Monday, July 11, 2011

Easy as 1, 2, 3?

To be honest, teaching Caleb his letters and numbers was almost completely off my radar until his second birthday neared. I'd seen some FB friends share videos of their not-quite-2-year-old boys identifying letters on keyboards and even saying entire Bible verses aloud, but I just knew we weren't quite "there" yet, ya know? I had ordered a Melissa and Doug magnetic chalkboard (reviewed here), complete with letter and number magnets, for his birthday, though. No problem, right?

Well, I thought we'd focus on "A" and "B" and "C" the first day. That was a little much. The next day, we narrowed our focus to just "A." Not only would Caleb not repeat the sound, but he didn't seem interested in the least. I think we tried "A" every day for a week before . . . I decided to give it a break for a while (I won't say I gave up!).

A couple weeks later, out of the clear blue bathwater, Caleb started picking up all his rubbery bathtoy letters and saying--you guessed it!--"A"! Great, now he thinks all letters are "A"s, I thought.

Next, we started on numbers. This time, Caleb initiated the lesson. He has a vintage Little Golden Book about numbers (circa 1977), and he brought that to me one day. Here we go: Numbers, he will learn! After several days of my pointing to the large, brightly colored numbers on the title page and repeating "1, 2, 3," in what was the most sing-songy, attention-keeping voice I could muster around nap time (when we usually read), I saw--or, rather, heard--some progress. After I said "one," Caleb would respond with "two, three." Cheers, hugs, and high-fives all around!

The next day, I tried so hard to get him to say "one." If I said"one," he always responded with "two, three," but try as I might, the kid would not say "one." Maybe he thinks that since he's past that age, he doesn't have to say it anymore?

I do like this idea for teaching counting, too. With the idea of finding pictures of familiar objects, I think since we're moving in 3 weeks, I may use boxes, bins, and rolls of packing tape. :) I must admit, though, that my favorite part of Tere's article is the fact that she mentioned teaching 3 to 5 year olds the skill of counting. Right now, I'm only trying to teach Caleb how to identify the numbers, but perhaps I'm trying to make him an over-achiever, early on.

What do you think? Have you started teaching your kids how to count, yet? If so, what methods have you used?

This is

reminding you that the days and counting lessons may be far too long, but the years are far too short, no matter how you count them!

Friday, July 8, 2011

5 Fabulous Bathtime (Multi)Tasks

I know I've been MIA for a while, and there are reasons for that, some of which I'll mention in Monday's post--and yes, there will be a post!

Okay, if you're a responsible baby-mommy (and I'm sure you are, if you're a baby-mommy at all!), you know that it's terribly unsafe to leave your preschool aged kiddos unattended in the bathtub. Truth be told, I've actually left mine in there for over an hour while I completed various tasks around the house, only popping in on them occasionally, but then, I didn't have any water in the tub that time. (I had you going there for a minute, didn't I?!) And yes, my Caleb likes bathtime playtime that much!

If your older baby (at least able to sit up unsupported on his or her own) or toddler enjoy bathtime as much as my two little guys do, you want to give them as much time to soak in all the splashing suds they can. But if you're like me, you get a little . . . um . . . bored. You also may feel irresponsible for not getting much done in that hour or so of bathtime fun.

Now, if you really need and will enjoy letting you mind wander as you stare into the bubbly bath toy hullaballoo (and yes, that's a real word--I even looked it up to make sure!), by all means, do not let me deter you from a visit to La-La Land. But in case your mind is a little less
wonky-wooed (I did make that one up!) and you want to actualy accomplish something during bath time, here are a few--five, actually--ideas:
  1. Floss your teeth.
    This was actually recommended to me by a dental hygienist. I guess she knew I wouldn't start doing it every day, so this was a pretty good suggestion. And yes, I do follow this advice . . . once in a while.
  2. "Blitz" the bathroom.
    Cleaning the floor is clearly a dangerous idea, and cleaning the tub is out, but you can at least wipe the mirror and vanity down, put away the clutter, and scrub the commode.
  3. Make a list.
    Put the lid down, have a seat, and make out that grocery list, to do list, or whatever organizational outlet you need for all those stray bubbles of information you have floating around inside your mind--quick, before they pop!
  4. Organize your toiletries.
    At one point, I was so bad about this, that I discovered 5 full-sized cans of hair spray. I just kept buying them, thinking I was out, when in reality, the others were just stashed way under the bathroom sink. (I think now I'm down to 2. It's been over a year, I think; I really don't use much.)
  5. Do your toenails.
    Notice that I did not say to paint your fingernails. If your luck is anything at all like mine, there is no way in bathdum that you would possible avoid having to pick up or otherwise provide assistance to your child without messing up wet fingernails. Toenails are a much safer bet, though.
By the way, don't forget to wash behind your kiddos' ears! (And here's a bonus bathtime thought--you know those classic rubber duckies your baby likes to try to eat? Make sure to check them for mold growing inside--I guess you could call them yucky duckies, and I've thrown away more than my fair share! The yellow ones make it easy to spot the black mold, but you'll want to check out your darker colored toys, as well.)

This is a wet but clean(ish) bathroom-boasting

reminding you that the days are sometimes far too long, but the years are far too short.

P.S. Sorry I didn't include any bathtime pics. I guess I'm a little splash-shy about it after this incident. I'm pretty much over it, but still.