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23 Month Old: Fostering The continuation of new skills: Ideas?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

My Dd is now 23 months.  This is just a small snippet of her before I ask my question: She can read some words, recognizes about half the alphabet, some numbers, counts to 5, knows most of her colors, body parts, knows the difference among pronouns, can identify many animals and objects, and uses 4-5 word sentences.  Physically she is starting to pump a swing, can hold herself up on a gymnastics bar and pull her legs/knees up, just hanging for 10 minutes or more at a time (she loves this and it's nearly all she will do at gymnastics).  Her running is still a little shaky, but she can sommersault, alternates feet going upstairs.  Her fine motor skils are excellent: she holds writing utensils correctly and can draw straight lines, scribble, and circles.

 

We are just starting to do emotions.  What other ideas do folks have and what kinds of games and activities can I do with her to keep things moving forward?

post #2 of 11

I don't think you have to be intentional about teaching her the next things. You don't have to plan it out, or have an agenda. The whole thing about learning is that it's important because it's necessary for real life... and at the same time, that's the fail-safe: because it comes up in real life, your child can't help but encounter it. You don't have to "do emotions." You just have to live your days meaningfully relating to your child, including her in your life and conversation, enjoying her curiosity, allowing her copious creative play time, answering her questions, helping her explore the world around her. 

 

You don't have to plan things to do in order to keep things moving forward. She will keep moving forward without you planning what she moves forward into. If it's always you that's looking to move things forward and not her, I think you risk creating a "hurried child" a la David Elkind by putting too much emphasis on the achievement of your expectations. I'm not saying you're overtly demanding she satisfy your expecations but I think kids have very good radar and if they perceive that much of your interaction with them is in service of helping them achieve particular skills and goals, they will begin to measure their value in terms of their achievements. At age 1 and 2 (and heck, at 3 and 4 as well) she should be guiding her own learning. 

 

Miranda

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Miranda.  The emotions thing was just kind of a response to her having a hard time visiting her Dad and becoming frustrated at not being able to express her frustrations effectively.

 

The other things are just really awesome to watch.  I've gotten her into the little ones' gymnastics classes as well as the mommy and me swimming type of classes.  She just loves them and has a great time and it's helped her so much.  We also play a lot with music and, of course, books.  She is so active now, though, I kind of read to her while she's on the run.  She just wants to do so much that sitting still is a hindrance LOL!  She is definitely a hands-on learner.  I just hope the readong on the go works :)

post #4 of 11

I agree with Miranda. Kids move forward no matter what you do. I'd just let her go at her own pace. Sometimes this means she'll make rapid progress in an area, sometimes she'll seem to stagnate in one area while she explores another direction. As parents, we have to learn to let this happen (and I know it's a challenge... it was a challenge for me!)

 

I know it's super exciting when they start reading words but I'd not plan out a trajectory.. Kids take off reading when everything is in place developmentally. For my eldest, she could write phonetically long before she actually picked up a book a read it (which wasn't until 5 and she was 5th grade level in a few weeks of reading her first word.) My youngest figured out all the letters from a puzzle at 12 months,  started pointing out words before 2 but couldn't comfortably sit down and read a whole book until 7 (which is when his visual tracking issues resolved themselves and he got a handle on his mild dyslexia.) At 10, he reads at the highschool level in English and about 8th grade level in Spanish.) Early reading is exciting but moving it forwards externally just makes what should be a fast and simple process long and more difficult.

 

 

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by breezyleigh View Post

Thanks, Miranda.  The emotions thing was just kind of a response to her having a hard time visiting her Dad and becoming frustrated at not being able to express her frustrations effectively.

 

The other things are just really awesome to watch.  I've gotten her into the little ones' gymnastics classes as well as the mommy and me swimming type of classes.  She just loves them and has a great time and it's helped her so much.  We also play a lot with music and, of course, books.  She is so active now, though, I kind of read to her while she's on the run.  She just wants to do so much that sitting still is a hindrance LOL!  She is definitely a hands-on learner.  I just hope the readong on the go works :)


with the emotions, just work on talking about what she is feeling and what you are feeling, and maybe get some books that talk about emotions. and reading on the fly is just fine, it helps introduce new words and grammatical structures. no rush on actually reading, just keep exposing her to language and reading will usually follow on its own. 

