Saturday, July 11, 2009

Toddler Teaching Tools

You don't have to wait for your child to go to kindergarten before developing your child's reading skills. There are resources in your local bookstore, like Borders or Barnes & Noble to begin teaching your child basic reading and writing skills. Your child can be as young as 2 years old. Here are a few examples:

Kumon is a fantastic workbook that encourages children to write through tracing. "Mastering basic pencil skills builds a firm foundation for writing letters and numbers . . . a fun introduction to using pencils." The following are sample pages:

It's a fun, non-frustrating way to learn and build a foundation for writing letters and numbers. The workbooks also focus on coloring, number games, telling time, drawing, and much more. My son loves his Kumon books because the colorful images of sailboats, trains, candy and swimming make sitting and writing more like storytelling and play!

Another great resource is the Brain Quest series. Brain Quest asks many fun, practical questions that encourage your child to engage in conversation, sharpening language development, communication skills and social interaction. The following are a few sample questions:

What is Max eating for breakfast?
What is he drawing?
What activities do you see the kids doing at school?

"Brain Quest creates an atmosphere where children strive to do well and take pride in demonstrating what they know."

"Questions are intended to start a dialogue, not to test or drill."

This particular set comes with Max the monkey, a fun toy that is used to answer questions by pointing with it, adding to the fun in learning.