I have found the above resources to be some of the best in toddler educational resources out there! Since my daughter was an infant, I looked for resources to keep us busy learning- together! With the help of other mothers, the internet, and lots of trial and error (and trips to the library), these are by far my favorite resources for at-home learning with your toddler.
I also nanny part time, and I love keeping the kiddos busy in productive ways while there. Toddlers are incredibly fast learners, and they cannot seem to devour enough information. My daughter loves all of the above resources and they all receive stellar reviews from other moms out there.
1. Baby Signing Time
Can I say enough about Baby Signing Time? I stumbled across this gem at a friends house during a play date. Her child had started watching these videos and loved them. I rented a few from the library, and within a day, my daughter was hooked. She had a hard time communicating her needs (like most toddlers), and would cry or throw a fit. Within TWO weeks she was signing over ten basic signs such as water, eat, potty, all done, and more. I have since purchased the entire Baby Signing Time set, and it is a daily staple in our home. My daughter knows more sign language than me! She knows well over 100 signs and is less than two years old. I have seen a huge improvement in her communication skills and a decrease in temper tantrums, as now she can sign her needs. It has also actually INCREASED her ability to speak words, as the videos help her to learn new words and she feels confident trying to say them out loud while signing them. I did not start her on the program until she was 16 months old, and in less than four months, Baby Signing Time has significantly helped out my daughters communication abilities. The songs in Baby Signing Time are catchy and easy to remember. I recommend it for any family. Bonus- it is a foreign language, increases fine motor skills, and increases intelligence as they are learning new stimuli!
2. How to Teach Your Baby to Read
I received this gift from family members, and it changed my perspective on education. Our educational system often takes the joy out of learning by testing children at a young age and waiting too long to start teaching them how to read. How to Teach Your Baby to Read is a guilt-free, wonderful experience for you and your baby. It walks you through a program that is adaptable to your family’s needs at your own timeline and is very fun! I make flashcards for my daughter and when we get around to doing them, we do! She enjoys her flashcards and it is a fun activity for us to do together. I also love that she is already learning site words, pronunciation, and spelling at such a young age, pressure free. I highly recommend this book for all mothers and fathers to re-think education in our homes. I love the principles of the book and the way the authors view learning- that it should be a fun and joyful experience and that all children LOVE to learn from the start.
3. Teach them the Faith CD by Dan and Karen Vitco
I love this CD that was recommended by a friend in my church. If you want to start teaching your children biblical truths, this CD is fabulous. It takes children through the entire shorter catechism in song. They learn biblical basics, such as: God and Man, his Word and plan, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and other essential basics of the Christian Faith. The music is very pretty and child-friendly, and not annoying for parents! I love playing it in the background during free-play time or laundry-folding. I have even learned lots of new things from the CD myself!
4. Sandra Boynton Books
We love Sandra Boynton books! They are by far one of our favorites to rent from the library. I love that her books can be sung and that there are interactive ways to play with your child weaved throughout each adorable story. My daughter has learned to bark like a dog, tickle, whisper, and reach for the sky from these darling books. Have you ever gone to a Baby Reading class at the library? You can bring these classes to your home with these books. They make it easy to have fun while reading story books. I recommend Snuggle Puppy, Barnyard Dance, Moo Baa La La La, and Let’s Dance, Little Pookie!
5. Pimsleur Conversational Spanish
Research I have read indicates the best way to teach your child a foreign language is exposure from a young age. I started renting Pimsleur Spanish CD’s from the library to play in the background throughout our day. Just thirty minutes a day can help a child learn new words in a foreign language, and it is a fun way for you to spruce up on a language you have been wanting to learn. The benefits for children outweigh the benefits for us as their little brains are like sponges and absorb all those new words and sounds. Pimsleur is my favorite program, and usually has a wait list at the library- so check ahead of time or go online to check out.
6. How to Teach your Baby Math
This program is made by the makers of How to Teach Your Baby to Read. Using the same principles as I outlined above, you can start teaching your baby math as an infant! Toddlers also love learning math in this engaging way. I use flashcards with dots on them to expose Lillian to math, and she has enjoyed it thus far! I also love that the program is flexible so if you miss a day- or a month- you can just pick up where you left off and not feel horrible. I definitely recommend!
Any other resources you love?
*I was not compensated for any of these reviews- I simply LOVE these products and wanted to share them with you as a resource! 🙂