Baby Literacy

Baby Literacy

The teacher in me can’t wait to start homeschooling our little boy. I’m looking forward to the science experiments that we’ll get to do, the math games we’ll get to play, and the good books we’ll get to read. So I can’t quite resist finding little ways to incorporate learning activities into Andrew’s day, even if he is only eight months old. It’s not hard to do. In fact, you probably do most of these already! Here are a few of our favorite activities that encourage Baby Literacy!

  1. Sing the ABC song!

I love singing the ABC’s with Andrew. We clap our hands and pat our knees and do funny things with our hands in time with the song. Andrew loves it! There is also another great version if you are a Christian –

A B C D E F G

Jesus Died for You and Me.

H  I J K L M N

Jesus Died for Sinful Men, Amen!

O P Q R S T U

I Believe God’s Word is True.

U V W

God Has Promised You

X Y Z

A Home Eternally!

 

  1. Repeat their sounds back.

Andrew has learned the “m” and “b” sounds in the last few weeks, and I’ve been having a blast encouraging him to practice his sounds. I try to come up with as many words that start with m and b as I can, like mama, milk, monkey, baby, bottle, and bumblebee. He gets a kick out of hearing me make his sounds. We work on others too – especially “d.” We can’t wait for him to say “dada!”

  1. Play with alphabet blocks.

We got Andrew a set of Alphabet blocks for Christmas. Andrew and I put them in alphabetical order, find the letters for his name, and practice making letter sounds. The blocks are also great for making towers for him to knock down! In fact, most of the time we play with these blocks is not spend “academically” per se. Even as we make towers, Andrew is being exposed to the letters and getting used to seeing them everywhere. The time for him to know which letter is which will come soon enough. 🙂

  1. Have magnetic letters on the refrigerator.

We don’t have these yet, but they are on my list of things to get as soon as Andrew gets past the stage of putting everything into his mouth. It’s just another great way for kids to interact with the letters of the alphabet!

  1. Have board books around.

I try to put a few board books on the floor when I get toys out for Andrew to play with. I want him to grow up surrounded by opportunities to read. Of course he can’t read them yet, but he’ll pick them up and try to open the pages. He knows that’s what they’re supposed to do!

  1. Read books to them!

This one is my all-time favorite. Andrew likes to cuddle for a while before naptime, so we’ve made a little tradition of it. He’ll let me know when he’s tired, and I’ll grab his blanket and a couple of books from the shelf to read to him. Not only does it teach Andrew to like reading, it also gives Mommy some good cuddle time and calms him down so he falls asleep faster. That’s a triple bonus in my book! 🙂

 

What are your favorite ways to encourage literacy at this age? I would love to hear about them!

Favorite Games for 7-Month-Olds

Our little boy had his 7 month birthday last week. It seems like he grows every time I blink! I remember looking at the clothes he’s wearing now and thinking, “No, I can’t imagine him growing that big.” Now I look back at those newborn onesies and I’m amazed that he was ever that small!

Playing with our little pumpkin is so fun. He’s very curious, and I can almost see him learning as we play. I’m including a few of our favorite games below. Feel free to add your own favorite games in the comments below. I’m on the look-out for more! 🙂

  1. Pat-a-Cake

I think this is my top favorite. We do the actions, which always end in end in tickling Andrew, and I love seeing the anticipation in Andrew’s face. He knows what Mommy’s going to do, and he giggles so hard when he gets into it!

  1. Pop Up

Remember these toys? Andrew got one for Christmas, and it’s one of his favorites right now. He can’t make the little animals pop up yet, but he loves watching Mommy and Daddy do it. You can just see his mind trying to figure it out!

  1. Reach!

Andrew is close to crawling now. He doesn’t really use his knees yet; instead, he alternates between pulling himself forward with his hands and pushing himself forward with his toes. It’s so fun to watch! I’ve been using playtime to encourage his crawling – I grab some of his favorite toys and put them in a line on the carpet. He starts at one end and inches toward the nearest toy until he can reach forward and play with it. Soon, he’ll get tired of that one and start inching for the next. He really gets a work-out with this game!

  1. Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall!

We have a vanity mirror that Andrew loves to play with. He touches the glass, trying to reach the baby on the other side. He can never quite reach him though – the other baby’s hand always gets in the way!

  1. Laundry

There are some times when I need a place for Andrew to play by himself for a while, and that’s when I pull out my laundry basket. We put a soft towel in the bottom for him to sit on, and his favorite blanket gets draped over the basket. With a few toys tossed in, he can usually sit in the corner of the basket and amuse himself for good ten minutes. I love this trick because I can move the basket to whatever room I’m working in. He can see me and play, I can see him and work, everybody is happy. 🙂

What’s your favorite game to play with the kiddos? I would love to hear about it! 🙂