Yep! You can teach your toddler his ABCs and 1,2,3s with things you already have on hand! It doesn’t have to be super-structured or difficult. I know. If you know me well, you probably spit out your coffee, surprised to read that. It’s true, though! You can use what you have on hand and easily add to your teaching supplies from garage sales, consignment sales, etc.
Teach Your Toddler – Books
I’ll bet you have a ton of books sitting around, right? Well, turn those into a concentrated learning opportunity! Pull out all those books (preferably during naptime, if there is one today!). Group them into “subjects.” Don’t you feel so teacher-ish??
Some ideas for groups are:
- music and songs
- household items
- parts of the body
- different languages
Once you’ve got a group of books together, you can focus on those books one day each week. In our house, we have a stack of books for colors/ABCs, music/ASL, animals, parts of the body and shapes/numbers. Each day I read through a stack of books and focus on that “subject” area, rather than attempting to draw out learning points from every page and each subject. It’s a whole lot more fun for me – and I think it makes it a little easier for my 2 year olds to pick up on what we’re doing.
More than likely you will end up with a few books that don’t really fit into a subject. These are fun to just throw in to a stack on a random day, just to keep them from getting bored. Or me. Yes, it’s really for my sanity.
Teach Your Toddler – Flash Cards and Printables
You can also find free and/or cheap flash cards that can supplement what you are doing with the books.
Many websites have free printables that you can give your little one(s) to color…for all of two minutes. But hey! That’s two entire minutes to sip your coffee! I’ve found some great printables here.
What Else I Use
Now, I’m also loving the curriculum I purchased to use over the next couple of years. The ideas she includes are so helpful and very cost-efficient, too! It’s only $4.99Check out The Preschool Journey.
Every few weeks I start on a new lesson. And it’s random. And laid-back. But it’s fun to have something to pull in when I know it’s gonna be a whiny sort of day!
Teach Your Toddler – But When?!
I’m so grateful that my babies are a tad obsessed with books. They know that meal-time also equals book-time. And they beg for it. So we spend a few minutes at almost every meal reading through that day’s stack of books. That’s it. Nothing terribly fancy. We go through a pile of books and flash cards and printables that are focused on one or two subject areas.
At 2 years old, they recognized shapes, colors, an endless amount of words in English and ASL, and several letters and numbers. All from just reading books, coloring free printables and playing at preschool!
What books are your faves to teach your toddler with right now?