Originally Posted by SouthernStormy
At what point do I need to start doing more structured activities/play with DD?
4? Years! :)
I don't do structured things with littles. I talk, all day long. I make sure we read a lot, and that we have great open ended toys available, and I include babes & tots in my regular daily activities.
That's all. We're not really into 'structured play' at all. It works well for us, DS had the vocab of a 5yo at 2 1/2, met or exceeded all milestones, and currently at 4.5 can count to 100 and do quite a bit of math (at a higher level than preschool).
When I talk to/with babies & tots, I do play by play discussion of the day. It's silly, but it gives them language to describe their every day stuff. When you read, read the same books over and over, and read lots of rhyming books. When you go for a walk, don't just say "oh there's some birds", say "Do you see the red cardinal? There are five blue jays flying up to the tree. That tree has some green leaves and some orange leaves that are falling off." etc. Same deal at the grocery store etc. I'm always amazed at how many of my friends children cannot identify vegetables. They've only seen them cut up and cooked or covered in dip, and have no idea what a whole cucumber is, or that carrots have green tops, or that there are many different kinds of apples! You'll learn stuff you never knew mattered ... I refuse to call all things by a category name. So DS & I both learned all the correct names for 'diggers' ... excavators, backhoes, skid steers, bull dozer, scrapers, road graders .... and he knows all the 'brands' too ... CAT, John Deere, Komatsu etc. as well as identifying the major contractors who re-paint their equipment. He's also never called a cow a 'moo moo' (pet peeve of mine, when kids call all animals by the sound they make!), he actually tells me which ones are holsteins, jersey, ayrshire etc. as we drive through the country. This all started when he was a baby, we'd tell him everything about what we saw through the day.