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Toddlers What did your toddler do today? Is he getting into everything? Tell us all about the smiles and frustrations here!

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Old 01-14-2003, 04:52 PM
dnjkilbey's Avatar
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Question Toys or homemade teaching ideas??

Hi everyone
I am a SAHM to a 15 month old and I'm looking for ways to expand teaching her things and was wondering if any of you had any suggestions. Do we start teaching (or trying to teach) colors, shapes, the feel of things (felt, cotton, etc.) and how does one go about it? I would love to make things at home to make her learn more, but I don't know where to start. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!!!
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Old 01-19-2003, 06:30 AM
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Hi! Your every day conversation is a great learning tool for your 15 month old. If you get any baby magazines, you can go thru them with your child and talk about the baby, mom, dad's faces. If you are really ambitious, you could cut out pics of different faces (Open eyes, closed eyes, smiling, happy ,sad, sleeping, eating, etc.) You coudl paste them on a piece of const. paper and laminate them. Your child would have their own book. You could also write the words underneath them "SLEEPING BABY" Red Dress, etc. So when you read it to her, you can say the adjectives. Your child will learn the vocabluary. Using the same concept, you could turn them into magnets for your fridge. Using animals, babies, anything! Your public library usuall has a good amount of magazines for sale. Otherwise, you can sign up for free baby magazines such as "American baby" and Baby talk.
Hope this helps!
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Old 01-19-2003, 06:58 AM
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Thank you so much. That is such a great idea. She is now beginning to try to "talk" now and I never thought of putting a book together for her. I know she will enjoy it because she loves reading books with us. Now, I just have to get ambitious and crafty and put something together. Thank you.


Married to DH since 10/9/99
Mother to DD born 10/30/01
Baby #2 expecting 6/26/03
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Old 01-19-2003, 07:43 AM
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Lightbulb baby games

Our son just turned one year. We have been using Baby Einstein products with him for a while. We also use Slow and Steady Get Me Ready by June Oberlander. The book is filled with ideas for making children's "toys." All these products can be found at

Here is a list of sewing sites for making toys:

Here is a list of ideas to use things lying around the house:

PS Congratulations and good luck with your new expectancy.
CHERUBS- The Association of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Research, Advocacy, and Support
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Old 01-19-2003, 08:11 AM
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I started teaching my baby from the lst day we came home from the hospital. When I'd change her diaper, I'd count, out loud, the snaps on her pants and the buttons on her sweater. By the age of 1, she could count to 10! I talked to her constantly and by l she was talking and in a few months, she was talking full sentences, such as, "Please give me a glass of milk", "May I go outside to play". All the children in our family talked early. Now, I read that when you talk to a baby, you should pause to let them formulate in their mind an answer, even if they can't talk yet.
We used real money, coins to count, under my strict supervision as babies like to put coins in their mouths. She had a photographic memory and to this day counts by nickels, dimes, and quarters. On her first day in math class at the university, the professor said, "What is 12 X 25?" She said quickly, 300. He said, "How did you get that so fast?" She replied that she did it in her head to which he said, "Nobody can do that in their head." She informed him that they told her that in lst grade. I know what she did, she said, "4 quarters is 100, 4 quarters is 200 and 4 quarters is 300."
Working in a hospital, there was information available to me. The Pediatric Dept. of the hospital gave me a chart of what a child could do from birth to age 6. I would teach her the items. When she mastered them, I'd move on. When she was 1, I would teach her what a 2 or 3 yr. old could do. It was interesting and fun for me and she soaked up the information like a little sponge. I never said, "She is too young to learn or do that".
Good luck.
May the Angels Watch Over You
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Old 01-19-2003, 03:57 PM
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We're always teaching our children, even when we don't think we are! One thing I've found helpful is to make frequent trips to the library. We not only choose books, videos, and now educational computer games for my son (4 years), but I find books to help me get ideas on games, crafts, child development, etc. Read to her and talk about the world with your daughter as you go about your normal business. Follow her interests and try not to push her--or underestimate her. And above all, have fun!
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Old 01-19-2003, 04:19 PM
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I was a speech pathologist before my career as a SAHM, so I feel qualified to advise on this.

