In the last 2 months, I have been so amazed at my son’s development. I am so impressed with his ability to absorb knowledge. Joshua knows numbers and knows how to count. He can identify colors and shapes. He also memorized songs and sings them. He holds a pen very well and can draw circles and scribbles. When I see how much he is learning, I am more convinced to just home school him so he can keep going on his own pace without limitation. Joshua now is 23 months old.
Unlike what some doctors recommend of not exposing children his age to the digital world, I seem to disagree. There are so many good videos that teach songs, colors, shapes, numbers, alphabets to preschoolers. It is really a matter of supervision. I do understand that over exposure is not good, but for me limited exposure has its benefits. I will not deny that many of the things Joshua knows are because of these preschool videos found on youtube. Of course, we supplement what he watches with tangible learning tools to help him understand fully the concept presented on the videos.
I am so happy that there are many educational toys available. I am also blessed that with Joshua, he enjoys educational toys. He is the type that likes building blocks, play doh or home-made clay, and wooden puzzles, books, more than toys (e.g. cars, stuff toys, etc.) Let me share with you what gets Joshua busy and stimulated throughout the day.
1. Mega Blocks – These are great toys for kids below two. It helps them assemble towers and gives them imagination on design. Joshua enjoys this so much because he can identify colors and build new designs every time. He also enjoys destroying what he builds and start over again.
2. Play Doh – I first made home-made clay. I got a recipe online made of salt, flour, cream of tartar, water, and food coloring. He was only 1 year and 9 months old when I decided to introduce him to home-made clay and I bought a few cookie cutters to help design shapes and so he can identify them. It was fun! Then as time passed the clay was not properly stored they became hard and we had to throw them away. So, he probably had a month of no playing with clay. He kept watching the youtube review on play doh and watched how they were making ice cream and food with play doh. So, Daddy Steve decided to buy him his first play doh set. He was so thrilled he kept saying “I love play doh”. We still play with play doh every day and we talk about colors, shapes, and food!
3. Wooden Puzzles – I found a wooden puzzle in national bookstore that had numbers on it and as you removed the wooden piece it would show the fingers corresponding the numbers. When I first introduced this to Joshua, he was totally enjoying the puzzle. He played with this puzzle the whole day without looking for his “baba” (or what he nicknames his tablet). He had on his hands the numbers that he was watching on youtube. The amazing thing is that he does not only recognize numbers, he actually can count stuff. He actually did a count of the slices of grape fruit and it confirmed he understands.
4. Magnet alphabets and numbers – This is such a great educational tool too! We would stick letters on the fridge and say its name and sound. We kinda have to stay near the refrigerator but that is fine. He finds it quite interesting that he can stick them one by one and pull them out. Its pretty stimulating. I also bought a smaller version with a magnetic board for travel because its just good fun!
5. Colored pens and papers – Joshua was holding a pen quite early. A little after he turned one, we have been making him scribble on the white board. Then later, I decided to buy him a set of colored pens so he can start drawing on paper. He likes to write, and its part of his daily routine to either go on the white board or to scribble on paper. He really enjoys it!
It is never too early to introduce our children to explore new things. I really suggest to my mommy friends to go ahead and try… dont wait for your child to enroll in a pre-school to learn something new. You can do it at home together. As I watch my son grow, I am so blessed to have this opportunity to be part of his development and not miss it!