23 answers

Teaching My 3 1/2 Year Old Grandson Abc's, Numbers, Colors, Etc

Any suggestions for me teaching my grandson so he can be ready for Kindergarden? He will be 4 in October. Thank you very much, M.

3 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

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The best way is just to reniforce through everyday activites. Hands on is the best way to learn.At the grocery store, identify colors of food, counting produce, and letters that items start with. Driving down the road, at home, anywhere really. Make homemade flash cards: write number 1, add one sticker, #2, two stickers. Make alphabet flashcards using photos of family, houshold items or pics from magazines. If you think he would like it, you can buy preschool age workbooks at Target, etc., but things he's involved in will help him learn better.

***also- Do things to increase his small motor skills to help with cutting and penicl holding. Get some kid safety scissors and let him cut up magazines. Playdough, puzzles, legos, lacing cardsand stringing beads are good for that.

4 moms found this helpful

Most boys are visual....so they may have a tendency to be visual learners. My son has done exceptionally well with the "Letter Factory" DVD by leap frog.....it was recommended to me by my cousin who is a teacher. It teaches them the sounds the letters makes, etc... He is far more advanced in the letter area than the other kids in his preschool class...he's 4. They also make other videos that go in to spelling, etc....

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

The best way is just to reniforce through everyday activites. Hands on is the best way to learn.At the grocery store, identify colors of food, counting produce, and letters that items start with. Driving down the road, at home, anywhere really. Make homemade flash cards: write number 1, add one sticker, #2, two stickers. Make alphabet flashcards using photos of family, houshold items or pics from magazines. If you think he would like it, you can buy preschool age workbooks at Target, etc., but things he's involved in will help him learn better.

***also- Do things to increase his small motor skills to help with cutting and penicl holding. Get some kid safety scissors and let him cut up magazines. Playdough, puzzles, legos, lacing cardsand stringing beads are good for that.

4 moms found this helpful

He probably already knows a lot more than you think. But on the off chance that he does not know this stuff.. here are some suggestions. Fist off, kids learn best through play. No need for flash cards, memorization or anything in that nature. Have him gather up all his monster trucks or cars or blocks, etc.. You can easily work on counting and colors with these items. Count the items, group them by colors, ask him to give you the red one, just PLAY! As for abc's, just point things out but keep it fun. Have letters around for him to see. Both of my kids loved that refridgerator toy by Leap Frog where you put a letter in and it tells you the letter and the sound it makes. Read - reading books to him will help him learn his letters. Don't just read the story - say, "where is the RED fox?, where is the yellow sun? what color is the sun? what color is that log?" etc... he'll learn colors... Ask him to find letters/numbers as well. Most of all, keep it fun and he will enjoy himself and learn at the same time.

Love what the responder before me said about the grocery store. This was always one of my favorite things to do with my kids. They learned a lot on these trips. Also her suggestion regarding cutting and playing w/play doh - all great stuff for him to be doing.
Best wishes,
M.

3 moms found this helpful

Most boys are visual....so they may have a tendency to be visual learners. My son has done exceptionally well with the "Letter Factory" DVD by leap frog.....it was recommended to me by my cousin who is a teacher. It teaches them the sounds the letters makes, etc... He is far more advanced in the letter area than the other kids in his preschool class...he's 4. They also make other videos that go in to spelling, etc....

2 moms found this helpful

Follow what he is interested in. We have used dry erase markers on our mirrors. My daughter loves it. and also sidewalk chalk. There is also a great Leap Frog DVD I think its called letter factory, that my kids love. My 21 month old is picking up on what the 4 year old is learning. Its funny b/c she sees letters and starts rambeling some off (not accurately but at least she knows its letters) she does the same thing with colors too!

So anyway whatever things your grandson is interested in take his lead. Ask him what his shirt is or cars are. See if he can count this that or the other thing. Have him find certain letters on a sign. Turn it into a game. take him to the market and have him find different fruits and veggies and count out how many you need. (no guarantee but it may help him eat them too if he picks them out.) Basically have a lot of fun with it. Don't worry a whole lot if he isn't getting the hang of it either. just let him be 3.

2 moms found this helpful

My mom taught my son his colors by using M&M's candy. My son picked it up quick since he loves chocolate. It made it fun for him and he was learning at the same time. He knew his colors before he turned 2. And he learned his numbers by me just counting to him everyday, and when we got to the number 10, we would yell the number really loud and dance around all silly. Whatever you decide to do, just make it fun! Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful

using playdoh and other very sensorial ways, such as puzzles, etc... the sounds of the letters. Stress the sound of the alphabet much more than the name of the letter to avoid confusion later. Same for numbers. Count toys. As for colors-focus on 1 color at a time and have him point it out everywhere he sees it. Coilor them in a rainbow. Red, orange, Yellow, green, blue, purple, etc... Look at math beads(abacus) for numbers. The Montessori method-check online is very helpful. Read with your grandson on topics he likes. This is daily. Read easy books for learning to read and harder, more interesting books for developing reading comprehension, etc...

