I've always tried to be good about teaching Scarlett different things each day. I figure since I am home with her (for the time being) I should take full advantage of our time. I always talked with her in very descriptive ways. For instance, getting her dressed I would say, "Let's put your right leg into your blue pants" or "Do you want to wear your yellow shirt with orange circles?" I started with colors when she was about seven or eight months old. We had a cheapo dollar store book that showed a few same-colored items on each page. She loved that book so, using that technique, I grouped her same-colored toys into piles and she caught on pretty quickly. We worked on shapes (with her favorite Melissa and Doug shapes puzzle) and colors for a few months and she learned them by the time she was thirteen months old. We moved on from there, adding new things daily, weekly or monthly. I'm not strapping her down and forcing her to learn, we incorporate it into playtime and she enjoys it.
I started using flash cards when Scarlett was about nine or ten months old. I found an awesome website with tons of free printable resources. I printed a cute alphabet poster as well as a set of alphabet flash cards. Each morning after breakfast we would choose a few pictures and a few cards to discuss. With these tools, a few books, the help of another Melissa and Doug puzzle and episodes of Super Why! Scarlett was able to recognize all twenty-six letters by the time she was 20 months old.
I created this "chart" when Scarlett was around fifteen months old. I used foam-board, cellophane sheet protectors, twine, a hole puncher, an envelope, mailing tape, a glue stick, card stock and photo paper. (This would be a really sturdy keepsake if I'd used higher grade materials and a sewing machine). I created weather cards, numbers, letters, months, days of the week and special holiday cards. I also used alphabet flash cards and recently printed number lines and robot emotion cards - all which I found on the Mr Printables site. We rotate different things every other week to keep it interesting and fresh. Scarlett looks forward to changing the weather card and day of the week each morning after breakfast. It easily became part of our routine and she has learned SO MUCH from it.
The other night I printed some cards to use for matching and memory games. She loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse so I used those characters. She lovvvves playing with them and carrying them around and she is SO GOOD at the games! I was very surprised at how fast she made her matches. I really enjoy spending time doing things like this with Scarlett - and she clearly loves it too!
*** I say "I" a lot in my posts because it's my blog and my point of view but it doesn't mean that Gregg doesn't help teach Scarlett. He plays games and reads lots of books with her too!