I have been slacking on the whole blogging thing…to say the least! My last post was over a year ago! I have been promising myself that I will blog more often, and every time something else comes up! So this Saturday morning, I decided to just do it. Sometimes that’s all it takes!
I just put Charlie down for a nap, and Gio and I are on the kitchen counter. He’s on his Ipad and i’m on my laptop trying to find ways to distract him away from his Ipad so I can grab the names of all the apps he uses.
I know there is a lot of controversy when it comes to electronics 10jwpaz. A lot of parents are against it (and I totally get it), and some other parents are more ok with it. I think it all depends on the kind of activity. Here’s what I’m okay with and what I have found works well for my children and I. In the morning, we love being lazy in bed for a good 20-30 minutes. This is what I call our cuddle time. It’s just me and my two boys. It’s the one time of the day that they are not mean to each other, or hitting or biting one another. They are super happy. So I soak it all up. We start with a bottle of milk for each. Gio has started not to care so much about his bottle of milk. So sometimes he doesn’t care for it. Other times he inhales it. Go figure. Charlie on the other hand…boy does he love his milk! You’d think there’s candy, peanut butter, and m&m’s all in that bottle. If he even sees me with a bottle on my hands, empty or full, he starts screaming for it.
So after they each get their bottle we lay down in my bed. I turn the TV on. We always watch YouTube. For some reason, my kids never liked Disney channel or nickelodeon. But Youtube has been great for us. For the most part they love videos that have some sort of music or songs they play. They absolutely love the ABCs kind of videos. We tend to watch a lot of the Chu Chu TV channel. They really like them and Gio learned all of the numbers, letters, colors, and shapes from these videos. We’ve memorized the songs, so subsequently he learned each one of them simply by singing them outloud. See, this is where I see watching TV as beneficial. When I first started this whole parenting journey, I got a million and a half flashcards, wooden blocks, shapes etc. And they are great. Kids love playing with them. But I don’t think they have helped him with his letters and numbers as much as the Youtube videos have. In no way am I suggesting that you shouldn’t do the flashcards, or the real, physical toys they can touch and play with. That’s very very important. But I think some of the songs we watch on Youtube are an awesome addition to the whole learning process.
Here are some cool YouTube Channels toddlers love:
Genevieve’s Playhouse – It’s not music driven, so not a lot of songs, but there are videos focusing on not only colors, or shapes, or letters, or numbers,but rather a combination of objects and colors, or objects and numbers. It is great to enhance their speech. Right now for example I am working on 2 or 3 word phrases with Gio. He’s pretty good at naming objects and one word type of sentences. But we are working a lot on putting two or three words together. Ultimately that’s what will get them talking in full sentences. So this channel is great for that! They have videos showing for example 5 type of cars and they state what kind of car as well as color. For example: red police car. And the way they say them, it makes Gio repeat after them. And he’s done so so well. So give this a try.
Kid Games 2 Play – This is a channel that features animated babies playing together, or with animals, or objects. Gio is really into babies right now. I don’t know if it’s cuz his baby brother is a baby. But I’ve seen him show so much interest when it comes to babies. Whether it’s videos of real babies or animated ones, he loves it!
Mother Goose Club – This is a channel featuring children singing along to all the famous kid songs. It’s perfect for learning songs, words, animals, letters, numbers etc.
My Million TV – so odd but he loves it! It’s videos of this guy showing only his hands but playing around with things. For example, plastic eggs with toys inside of them. I think Gio loves the whole suspense part of it. Watching these hands shake the eggs around and talking about the toy that they just found inside, etc. There isn’t much interaction you will get from your kid, but it is fun to watch him be so in tune and wait patiently for the toys that he’s about to find inside the eggs. It’s given me a great idea to do this on my own with some plastic eggs (same kind you use to hide toys or money in during Easter). It’s a fun game for both Gio and Charlie.
Chu Chu TV – animated children singing nursery rhymes! It’s amazing for them! This is where he learned all of his letters, numbers, shapes, colors, body parts, etc.
Here are some IPAD games that I love for my 1 and 2 year old boys:
Endless 123 and Endless ABC – These are two different apps by the same company “Originator”. Probably my most favorite app on Gio’s ipad. It focuses on teaching letters and numbers. But the way they have designed it, it is not only interesting and catchy for the toddlers, but also for me as the Parent. It makes me wanna play with them. The Endless ABC one gives you a wheel of words that your child can choose from. Then they scatter all the letters around the screen and you have to drag each letter and put it in the corresponding spot to spell the word correctly. The cool part is that whenever your child picks a letter up and starts dragging it, the app starts making the sound of that letter. It’s catchy and it makes Gio want to repeat after the voice. This way he has learned the sound each letter makes. It has also taught him some words and how they are spelled. Now for example he can recognize certain words based on this app alone. The other cool thing is that when they have finishing putting the letters together to create the word, they show a quick 30 seconds of an animated scene to explain what that word means. It’s very cool. The Endless 123 app is the same concept, but with numbers.
TrucksJigSaw – this is a puzzle app. There are a ton of truck pictures you can choose from, and once you select one, it turns the photo into a puzzle. So your child has to then figure out which parts go where to complete the puzzle. It’s very challenging for a 2 year old but I like seeing him try hard to figure it out.
Sorting 2 – I LOVE this app! It’s a sorting app. For example, one of the tasks is to figure out the shape of an object and put it in the right shape basket. Say there are three objects: basketball, house, and ice cream. In the middle there will be three baskets in the shapes of circle, square, and triangle. Your child has to drag and drop the right object into the right basket. So a basketball for example has to be dragged and dropped into the circle basket. It is an amazing app.
Blocks – this enhances their short term memory and helps them learn how to focus and follow instructions or figure out a pattern. The app will show a box full of blocks, of different colors. Your child has to create the same box full of blocks, in the same pattern that it is shown.
TrucksMatch – it’s a matching app. It also enhances their short term memory. It’s amazing to watch them get so good at it after a few tries. I’m amazed how much Gio remembers. If he clicks on a firetruck for example, he is able to remember that 5 photos ago he saw that same fire truck and he is able to match them even though the cards have flipped and he can no longer see the photos. He sucked at it at first but now he’s amazing at it.
PreSchoolGames – this is app you guys have seen him play on my Snapchat lately. I don’t even know how to explain it. It’s like a whole virtual world they play in. There are so many games to play inside the app. Whether it’s puzzles, or finding out where the animals are hiding in the photos, or feeding the animals with the right food, etc.
BeBop Blox – Gio loves this one! It’s basically a block building game. But you have to figure out which block to put next, based on the shape of the block.
Lotto 1 – this app is a matching app. You are shown a table full of objects. And then a stack of cards. You have to drag each card to the matching object. It’s relatively easily but fun for them. It’s very colorful.
Towers 1 – created by the same company that created “Lotto1” and “Sorting 2”. I love this app. It’s a little map that has different buildings scattered around. Once you click on one, it will show you how this building is built, then it breaks it up into 4 or 5 parts. Your kid has to remember the order that the parts are in, to put the building back together.
Peekaboo barn – it’s a great game to learn the farm animals and the sounds they make.
PreSchoolMath – focuses on numbers, addition, subtraction, and patterns.