February 28, 2013

Teaching Toddlers Shapes, Letters and Numbers

My favorite piece of parenting is watching my daughter learn.  It gives me such joy to see her understand something for the first time!  I’ve always heard that toddlers learn so fast, but I’ve never really witnessed it until Sweet Pea came along… and it is truly amazing!

Several months ago, Sweet Pea started learning her shapes.  We started simple with a circle, square, triangle, star and heart.  When she was in the mood, I’d grab her flash cards and we would go through a few of them.  But I wanted to challenge her a bit more… and give her an opportunity to follow simple directions.

Using Microsoft Word, I created these simple worksheets for her.  The concept is simple, create a table with 6 columns and 5 rows – increase your font to about 72 and type in whatever you are trying to learn or reinforce.  For the basic shapes, you will use the Insert and Symbol function and search for the square, etc.  I also created worksheets to reinforce her alphabet and number knowledge.

For starters, let me disclose that my daughter loves this kind-of thing.  Guess she has her mama’s nerdy streak – LOL!  Your child might hate it and that is okay.  At the end of the day, whatever method works for you and your kid – go for it!

Now, this example is of us reinforcing her knowledge of numbers. I gave Sweet Pea the worksheet and asked her to color all the number 1's pink.  She had to find her pink crayon and then she had to find all of her number 1's.  After she colored the last number, she had to count how many she found. In all of 5 minutes, we practiced our numbers, colors, following direction and counting.

I then told her to COLOR CRAZY… and color crazy she did!

For shapes, we had to upgrade Sweet Pea’s from the basic to the advanced (diamonds, trapezoids, pentagons, hexagons….  To create these, you will need to use Word's Insert and Shape feature and then "draw" them in your squares. Only draw each shape once... much easier to just copy and paste it into other squares!!

Learning + Fun = WIN

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