Do you have a baby or toddler?
Do you live in South Africa?
Have you subscribed to MySmartKid?
No? Why not?
You are missing out BIG TIME!!
I signed up to MySmartKid a few months back and after four boxes being delivered, I am extremely impressed with this subscription – money well spent every two months.
Our box just arrived via courier and another three fabulous goodies for SJ – she won’t put them down!
These stickers and the pattern boards are perfect for developing:
- Spatial relations – the awareness of objects in relation to each other.
- Cooperative play – taking part in an activity which requires two or more people to work together.
Choose a sticker board and matching stickers. Look at each sticker with your child and make sure they know what is on the picture. Do this by pointing at the picture and naming it.
Now ask your little one to name the picture as you point at it. Plan where you are going to place the stickers by using words like ‘top’, ‘bottom’, ‘behind’, ‘in front’, ‘above’, ‘below’, ‘up and down’, ‘next to’ and ‘in the middle’.
The stickers provide a great opportunity to your little one to learn new words and understand the concept of an object’s position in relation to another.
Encourage them to try and put the stickers on the board themselves. If creases bother your little perfectionist, offer to pull the sticker off and give them another chance to stick it on. Pulling the stickers off requires advanced fine motor skills so your child will need help to do this.
Assist your sweetie pie to remember instructions by keeping them simple and give only one instruction at a time. Make sure they understand each word of the instruction. You can ask your child to hand you the sticker with the fire truck on it. If they take the wrong one, gently correct them by saying: “Not the car, darling, the fire truck please”. Always give lots of praise for both effort and success.
Once your child easily completes one instruction at a time, increase the level of complexity by combining two instructions, for example: “Please hand me the sticker of the bus and the car”.
2. Happy Hugs
We love you, Hugless Douglas! Has beautiful illustrations and it will help with:
- Sequencing – the ability to remember what was seen or heard in the order that it was presented.
- Concentration – the ability to pay attention to an object or activity.
Remember to mention the title of the book to your little reader and discuss what they can expect from the story. Treat the story as an adventure of discovery by saying: “Oh my, I wonder what noise they heard!”
Discuss the story again once you’ve finished the book. Ask your little one questions like what kind of animal Douglas is, what noise they think the sheep made and how they think Flossie got up the tree. Some of their answers might not be very clear, but the exercise is useful for developing their problem-solving skills.
Of course the story can also be used to introduce certain values. Explain to your child that Douglas seems kind because he was worried about Flossie and he was gentle when he placed her on the ground. He also offered to help her in the future.
Develop your sweetie-pie’s sense of humour by making little jokes with them. You can ask whether they thin the cows were drinking s-moo-thies. Also take the time to explain abstract terms like ‘take a seat’ to them.
Help your little one to become more aware of the concept of time and sequence by using words like ‘first’, ‘next’, ‘and then’, ‘after’ and ‘before’.
Reading offers the ideal opportunity to model good language structure. For example, if your child says ‘bird hear bear’, you can help them by saying: “Yes, the owl heard the bear”.
3. Play with puzzles
This simple puzzle has just the right amount of detail to stimulate:
- Language skills – the meaning of words and phrases.
- Problem-solving skills – discovering how to get different results.
Look at and discuss the picture on the box before you take put the puzzle pieces. Plan which animals you recognize and how you want to build the puzzle.
Take out the puzzle pieces for the dog and horse and mix them up. Ask your tiny tot to find all the pieces for the dog. If they select the wrong one, show them the picture of the dog on the box and talk about why the piece they chose is actually for the horse, not the dog. For example, the dog is light brown and has the black spots. The horse is dark brown and has a yellow saddle.
Build the puzzle and name and describe the pieces as you do so. For example: “You have the dog’s head. Maybe it goes at the top. What comes next? Yes, that’s right, the dog’s body and front paws are next.”
Once you and your sweetheart have built all the puzzles, look at each animal and talk about their appearance and the different parts of their body. You can explain that all the animals have tails, but their tails are all different. Now discuss the differences and similarities between the animals.
Make the sound of one of the animals and ask your child which animal makes that sound. Encourage your little one to try and imitate the sound of the particular animal.
What do you think? Pretty impressive! And a great way to use the toys to educate and develop your child – in ways that you might not think of! I can’t wait for EN’s box to arrive.
You can thank me later