2 moms found this helpful

My sister is teaching her son his letters and numbers by writing them out on individual papers and letting him trace them with his finger and pudding. He can lick his fingers in between! You can also make the pudding with the child.
Have fun!

2 moms found this helpful

In my son's room I have a couple of posters that are very colorful of his ABC's and 123's. In the living room there is even a poster of colors. I go over his ABC's everyday in his room with him pointing to the letter and repeating what I say. He knows the last letter of the alphabet which is cool because it shows pictures of what the letter begins with. Whenever my son wants to color I have him say the color of the crayon first before I give it to him. Even when we are outside I will ask what color is the tree or what color is the sky. Like one of the mom's said make it like a game. He will get it soon just make it fun for him.

2 moms found this helpful

The key is to make things fun and to incorporate the learning into the things that he does.
For counting, I taught my son to count to 100 by using temporary tattoos. We would count while we waited for the tattoo to be done. You actually don't need to count all the way to 100, but we ended up going that high just so he could count.

When it comes time to start writing writing his letters, you could customize and print out pages from some learning websites. You can put in the child's name or other words that the website will print on the pages with dotted lines for them to follow and trace. I used my son's name, and also names of superheroes and such like Spiderman, or Buzz Lightyear. He was really excited to know how to write and spell spiderman! The point wasn't to learn how to spell them, but rather to get him excited about writing their names, which was practice in writing his letters. I tried to come up with things that he really loved, and that included a variety of letters. That worked really well.
If I look up a website, I'll let you know.
As for the colors and abc's, just start referring to them in your day to day activities - green grass, blue sky, red shoes, etc.
Also, there are tons of children's books out there that have lots of pictures for for learning colors and the alphabet.
The main thing is that learning doesn't have to be formal. Just keep it fun!

Here are couple of great sites for printing up pages:
www.kidzone.ws
http://www.dltk-teach.com/alphabuddies/dynamic.htm

2 moms found this helpful

You got some good advice, but I'd skip flash cards and formal learning tools. They are pushed much too soon, in my opinion. We constantly referred to things by color, or played games "How many green things can you find in the room?" "We have two kinds of vegetables" for lunch." "Let's put on two socks: One sock, two socks." Letters can be picked out of signs, or first letters from words in favorite stories. I see an "A." Can you find another "A" on this page?"

As a master first grade teacher for 35 years, my mother always found that children who had been "coached" to rattle off numbers, alphabet, etc, were no further along at the end of the year than the children who came with no "formal" training. I don't think she ever turned out a child who could not read by the end of the year, and many were reading above grade level, since she let them move at their own pace. She also had a private kindergarten when I was little, since Oregon did not usually have kindergartens back then. She did a lot with rhymes: "The funny cat with a hat, sat on the mat." I sat there in my high chair and learned it all as well! It's probably the best introduction to phonics for a small child.

2 moms found this helpful

The Letter Factory DVD's worked really well for my son too. Also, I picked up a pre-school workbook at Wal Mart with over 300 pages for under $4 and we've been spending a few minutes each day doing some of the activities. He's done very well with it and by making it a regular part of his daily routine, his attention span has increased by double in just over a month. I just make sure he sits near the window for sunlight at a little table and chair where his feet are able to touch the floor (this placement has made a HUGE difference in his attention span and focus) and I sit with him and explain the work to him while he does it. He loves this time and looks forward to his little brother's nap time every day so we can work together on his schoolwork. I love that he looks forward to it and he loves the reward of watching a movie or playing the PBS Kids website afterward. This has also made a vast improvement in his attitude for the rest of the day! On the rare days that we vary from this routine I have found that he's not near as respectful or obedient. This really seems to help keep him on track.

Good Luck with it and good for you for taking the initiative to begin your grandson's education.

~J. B

2 moms found this helpful

HI M.,
Check out Smarty Crafts kits. They are fun & educational and perfect for your grandson's age. I use them with my daughter (who is 3) and she is learning her letters and she even practices writing...or what she thinks is writing. It's a monthly kit with crafts & activities based on "early childhood development concepts" and "based on national kindergarten standards." Took that from their website. It makes learning fun & creative and it's fun to do together. www.smartycrafts.com is their website.

2 moms found this helpful

I say just read to him. Follow the words with your finger as you read. You can choose one letter per week to work on if you want, putting examples of it around the house and pointing it out on signs as you take a walk, talk about which words start with the letter, etc. He really does not need to know all of this, yet. You might send him to a little preschool a couple of days a week or something if you are really worried about him academically. Teach him to write his name. Just don't make it rigorous because he is really just a little tiny kid. It will come. DOn't stress too much about it, it should be fun!

1 mom found this helpful

songs, puzzles, BOOKS, READ, mommy & me classes through parks & rec, library story times and playgroups

1 mom found this helpful

M. M

You can work with him with blocks that have letters, numbers, and colors. You continually say the letter, number, or color and he will soon mimic you in what they are. Once he has learned what ever you are working with, ask him to put them in order. He will catch on very soon. Use everyday things like cups, count the cups. Count his toys, clothes, etc.

Picking out his own clothes, tell him what color shirt you are looking for and let him find it. Count how many people are at the table, number of washers in the laundry-mat. I used to do this when I had my kids when they were little, when they went to school they were one step ahead of the kids in the kindergarten. It would be a wise idea to enroll him into pre-school, this will also help him socially.

My children are now grown and do this with their children, even teaching them the value of money. I would give them a dollar in the store and let them buy something that was worth a dollar. They learned that much faster when in school, since they already knew the concept. This is just what I did, there are many, many more ideas out there. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Repetition, repetition, repetition! My 21-month-old knows all of her letters already, but really it's just because I read her ABC books constantly, I let her watch one half-hour Sesame Street letter video, and I put letters up in her room around the wall. It's EVERYWHERE! Make sure it's fun books that he likes (if he likes a certain character or thing [Cookie Monster, trains, etc], get the book and videos that have the thing so he will enjoy them). The he will want to read the books and watch the video. He won't know that he is learning, but he'll learn! Get letter magnets. Get chalk and write letters on the ground. Point out letters everywhere. It's pretty amazing how fast they pick it up :)

Read, read, read, read, read to him and read some more!

Hi M.,

My advice is to read to him as much as possible. If you get him to love books he will already have a great headstart. Books need to be part of every child's life. Most libraries have story time. I am sure he would love to go with you.

For colors, a fun way to teach them is to have color theme days. For example, on brown day dress in brown, have chocolate milk with wheat toast for breakfast etc. For blue day you could have blueberries or booberry crunch cerael. Yellow - bananas. Be creative. Also talk about things that are the colors. Go for walks and find things that are certain colors and see who can find the most.

My grandma used to take my kids on nature walks around her neighborhood when they were toddlers on up. It was amazing how much they learned from her. Nature walks are a great time for counting - how many cats can we find, or birds, or bugs.

Have fun with your little guy. I think that is the key to opening up his mind.

Have fun.

C.

http://www.paltoys.com/home.html
this has full range of learning resources at a very reasonable price. this is NOT a drill cards. your grendson will end up actually liking to learn : )
Good Luck
V.

My daughter just turned 4 in June and we started colors, letters and numbers much earlier, like 2 or so. She can now read and here are a few things that we did to get her there.
Basically if your grandson cannot write letters right now, start with drawing shapes. It is the foundation for writing letters. Then move on to one letter a week once he can successfully draw all the basic shapes. The best tool for my daughter was a white board. I would write the letter "A" and she would copy it over and over. I would say something verbally so she could remember how to write it. For an A I said "up, down, across". The reason I used a white board is that you can erase mistakes fast so that they don't sink in and it's really fun for the child using different color markers, makes them feel grown up. The one thing I would caution about is holding their hand while you show them how to write it. DO NOT DO THIS! This causes their brain to tune out what they are learning and so they don't internalized it. Lazy. Show them how you draw it, hand over the marker and have them do the best they can. PRAISE, PRAISE PRAISE, is the key. Point out what part they did correctly and make their mistakes seem small. Kids respond to that.
If he is having a hard time with letter recognition, before teaching him to write, use flash cards and just do a few every day.
Colors are sort of an every day thing, point them out and ask questions as you see things different colors. My daughter's favorite game when she was little was the "Color Game" We would go on a walk and she would say "FInd something Yellow" I would look around and find something and say "the sign is yellow!" Then it is your turn for your grandson to find something of a color of your choice.
There are a lot of fun things you can do to teach numbers. One game I found on a website called education.com was the paper bag game. You write numbers 1-10 on cards, put them in a paper bag. Give yourself and your grandson a handful of pennies. Then you take turns pulling a number out of the bag, looking at it secretly and then placing that number of pennies in front of your partner who then has to count the pennies and tell you what number you must have pulled out of the bag.
Writing number is just repetition and practice and often times many kindergartners can't do it yet because they are usually backwards to the direction of letters.
Anyhow, check out education.com to learn A TON of fun ideas for your preschooler.
I hope this helps!

Starfall.com. My son is 2 1/2 and already recognizes letters and sounds because of this website. Fun! Pretty much a free leapfrog.

Definitely reading and just explaining EVERYTHING you see to him. I was always pointing things out to my son - different types of cars, buildings, lights, signs - everything plus reading several books every night. There are lots of books on abc's, counting, colors, animals, etc. Huggy Buggy was our favorite color book.

I taught my son how to count to 100 when he was 2 1/2 by counting with him every night while he took his bath. He eventually figured out the pattern and we were able to keep going higher.

It's all about repetition and using every opportunity as a learning experience.

Good luck!

My son is 3 1/2 and we love Brainquest and Leapfrog learning toys/books/videos. The Letter Factory by Leapfrog is an EXCELLENT resource for letters and their sounds, my son loves it, they have new Preschool learning DVD out that is ok but not as good i my opinion as the Letter Factory. He loves the brainquest cards and workbook, as do I. The Brainquest workbook is great for learning to write the letters. We also just buy the simple wide lined paper (with the dashed middle line) to practice tracing/writing his name.

Good luck!

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