Monday, August 26, 2013

Moo, Baa, and ROOOOAARRR....

I had a few questions after this weekend's video post, so I thought I'd do a little follow up to talk about our "learning environment" a bit.

First.  I am not a teacher. I went through a long phase where I always assumed I'd go into teaching after having children, but as I am now having children, I don't see that happening... I think.  However, I do like to try to create a home where my child (and future children) can be inquisitive, explorative, and have full use of their imaginations.  My brother and I had crazy imaginative play as children and I want my kids to be just as creative.

However, when it comes to learning the ABCs and 123s, I'm really no genius parent other than singing the alphabet and pointing out letters at obvious opportunities - like spelling Ashlynn's name on her personalized blanket and chair or counting out toys and blocks with her on occasion. 

As for her animal sounds, the video actually surprised me a bit!  We've only broken out those flash cards maybe 3 times or so, and usually they just end up strewn across the floor where they end up becoming a makeshift slip and slide. We received the Baby Genius flashcards as a gift at her birthday party and I believe they  came in a package deal with other Books, CDs, and DVDs we got with them.  I think most of her noise knowledge has come from books and I haven't really realized how many she had.

It seems the majority of our books, or at least our current favorites, are centered around animals.  I also have a tendency to add on to the stories.  For example,

In Are You A Cow? Instead of just reading, "are you a sheep? no."  I usually add in each animals noise,  "are you a sheep... do you say 'baaaa'?  no?  okay."  We also do this with Moo, Baa, La La La, Old Mac Donald had a Farm, Touch and Feel Animals and Wild Animals,   Ten Little Lady Bugs ("... along came a frog - ribbit, ribbt"),  and of course Dear Zoo.

Dear Zoo is definitely where she learned to associate the roaring with the lion, she loves getting to that page and flapping down the cage and roaring at the lion.  She got the elephant from watching me make the noise every time she handed me her little stuffed elephant, she used to bring it to me just to get me to make the noise - over and over.

So parents of toddlers, share!  What do you do to encourage learning in an "at home" non structured environment?  Any fun ideas for colors, shapes, counting?  Spill it!


  1. Caden loves Dear Zoo! We also like Moo, Baa, La La La :)

  2. I think the babes are just so open to learning and want to learn you can use anything!! It's insane how you tell them something twice and they know it from then on... And I think parent reaction has a lot to do with it-- like when you clap and laugh!!

  3. We did the same with my daughter. We also drew out shapes while we would color with her and repeat them over and over and have her pick a colored crayon to color them in and tell her what color she was using. She knew her colors and shapes at a very young age :) it's so cute seeing them learn, it's amazing how quickly they understand!

  4. Dear Zoo is one of our favorites! I feel like I'm always adding parts to our books too!

  5. Young children are like little sponges, they just soak up what ever they are immersed in! And it is so wonderful to watch!

    Asking Owen to make animal noises is one of his favorite party tricks :) I love that he just makes up a noise when he's not sure what noise something makes.

    We just try (like all parents) to activate learning when ever possible. I think they're too young to have "study time" and that they are learning SO much all day every day, so it's just not necessary. I think we're all doing very well ladies!

  6. I don't have any tips since Sofia is only 10 months old but I'm definitely going to start making animal noises when we read, you're too cute! Her favorite book is Pat the Bunny, she lovesss touching the bunny and the Daddy's scratchy face page ;)


    1. Ashlynn LOVED Pat the Bunny around that age, mainly peek a boo with paul and the mirror, but Sofia's favorite parts too. She breaks it out once an awhile now, and I think likes smelling the flowers best.

  7. So funny! We have the "Are You a Cow" book, and I always make the animal noises too! Mya doesn't do them back yet, but she knows when they're coming and turns to look at me when it's time. She thinks its the funniest thing! I'll be checking back to read the comments on this post, as I'm trying to find ways to be more active in teaching at home as well. Sometimes I forget that part :/

  8. I was an Elementary Ed minor and I can tell you that you will do so much as a mom to prepare your little one that you don't have to worry about getting a degree to do it. Simply loving your child and giving them confidence will help them in a school environment. Obviously reading with them and teaching them ABCs helps too :)

  9. I think doing all of that is so great! my little girl just turned two a couple weeks ago and I am in awe some days of what she knows - shapes, all the colors, can count to 20, most all animals and sounds that go with them, songs (like every song she has ever heard me sing to her she knows the tune and most of the words. It's crazy), and we are working on the alphabet (she has maybe 8 letters down pat). They are just little sponges. And from that I have learned to just constantly turn play into learning. And it's worked so far. I hope she always likes to learn. And we are expecting #2 and I often wonder how they will compare on learning these things.


I love hearing from my readers! Be sure to check back as I try to respond to all comments and questions here in the comment form :)