Preschooling a 2 Year Old

Updated on October 06, 2010
L.M. asks from Porterville, CA
11 answers

Hi Ladies,
You have always given me your many great opinions so I am turning to you once again. I will be going on maternity leave in just about two weeks. My husband and I have talked about me quitting my job and just staying home with our two year old and the upcoming bundle. I am also a full time student so this would allow me more time to focus on school as well. My question is, is there a website I can go to that will give me ideas on teaching our two year old preschool basics? I have tried searching a few times but all I find are curriculums to purchase, that I do not want. I am not looking to establish a military environment for her but an hour or so out of the day set aside specifically for learning I see nothing wrong with. If she was in day care she would be receiving educational time as well. This may sound like a silly question but I just do not know where to begin or what type of materials to use. She already knows her ABC's, numbers, shapes, colors, all the basics so I just don't know where to go from here.
Thanks for any suggestions!

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all of your amazing suggestions. I have made notes from all your posts and plan to research everything tomorrow. Once again thank you!!!!

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answers from Honolulu on

There is a blog called "educate freely" that is wonderful. It is free so hit google and search it out.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

One thing I didn't expect when my daughter started 3 year old preschool was that they expected her to cut with scissors! I had never let her practice that at home, so she had to work at it. Since your daughter already knows the basics, here's what I'd suggest based on my oldest daughter (now in K) and my experiences as an elementary teacher:
-Play with Play-doh, draw, paint, and color.
-Make arts and crafts that require cutting and gluing
-Visit the library for story time (teaches listening skills in a group) and check out books. READ A LOT.
-Visit zoos and museums
-If she watches TV, choose something educational: Sesame Street, Word World, Leap Frog videos
-Continue to review letters, numbers, colors, and shapes. Find them out in the real world. Look for numbers on signs or objects of certain colors or shapes while driving or walking.
-Make it fun!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi L.,

Like Kathie, I used Montessori techniques in my home with my youngster when I was off work from my Montessori preschool teaching job, (yikes, 16 years ago!) This website gives plenty of guidance and activities for you to enjoy with your little ones at both their ages.

Good luck,

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Try "Ages & Stages Learning Activities" sold on amazon. It's the book used by CT's Birth to Three program.

Also, Ages and Stages: A Parent's Guide to Normal Childhood Development

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answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter's in daycare, but I do try to spend time at home educating her as well... about 30-120 minutes, depending on how tired I am when I get home from work or if it's the weekend. Lol, I'm starting to run out of things, so I'm glad you asked! I always have Leapfrog, WordWorld, Sesame Street, Curious George or They Might Be Giants Here Comes the... on while I'm making dinner. I think after introducing Talking Letters Factory, it only took my two year old about a week to learn her basic hard consanants and soft vowels. At the library, you can probably find Sight Words books. I'd start with those if she already knows her ABC's. We also play a lot with flash cards which are easily printable online or you can make yourself. I tell her to find me the red three or the green octagon, etc, or to match the card I'm holding. Lakeshore Learning online has a lot of free printables and activities, too, and the daycare owner said she prints a lot from a site called Math Is Fun. I also did break down and buy a couple of workbooks that I photocopy. They're rather large, and we haven't made it through them yet. Believe it or not, it was the Mega Blocks that finally got my daughter to understand the one to one concept of counting. You can also use them to sort colors, talk about bigger and smaller, etc. But definitely practice writing. My daughter knows her ABC's and can sound out simple words, but she has a really hard time writing.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Since your daughter already knows her ABC's you can start her on basic phonics skills. Focus on one letter and number a week. When it comes of vowels teach her short vowels first. Then once she has mastered that then go to long vowels. Other important things she should learn are writing, specifically how to write her name. Make sure you focus on proper pencil grip as this will make her experience easier. Additionally, you can focus on one science/health/social studies subject per month. This can include weather, insects, animals, oral hygiene, nutrition, four regions, the 7 continents and all the oceans, the united states, etc. It is never to early to introduce these concepts to your child as it will make her learning experience in grade school much easier.
Finally, to make all of this concrete, be sure to take her on a LOT of field trips. That makes the learning more fun and really helps it to come to life.
I was an elementary school teacher for 17 years and always knew which parents spent quality educational time with their kids before they came to me. It really makes a huge difference.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Hello, You might try the Library. They have so many things to help with this. There are a lot of books on preschool activities. I used to have a book called, "Montessori Teaching in the Home". I also bought a lot of books on activities for children, to use in the home because I ran a Licensed Day Care. You can also check out boods for her which you can read to her about many different cultures, colors, numbers, letters, etc. I babysat all of my nearby grandchildren and currently babysitting two. I always take them to Story Time at the Library and then they get to check out books. My older three grandsons all are very gifted and now my grandaughter (who has Down Syndrome) is coming out way ahead of her peers in Special Ed and may not qualify for special needs preschool next year. Kind of a double edged sword. You will do great. There is now amount of learning which is too much. Just make life a learning stage.
Good luck.
K. K.



