Math concepts for 2 year olds

I have been contemplating about teaching the concept of Math to Josh. He can already tell numbers 1-10 and he is exploring 11-20.  Looking at numbers helps memorizing the look and shape of the number. But how about the concept of the number?  He sort of understands because we count the picture items on number books. 

 
I am praying I will be able to teach him addition and subtraction soon. But first, I must establish his understanding of what the number means.  We try to count things like his cheese and pomelo.

So I decided to do a game with Josh. I will put a number card and an empty container beside the number and a bucket filled with blue bead balls. The game works like this… I must put a number card and then he must put the corresponding balls by counting. Then if he correctly gets it, he gets pieces of his favorite snack. (Ok, it’s chips and I know some moms will debate how bad this is for my son. I agree with you… But for example sake, please bear with the illustration).

 
When he answers correctly he gets a reward! 

  

Of course, in the beginning I needed to coach him how to do it.  I did it about twice until he did it himself. The trick here was to just let him do it himself.  When he holds the balls and gets to count them, it helps in grasping the concept. We have to keep practicing so that he would get better and better. If we keep at it we can start doing math concepts such as addition and subtraction soon. I am looking forward to that day! 

  

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Playgroup – Cloud Clay

I have mommy friends who share the same sentiment about teaching our own child and then getting them to a play group on a weekly basis. So we meet up weekly and do activities that each mom takes turn to prepare. The idea is, Mommy is the teacher. What we do in playdates is to prepare fun, educational activities and sit with our own child and guide them as they explore.

Cloud Clay Play date

Mommy Cris prepared cloud clay. It is made of flour, water, and food coloring. All these she made at home. It is safe and edible for our kids. With measuring cups, spoons, and shape molders kids went crazy on this activity! 

  
Each Mommy then guides her own child to doing much more with the clay! It was fun and enjoyable! Putting in themes like animals unto the cloud just added ideas to our kids imaginations too.

  
You would not believe how much fun the kids had with their mom as teacher and exploring with playmates too! They just wanted to go on for more than 2 hours. 

   

My favorite part about our play dates is having mommy time. These are moments for us to bond among moms and talk about our journey into motherhood. These are conversations that refuel and reenergizes us from all the busyness of raising kids and running a career. 

Truly, I am thanking God for these mothers who want to dedicate themselves as the first and best teacher to their kids. It’s really the original design of God anyway. I pray that we will continue doing more of these and through God’s grace be encouraged to keep teaching our children! 

 

Story! Story! 

Books are just as important as play. I’m so glad my son loves that I read to him. He would ask me to drop everything I am doing when he says “Mommy, I want story! Story!”

He has a few favorites – when he was months old my sister bought him board books for animals, colors, first words, fruits and vegetables. We went through it at least 4 times a week. He was interested with the photos. When he turned 2 years old his favorite books are the Toddlers bible, Baby Einstein series, & God’s Big promises for kids. But just recently we found such interesting books in National Bookstore and it retails at P499.00. It’s called My Busy Books.


What I love about these books are the following:

  1. Board Book with about 8-10 pages
  2. Relatable cartoon themes
  3. 12 Plastic character toys of the story
  4. Floor mat  for different scenes of the cartoon

The great thing about these books because it allows my son’s imagination grow. He continues with his own stories using the different characters. It’s fun to watch him play on his own.

They have so many themes, we just got the story of “In and Out” and “Avengers”. I also saw Frozen and there were more titles.



These have become a good past time and bonding time. My son’s love language is TIME. So to fill his love tank, story time is a one good way to accomplish that.

Teaching the alphabets at home

Did you know I was totally clueless when I decided not to put Josh into a day care and to just teach him at home! I did not know what to do and where to start. Good thing, I was able to observe a class done by home school moms. There I saw them have kids get familiar with the alphabet one letter a week.  Also they made sure the child would do an activity that would be sensory for better memory work.

So here in the province, I go to National Bookstore and Daiso to look for “stuff” to use for my lessons. I try to make Joshua’s learning experience be an interesting and fun one.

I found some really cute push pins/pop sticks in Daiso and it was 24 pieces for P88.00. It has different colors and it will make a good tool for motor skill.


Also buy paper plates because there are so much you can do with paper plates. Since Joshua knows A-E, I want to teach him the letter F. So I drew an F on the center of the plate and the drew items that started with F.

Then I got an old box (of juice) and stuck the paper plate on the box. I bore holes on the letter F using the pushpins and made it in a way that you can push and pull out the pins. This way, Joshua would have a sensory activity that helps him draw the letter F.


What Joshua did was push the pins in as I teach him the letter and the sound. We keep repeating and makes him push the pins on the letter.

A week later, I made him do the letter G using the same method. It has made learning F and G fun and creative.

The great thing about this home made letter tool is seeing my little boy play with the push pins and the letters throughout the day. His little fingers get stronger and he also discovered that he can sort the colors of the push pins! He feels great when he accomplishes these fun challenges.

These are so fun, easy, and not really that expensive. You can reuse the push pins or pop sticks for other things later too!

It is my heart’s desire to give mothers ideas on how to teach their own child at home. I hope you can try this or make something creative inspired from my blog. So here is the video of how Joshua learned his letter F.

 Mommy drama! 