 

post #6 of 11
I would say lots of sensory play-- it's getting nice out, so dd is out with her water and rocks and the sand and all, for hours every day. And get lots of really great picture books at the library (does your have a good request system?) and read a lot to her! Then talk about it all-- the emotions, the things, the words, etc. So much to learn from books and sensory play. There's a great book out there, is it some of my best friends are books? That talks about the needs young gifted readers may have, like for aesthetic beauty, social justice, connections, dealing with fears, etc, and it recommends books that serve the purpose. I'm not sure it's that book though or another gifted book Rec kinda book smile.gif

Enjoy her and keep being really in tune and engaged with her and it will all follow. Things you are into you'll share... Also try googling preschool themes bc dd was way past most by three, so it might be a good time for you-- things like feelings, seasons in a basic way, plants, community Hellers, etc. We do a more detailed investigation of many themes weekly or so, just to keep me engaged and dd stimulated so she's not acting out etc. At two it's the perfect time for lots of art and playdough and maybe themes smile.gif
post #7 of 11
Haha helpers. Community helpers.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the ideas!  We *do* do walks where she points and says, "what's that?" to everything, whether she knows it or not and I either ask *her* what it is (if she knows it and I am sure she does) or I tell her and ask her what color it is and if it has letters, like a sign, I ask her what the letters are.  Even just examining an M&M helped her learn the letter M.  She thinks it's funny and a fun game and she's so proud of herself.  I don't let her get frustrated if she isn't correct because I just help her and let her know she is still doing a great job.  I have to keep her confidence up, always, especially since DD's dad keeps insisting there are things wrong with her because he doesn't see the same thing.  She won't even talk there.

 

I will have to try some of those other things.  I get just as excited as she does, so we keep things entertaining.  She loves to show off, too, so she is proud.  I'll be proud of her, no matter what.

post #9 of 11
For some reason I have a strong aversion to buying learning toys and curriculums for toddlers. I actually have a hard time buying toys in general. But, I have no problem with buying books and visiting museums. That's what we did at that age. That plus google and YouTube. And, we just talked all day long. DD loved word games. She could pronounce cinnamon and synonym correctly as well as use them correctly in a sentence.

We explored a lot through play, too. DD gets at least 2 hours a day of just "entertain yourself" time. I think that is important in our equation. Now, we participate in a lot of toddler programs to keep us all from burning out.


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post #10 of 11

You are already in some things that are great for precocious kids.  GREAT GREAT GREAT.  DS asked for a bike for his 2yo birthday so I got him one (a real one -- and I didn't handicap him with stabilizers).  He worked at it but it didn't really click until we picked up a 2 wheel scooter at a yard sale on a whim.  Boom, he was riding at 27 months and that was a great activity to do with him for years.  He was literally biking for miles all over town at 2.75.  Biggest challenge was finding a 12incher where he could reach the ground from the seat, or nearly do (he would do the "get going and hop on" thing).  Now balance bikes are all the rage and come in tiny sizes which would have been much easier.

 

My kids always swam because I'm a big fan of swimming and it gives kids such joy at an early age.  DS started diving headfirst at 19 months.  Went off the high dive in a perfect untaught pencil before his second birthday.  Passed the 25y swim test to use the diving boards at the outdoor pool at 2.  Did his first summer league meet at 3. 

 

Gymnastics ... was pushed into preschool classes at 2.5 because he was doing stuff on his own deemed too crazy for freeplay mommy and me.  Quit at 3.  Asked to go back at 4.5 and started training pre-competitive.  He moves to a 9-hour a week competitive team next week at 6.  I'm not sure if there will be an adjustment period going from 4 to 9 hours or if he won't notice or comment.

 

He's homeschooled so he's not rushed.  He sleeps in, he makes up plays, he writes stories and draws cartoons incessantly, he builds things real and imaginary in the backyard.  This has been meeting him where he is with what he wants to do..  He's always around bigger, older kids who are better than him so he does not realize how innately talented he is.  Also being homeschooled, he is not comparing himself academically to age-peers. 

 

post #11 of 11

Sounds like you are doing great :) Just follow her lead. With DS at that age I just let him do whatever he was interested in and if he showed a lot of interest then I would turn it into a game. For example, if he started asking about emotions at that age we probably would have drawn smiley, sad, and mad faces on paper or acted out a certain emotion while the other person tried to guess what it was.

 

I wasn't a big fan of themes though. Every kiddo is different and they work great for some, but it just seemed like overkill for him... too structured I think.

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