at things and says "dada" and I say plate or book or table or what ever.

Before school, they need unstructured play and learning opportunities reveal themselves all over the place. She does, however, love to sit and look at books and turn the pages, so we have alot of cardboard books of ABCs and colours and animals, etc and I read those aloud to her too.

[deleted account]

I agree with learning through play. Don't push it too much, make learning fun, or she'll grow to not enjoy learning. Whent taking a bath say, "I'm washing baby's head, neck, belly, etc" Make up a song and point out body parts. When looking at books point out the animals and make the sounds. Pretend to be the animals. When drawing talk about the colors and draw her letter (the first letter of her name). Just make it part of what you already do. 18 months is still very early to expect her to know all these things. Colors is a hard concept because it is not a concrete object.

Sarah - posted on 02/01/2010

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Most learning for toddlers and preschoolers is done through play. When you are play then talk about the color of things you are play with. Count how many things you have in your hand. Or count how many animal crackers you have for a snack. If you wanted to do math count how many each of you have and then add them together and count (or take away). I do day care and one day as I was cleaning up the table they were talking about their ages (how old they were) and then saying if it was an even or odd number. When learning is made fun they tend to learn more and remember more. I bought some big foam letters that we put together in alphabetical order and then make a game out of jumping on the different letters that I call out (this would be more for a 3-4 yr. old). There are also some neat puzzles you can get that help with spelling and reading (this would be more towards a 4 yr old). Candyland is a good one for learning colors, this would be good for a 3 yr old (possibly a 2 yr old depending on their personality).

Rheannon - posted on 02/01/2010

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I am a first time, SAHM also. But for the first 6 months my daughter was born, I was a daycare teacher. After 6 months, DH got an amazing job and I now have the pleasure of staying home with Alyanna. However at first I did miss teaching my kids, I was a 2 year old teacher. That, I believe is an awesome age to start teach them colors & such. Yes, they don't go into VPK until they are 4, however in VPK they need to be learning how to write & spell their names & things or that nature to get ready for big school. I would wait until she is 2 and then you can go to the dollar store & they have flash cards, poster with shapes, numbers, abc's, ect. Just a whole bunch of stuff. But teach her how you think she should be taught. The internet is great for lesson plans but not really one-on-one, unless you know how to use it.(And honestly, half the stuff, I believe, is not age correct anyways). Have fun! :)

[deleted account]

I have a 16 month old daughter and I hope this doesn't sound rude but......they're children! Why do you think there needs to be structured learning? Kids need to be kids...... at this age they're learning from EVERYTHING they do, exploring and touching and I don't think they need any extra attention! My daughter is talkin up a storm, she's like a parot copying everything I say but I don't feel the need to sit her down and try and teach her shapes and colors....... I just do it casually while she's coloring or while we're playing with toys! They don't start school until they're 3-5 for a reason! What is ur daughter gonna gain by knowing her shapes and colors at this age? I really hope this doesn't sound offensive? Maybe I'm wrong? I think ur already doin everything you can to provide ur daughter with the opportunities to learn....trust that she'll learn when she's ready! Good luck......please let me know if I've offended you? I sincerely hope that isn't the case?!

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