The other day we posted about raising curious children and talked about the importance of making sure our little ones continue to be free-thinkers and encourage them to learn. I wanted to share some classic books to read to your child along with some educational and fun games to try.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin: This 40-year-old classic introduces tots to a variety of colorful animals and takes them on an adventure full of rhyming words. It will quickly become one of your child’s favorite books.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Brown: In a great green room, tucked away in bed, a little bunny says goodnight to all the familiar things that surround him. Children love this soothing rhythmic book at bedtime and beyond.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle: This is one filling read! A young caterpillar eats his way through all kinds of food before *spoiler alert* becoming a butterfly at the end of the book.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak: This 1964 Caldecott Medal Winner is a wild romp for both kids and adults alike. Join Max — who’s wearing a wolf suit, of course — as he dreams of sailing away to a colorful world of Wild Things.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein: Think of this heartwarming book as Philosophy 101 for kids. It’s about the gift of giving and the capacity to love, told throughout the life of a boy who grows to manhood, and a tree that selflessly gives him her bounty through the years
ABC Game: This game builds your child’s memory, vocabulary, and reasoning skills to understand characteristics and classifications of people, places, things, and ideas. It can be played by any number of children and adults.
How To Play: First, decide on a theme. Each person takes turns thinking up related words beginning with letters of the alphabet, in order. For example, if the theme is school, each person must say words related to school. The letter A might be Algebra, a B word might be book.
Bumble Bee: Bumble Bee for young children is to identify an object in the area that another player is thinking about. One player chooses an object and gives other players a clue about its identity. Players take turns guessing what the object might be, and they continue until it is identified.
For preschoolers and early primary students, the clue is usually the color of the object. The game can be made more complex by using sizes, shapes, textures, or other ideas you may have in addition to colors.
How to Play:
- One player chooses an object without telling the others and says, “Bumble bee, bumble bee, I see something that you don’t see, and the color of it is (say the color).”Another rhyme you may remember is: “Riddle, riddle Marie, I see something that you don’t see, and the color of it is (say the color).”
- The other players take turns guessing what the object might be.
- Players are given a yes or no response as appropriate.
- If players are having difficulty, they may be given clues.
Here are some great and free apps for ages 2+:
1. Toddler Teaser Shapes: Colorful shapes, sticker rewards, and encouraging audio all combine to make this a perfect app for your preschooler to learn her shapes. It focuses on positive reinforcement, and even wrong answers reinforce learning by speaking the answer she touched and then asking for the right answer.
2. Happy Flash Cards Free Edition: Animals, numbers, shapes, and food are all categories you can use to help teach your toddler new words. The bright images in this app are interactive, and the flashcards make learning easy and fun. It also includes a practice mode so you can review your child’s progress.
3. Alphabet Zoo: Simple designs and crazy, entertaining sounds will help your toddler learn how to recognize letter sounds. The pictures in this app are easy to recognize, and kids and adults will both get a kick out of the zany noises it makes.