answers from San Diego on

I would check out the free homeschooling websites...they always have good print outs and ideas.

I have a bunch of workbooks that I got from the thrift stores or garage sales for cheap. I wouldn't necessarily just go by the age or grade listed on the front of the book. I would thumb through it and pull out the pages that your child can do now. For example, my son is in Kindergarten and my daughter is 3 in preschool. Since I homeschool my son 3 days a week, she is home with us. I have her sit on one side of me and my son on the other. While he is doing his Kindergarten work, I pull out a couple of pages for my daughter from one of the workbooks we already have at home that is similar to what my son is working on. In some areas she can already do the Kindgergarten level stuff. And for extra brain stimulation, I have my son do some pages from the first and second grade level books that we have.

One program that I know our preschool uses is called Sing, Spell, Read and Write. The charter school that my son attends also uses the program for Kinder through 2nd grade. It's very fun...lots of memorization through singing, games, etc. Maybe your library would have a copy of it that you can copy? One of the games that they play is called Sound O which is Bingo using the alphabet sounds. I often find myself singing the A to Z alphabet and short vowels song :).

I would also look on Craigslist for cheap books, workbooks, and math manipulatives, etc. A lot of homeschooling moms or retiring teachers will sell their stuff for pretty cheap.



answers from Houston on

You can go to google and type in free preschool curriculum and you can get lots of printables and other ideas. I have been doing this with my daughter also. She is about to turn four and I just bought my first preschool schooling packet. The internet should give you tons of ideas.



answers from Portland on

Sounds to me that she already knows all the preschool basics. I suggest just having fun doing things, such as going to the library, zoo, shopping and talking about what you see, walking and commenting on nature, etc. Definitely continue reading everyday with her.



answers from Houston on

At this age use fun things as learning experiences. Go to the zoo, the park, the library and museums. Hands on activities and discussion will be the best thing for her now. Work on motor skills - both big and little. Don't worry about teaching her to write her letters (many try to push that too early), but allow her opportunities to work on those fine motor skills and when she gets older she will have the skills needed to make the letters correctly. You can check out a teacher store or even the library for books to help you.

Reading to your child and discussing the books (or even movies, tv shows, etc) builds good comprehension skills. Puppet shows and play time are great activities. Also, don't forget play dates. Working on social skills is important, too.

Play games with each her - board games, outside games and made up games. The idea of taking turns, fairness, and using your imaginations are great things to learn at this age.

You can probably look on local district websites and see what is expected of students going into kindergarten and coming out of kindergarten to give you ideas of where to head with your activities. Just keep in mind that at this age it should not involve a pencil - learning to color is okay, but don't push the pencil yet.

The best thing will be to make the activities fun for all of you! Enjoy this time with both children since it will go by way to fast.

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