Being a mom is a super tough job! Joshua my toddler, who is more expressive nowadays, tests my patience on so many levels. We have arguments everyday and I get soooo tired from all the daily dramas. In a week we would probably complete a drama series for eating, for bathing, for sleeping, for waking, and for playing. 
He is a kid and tantrums come along with 2 year olds… However, Joshua is also processing his feelings of jealousy over his sister. I am seeing some regression on some milestones. Like his desire for eating has lessened and he prefers drinking milk in the bottle. He also demands for my full attention and time especially when he sees me nursing Anna. 

   
He has fully articulated his jealousy by saying “I don’t like Anna”, ” I want mommy and Anna go to Ate Kim (Anna’s nanny)”, and one of his worst crying episodes he said, “mommy, I want Joshua patay (dead) so mommy would cry.” I cried with that remark. 
 I tell him “Anna is your sister, she loves you and Mommy loves you so much. We are a family and this is God’s blessing.”  Because Joshua feels jealous, I spend most of my time with him. I only leave him shortly just to feed Anna. Every move I make he calls to check if I am still around. He calls my name almost crying and then he would smile and laugh in relief that I have not left him!

I figured this boy’s love language is time. And I do spend a lot of time with him. We are inseparable. But when he gets his tantrums and he starts screaming and crying because he wants mommy, (even if I am around)… I ask him kindly to stop crying. But his crying escalates further into screams and irritation that soon, I start losing my own patience. 

I try not to discipline him about his crying. But I realized that he was using it as a tool to communicate with almost anything. When he dislikes something he would cry. When he wants something he would cry. When he sees me walk out the door he would cry and give an all out tantrum. I try to not get angry, but I must confess seeing a crying face with screams and occasional arm slaps just gets me frustrated and angry.  This just went on for a week… 
  
I started to cry out of frustration because nothing worked. Explaining nicely and reassuring Josh by hugs and talks just does not cut it!  So I tried yelling and screaming for him to stop. I tried threatening him that if he does not stop, I would leave. None of it worked. 😦  For one week it was this non stop cycle of crying and we end up fighting because Josh would fall into a tantrum even when I am giving him full attention (except during feedings). 
I asked friends to pray for me. I cried to the Lord and asked “how can I be a better mom to my son?”  I was so discouraged that even when Steve says, “you are doing a good job”, I still feel I am failing.
Then I remembered excerpts from a parenting seminar I attended. It was discussed when a child who deliberately disobeys or disrespects his or her parent they should be disciplined. I must admit, I get lazy to do this because it requires so much to get into a room with a defiant 2 yr old who will not submit to be disciplined. 

The bible says: 
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom,but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.


I knew I had to correct Joshua’s behavior and work on his attitude. I had to teach him that he can’t always cry his way. I also had to reassure him that he must respect his parents because we love him.  I disciplined him and took time to explain. Joshua immediately stopped crying. In fact when we got out of the room, his mood changed and started playing.
  
I learned that I really should exercise discipline when the need arises and teach my son.  Otherwise, I will develop a bad habit in his character. It’s almost a week since his last tantrum after the discipline.  Joshua has been speaking instead of crying. 

How do I know that he understood what we did in the discipline room? He plays with his avenger toys and then he would pretend one would be crying. Later he will have the other toy say – “stop crying… If you don’t stop, you get a spank”. 
To learn more about biblical discipline I am suggesting you this link. Read more:

http://www.gotquestions.org/disciplining-children.html

A Toddler’s art from egg shells

When you cook hard boiled eggs, don’t throw away the egg shells right away. These shells can be inexpensive materials to your new art project with your toddler.

Set the egg shells in a container. Now using your finger or a spoon, begin to crush these egg shells into tiny broken pieces. You will then need the following materials:

  1. Paper plate
  2. Glue
  3. Paint
  4. Paint brush

This day, I decided to let Joshua make a happy face. So we took some glue and drew the eyes, nose and a smiling face. Next part is to drop the egg shells above the glue.


After placing the egg shells leave the plate for about 5-10 minutes. Wait for the glue to dry. Once dry, feel free to gently lift and tap the plate to let excess egg shells fall. From there, your child can now get ready to paint the egg shells!


We used home made paint. If you want to know how to make please check out my blog on Home Made Paint.

Again this activity helps those little fingers to control the muscles around the hand. You may also practice color identification and discuss the organs found on the face!  This is an easy and fun way to make use of those egg shells!

The egg project

An egg slicer can be quite amusing for little kids. Egg projects are not only fun… they can be a practical method of teaching kids to prepare their breakfast. So here are some suggestions on what to do.  

Hard Boiled Egg with a twist

    Boil your egg atleast 10-12 minutes so you can get the center firm. After boiling set it aside. Meanwhile get a plastic bag (I used those cellophane bags for making ice) and put some food coloring and water. I got an idea from YouTube to try to crack the egg from side to side and make the colored water sip thru the cracks. When done right you would get some kind of electrifying design. 

  
After making it sit on food coloring for about 10-15 minutes, the egg will be ready to be peeled. Once peeled you will find a nice design on the egg making this quite exciting for kids. Here is our design on yellow food coloring.. It looks like a little sun on the egg!

  
Once the egg is done, we can start teaching our toddler about slicing the egg. This is good motor skill exercise and also teaching independence as they prepare the sliced egg for eating. 

 

Don’t throw the egg shells just yet!! Set them aside or store them for future art projects. We will show you samples on what to do with them in my next blog.

Meanwhile, see how Joshua does the egg slicing activity in this Video: