Help with How to Keep up with My Toddler and Teachings

Updated on August 13, 2008
T.B. asks from Grand Rapids, MI
8 answers

Well what I need help with is my sons development and what to teach I was reading that it's good or at this age I am to teach him how to be gentle and start a collection...It sounds so easy, but .... um HOW??? I mean he's all boy and his baby brother doesn't mind him playing ruff with him LOL...AND With this collection thing...what should we collect? I have no idea...what else should I teach him he is so smart and independent I run out of ideas

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answers from Benton Harbor on

I used to drive myself crazy researching what to teach my now 4 year old. I was always worried that he wasn't learning numbers, letters, signing, etc, fast enough. Then people started telling me that they couldn't believe how advanced he was for his age. I realized that as long as you are an involved parent (even if you are busy) they will develop at the proper rate. Provide them with educational tools; toys, tv, videos and books...and be interactive...they'll pick it up faster than you know!


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answers from Grand Rapids on


I don't have any boys and my one daughter is 18 months, so I am not exactly an expert in this area but here is what I would do if I were in your shoes.

First I would watch him for a couple of days or a week and try and see what he's interested in (you probably already know quite well)You didn't say how old he was so maybe if he's really into trucks, cars, airplanes, trains etc... you could buy some magazines help him cut out pictures of them (maybe if he's quite young this would also be a teaching time of how to use scissors). Get a big binder with card stock paper that he can glue his pictures in and get dividers for each different mode of transportation.
Maybe he would like dinosaurs, get tons of stuff on dinosaurs, or snakes, or bugs. If it's bugs, get him a bug collector and then you can collect bugs. There are places you can buy larva, and watch it grow to a caterpillar and then into a butterfly, what a wonderful learning experience. You can also buy an ant farm, gold fish (this will teach responsibility as he learns to feed it, and wash the tank with help)

Hope some of those ideas help.

Also, with the gentleness things... I am convinced that kids learn stuff like this by example and obviously instruction. Make sure you teach him to always be gentle to you as you are a Lady and every other Lady out there, Grandma, nieces, etc... Try and teach him chivalry. Read him books about it, like the midevil times, opening doors for you and other ladies, the role he has as a little man being the protector, especially since you said you are a single mom, I think he will think that is really cool and even if he is young like 2-3 (again not sure) I think he will grasp the idea) Buy him a sword and let him be your protector :-) I think he'll like that.
That wasn't much on gentleness, but if you teach him that it is fine to play and wrestle with his little brother but he's still little and needs love and care as well.
Gentle with mommy, wrestle with brother...

Hope I helped a little



answers from Grand Rapids on

I would do a lot with playdough and cookie cutters. You can work on so much with them. Imagination, small motor skils, colors, shapes, 3D, 2D, the list could go on. Also, try markers or crayons and coloring in the lines. You can talk about how things are made, or what is in the picture. Kids sissors will also keep a child learning for hours. Cutting shapes, pictures out of books, fine motor skills, again the list could go on. As far as collecting things, rocks are great for boys. Or you could start a catapillar farm, ant farm, or even get a pet reptile. You could even collect matchbox cars. With the cars, you could put them in differnt catagories, and talk about how they are made and what makes them run. Each day you could separate them a different way. You would be surprised how just little things everyday are helping your little one grow. With the being gentle, I would try doing something with flowers or plants and how you have to be gentle otherwise they will break. Good luck and have fun with him!



answers from Detroit on

Be sure to include lots of counting and descriptive words (like colors, size words, etc) in your daily speech with your son and inlcude things like "Oh, an apple! Apples starts with an "a" sound. When my kids were little I took some posterboard and made a poster of the alphabet making each capital and lowercase letter group a different color. Some days I would ask the kids to find a letter that was ____ color, some days I would ask them to find "c", and later, I would ask them to find the letter that made the "eh" sound, etc. Of course, there are lots of educational toys to help with that too - my littlest ones are currently in love with the leapfrog refrigerator set that has letters, and a place you can "plug" them in that tells you what the letter is and what sound it makes. They have one that does up to three letter words as well.

Someone mentioned rock as a great beginning collection, and I agree kids seem to enjoy them, but you can use them to teach beginning math as well. We started counting rocks in a pile, and then would start with a smaller pile and count rocks we added or removed from the pile, and then counted the end result. I was sure to use math lingo like "Let's "add" these three rocks we just counted to our pile of 5 rocks, now how many do we have? Let's count them!" My son now loves math and is top in his class in that subject. We always stopped when he looked bored, but kids do like rocks, so he would always ask to "play" with them.

As far as gentleness and roughness goes, we always told the children they could touch with "one finger" things that they needed to be gentle with, and would often demonstrate gentle and rough by rubbing thier leg gently, and then rough. However, those boys do love to wrestle, so good luck!



answers from Detroit on

I collected leaves when I was little, it was fun and very easy. Then you can teach him about colors, shapes, textures, and nature.



answers from Grand Rapids on

I have 5 boys, and let me tell you they have this strange, unexplainable, fascination with rocks. I can't tell you how many rocks have gone through my washer and dryer because I thought I had emptied all the pockets but I always seem to miss a couple.
It would be an easy enough thing to collect. You could work with him to group them- big and little, sparkly or dull, smooth or rough, dark colored or light colored. Rocks and stones are everywhere and seem to be of great interest to little boys anyway. Just a thought. Good luck to you.



answers from Detroit on

check your local library. We have a wonderful storytime that incorporates dance, music, shapes, and colors. They also do more crafty things as the kids get a bit older (2/3) they also have a great diecut machine available for everyone (joslyn rd orion twp library)to make names, numbers and shapes of all kinds of things.

the dollar store has some great teaching aids - letters, nu,mbers, colors etc. I make a number and a letter of the day, out of cardboard, sandpaper, or whatever, and pin it up. At 18 months - the attention span is about 2 seconds, so just repeat many times during the day, rather than trying to have a session of learning.

Lastly, reading is one of the best things you can do. It teaches them there is a time to sit and hear a story, even if they insist on turning the pages and getting up - I like to make a time every day for storytime.(before morning snack, before nap, after bath/before bed) You can pick out the kids in kindergarten that havent been read to, because they arent used to sitting for an activity. this is especially important for boys, who generally are more active.

hope this helps.



answers from Detroit on

There are some good books out on raising boys. I know James Dobson has one, and there are others. My grandsons collected rocks, action figures, little cars (you can buy neat carrying cases for these), yo-yo's when they were a bit older & could work them, plastic animals, bath toys, art supplies in a container of some kind etc. See what he's interested in.

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