Take your child to parks, museums, galleries, shops, everywhere, and talk about what you see. When your child says something, expand on it. Example: Child: "see puppy" Parent: Yes, I see the brown puppy" or "Yes, The puppy likes to run." I did this with my children, and even the dyslexic one had vocabulary scores off the charts. Vocabulary is the foundation for reading skills.

"Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready" is an excellent resource.

Provide creative toys like blocks and art supplies. Let the child get dirty exploring outdoors. Read classic children's books and poetry. Keep twaddle out and television to a minimum. Let her make collections of different flowers, leaves, stones, bugs! to develop observation skills. Watch her growth so you can see when she has a new interest to nurture. Use the library for kid level books on subjects she wonders about. You'll have such good times, you'll want to continue teaching her at home when she's older.
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Old 01-19-2003, 09:00 PM
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READ morning, noon and night. Make the weekly trip to the library a highlight, and never miss it. Read favorites over and over and over and over- makes you crazy and your child smart.
Buy storybooks that are favorites, and encourage grandparents to give books as gifts, and also to read to your child as much as possible.

As someone else mentioned, as you pick up on any casual interest your child develops, take her to the library to get a book or picture or a video about it. To foster these traits in your child, YOU must be curious and enthusiastic and interested in everything. Wonder aloud, and answer aloud.

Promote activity, not idleness in your home life. Select one or two children's programs (I used to like Sesame St. and Mr.Rogers)
and limit your child's tv viewing. Have a plan for each day and don't expect your child to read your mind- simply state the morning's activities, etc. ("we'll rake some leaves and then come in and you can finish your drawing while Mom mixes up the cookie dough, then we can roll out the cookies..."). Always be ready to suggest activities- this is not over-programming but rather encourages industriousness and love of activity.

TALK constantly, about everything all the time. Model the asking of questions and the finding of answers. Rent children's CD's from the library, then buy the best ones. Use them in the car especially, or as a wind down at bedtime.

Embrace new and varied activities with your child. Go to the trouble always to put on that snowsuit, that raincoat and boots,
take her to the city rec dept.'s bug/bat/tracks/ frog /whatever program. It is so meaningful to a child to get other beloved friends and family members involved as well- take grandma and grandpa to that backyard cardboard box/secret hideout.

Provide props and opportunities. Encourage dress up with rummage sale interesting articles of clothing, furnish glue and reams of paper and crayons and paints and more glue- even the dreaded messy glitter. Encourage the design and building of creations with discarded cardboard and plastic pieces and scraps of fabric and any child safe materials you can get or save. Introduce new foods with fun and excitement. Engage all the child's senses with new experiences, and discuss everything always. Again, the best thing you can do for your child's development is to be a lively, energetic, interested, curious and enthusiastic person yourself. Children absolutely do learn what they live.
susanna >^..^
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Old 01-20-2003, 07:02 AM
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Pinkie Winky

I agree with some of the others that two of the most important things you can do with your child are talking to her about anything and everything you see, and reading to her.

I remember when my boys were little (they are now 14 & 12!), for instance, when I was bathing them I'd say, "Now I'm going to wash your arm; let's wash your leg now" (name the body parts). When you're drying your child off, you can say, "Let's wrap you up in the green towel" (or whatever the colour of the towel is).

Hope this helps!
~Melanie in IL
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Old 01-20-2003, 07:08 PM
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Thank you all for all of your wonderful ideas!! They are all great. I do a lot of the stuff mentioned with my DD already, but it is nice to know I am on the right track.
I was wondering if anyone had homemade toy ideas though??? Because I have homemade edible playdough, edible finger paints, soap crayons, bubbles, etc. but I didn't know if anyone knew other things?? Maybe a match game or other neat things that she will always remember playing with, but knowing that I made that especially for her. I've tried the library and some of the books on homemade toys were back in the 1970's and didn't look that easy to make (or safe!!!).
If anyone has ideas, I would greatly appreciate it. And I also want to thank everyone already for their wonderful replys.
Married to DH 10/9/99
Mother to DD 10/30/01
Mother to DS 6/13/03

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