3Rs and Other Skills for 34 month olds

As the girls approach the age where they are officially preschoolers, I'm also trying to be more intentional with what I'm teaching them at home and preparing them for kindergarten.

READING:

The first part of teaching the girls to read came with having them learn the letters of the alphabet and I shared the most useful tools for this in an earlier post

What comes next after learning all the letters of the alphabet  Learning the sounds they make. I downloaded the LeapFrog Letter Factory "movie" from iTunes and its one of the twins' favorite shows to watch. It's got amazing ratings from parents both on itunes and on Amazon and I can see why. Since they started watching it, they now know the sounds all the letters make and we practice regularly with street signs. Next step will be to start pronouncing actual words

wRITING:

The girls favorite activities is still having me hold their hands to write letters. I'm still trying to figure out alternative ways to teach them their letters. Any tips?

aRITHMETIC:

From the time the girls were able to walk upright on the stairs, we've been teaching them their numbers by counting steps. They learnt to count to 10 first and in the last few months they've gone up to 20. Now I'm teaching them the actual process of counting (as opposed to just reciting the letters). There are a lot of opportunities to do this during the day but one of the best is with their food at dinnertime. We count grapes, blueberries, , snacks in the cupboard, cereal etc. It's still a work in progress but we're getting there

SELF-CARE:

Asides from learning to dress themselves, the girls have also started learning how to sponge themselves in the shower. I got those cute animal sponges you can find in every Walmart and grocery store - the girls got to choose what they wanted so this added to the excitement. Of course they can't reach their backs, but they still love using their cow and piggie sponges

EXTRA:One more thing that the girls are old enough to learn and we've been happy to teach them is their full names (first and last names) as well as ours. This is primarily a safety measure so if we get separated in a public space, they can answer questions in a helpful manner.


Sure my twins are in fulltime daycare and are learning a lot from the time spent there, but I still find that the lessons they learn best are the ones we teach them at home and that's where I need your help. I'm really now looking for teaching guides and techniques to use in the next one year for teaching 3 year olds. 


What tools or activities have worked with your 3 year olds? 

5 comments :

  1. I love that you are teaching them to bathe themselves! My girls are too lazy, I'm going to have to work on that lol. They do know their full names.

    I found a Kumon workbook for toddlers at Target that helps them practice tracing. It's mostly just drawing straight lines but I think it sets up the fundamentals for writing letters. They think it's fun.

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    1. Thanks for the tip Samantha. Was that Target US or our Canadian Target?

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    2. Found them in Walmart at the back to school section. Let the good times roll

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  2. Being a twin means never having to wash your own back! :)

    I'm lazy, so here is a cut and paste from a part of a post I did as a guest a couple of years ago on Multiples & More:

    "Oddly enough, I do a lot of the same things with my girls at three that I was doing with my classroom full of 6 and 7 year olds. Since having my own children, I realize just how little most parents do to help their kids succeed in school, assuming it is not their job. Did you know that children should have read thousands of books before they ever reach kindergarten? I read to the girls (all the time) as well as do guided reading with them (where they read predictable text books aloud to me). When they were about 18 months old, we really started working on recognizing the letters of the alphabet. By two they were working on the sounds the letters made. Now we are pre-reading, working on rhyming words, stringing consonant-vowel-consonant words together, some sight words, and ‘baby’ math skills – one to one correspondence, rote counting, continuing a pattern, simple addition with manipulatives. Really, the most important thing you can do for your child is read to them every day. Let them turn the pages when they are infants, point out that you are reading the words not the pictures, let them tell their own stories using the pictures, have them retell the story or even act it out. There are some awesome websites out there to help parents teach their kids at home. "

    http://www.activity-mom.com
    http://www.icanteachmychild.com
    http://theprincessandthetot.blogspot.com
    www.starfall.com

    And, if you like the Letter Factory series, you'll likely love the PreSchool Prep videos as well. :)

    And on the letter formation:
    Strengthen their hands (and improve fine motor skills) by having the girls 'squish' playdoh in their hands back and forth. Have them begin to write their letters really big with their finger tips in sand, shaving cream, or other tactile materials. Once they can form the letters, then move to pencil and paper. :) The workbooks like your other reader talked about are great... and make preschoolers feel like big kids.

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    1. Thank you so much Johanna. After reading your comment I spent all of naptime on the websites you recommended. I feel a bit "readier" for this next step :)

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