We have just barely reached the halfway point of the 2012–2013 school year, but if your son or daughter is about to enter preschool or kindergarten, you are already thinking about next year. While schools make preparations for our kids’ arrival, we as parents can also start teaching them right at home.
Children about to enter preschool are at an important stage for their language and cognitive development. At the age of two, they are naming familiar objects, developing vocabulary, making simple sentences and although they may not yet be able to read letter names, many can sing their ABCs.
In addition to learning to get along with other kids their own age, preschoolers are also taught basic alphabet and number concepts. A great way to begin and continue that development at home is to give your child toys they love playing with but that also teach basic alphabet and language skills. The VTech® Alphabet Activity Cube™ is a great example of a toy that couples alphabet learning with a task kids love to do – building!
Best for children 9 to 36 months, the Alphabet Activity Cube helps to develop fundamental language skills. As your child is stacking the alphabet blocks on the top of the Alphabet Activity Cube, ask them to find specific letter blocks to stack together. You will be amazed at how quickly they will begin to recognize different letters. They can also insert each of the 13 building blocks into the slot on the electronic side to identify and learn more about each letter.
You can play a similar game using the interactive alphabet book on the Sit to Stand Alphabet Train™. Ask your child to match the letter block with a letter on the interactive alphabet book, helping them recognize the shape and look of each letter. A fun game for put-and-take play is to ask your child to identify a letter and drop the block into the shute on top. Watch the blocks slide into the carriage. The Sit to Stand Alphabet Train is best for children ages 12 to 36 months.
As the mom of a young child, “ready for Kindergarten” can be a difficult thing to gauge. Schools have a check list of skills they are looking for when a student enters Kindergarten. The tricky part is that no student is the same and the number of skills they have mastered will vary. So, what’s a parent to do? Well, the best thing we can do is give our child opportunities at home to learn and master those skills in fun, everyday ways.
Best for children ages 3 to 6 years old, the VTech® Alphabet Apple™ is one of those toys that will developmentally grow with your child. With 26 animal letter buttons teaching children their ABCs, they press each letter button to learn its name and sound. The Alphabet Explorer activity teaches A–Z vocabulary words, while the Super Speller activity helps children spell words by following the light-up buttons. Watch your children use the Quiz Time activity to find the correct letters, letter order and more. With eight different modes of play, the Alphabet Apple not only helps your child master the letters of the alphabet, but will also teach them valuable curriculum, such as phonics, vocabulary, spelling, patterns, counting and more.
One task my daughter finds particularly challenging is practicing writing her letters, and yet, it’s an important skill for her to learn. To help make this a little more fun for her, we are using the VTech® Write & Learn Touch Tablet™. The touch screen not only helps her learn letter stroke order and upper and lower case letter writing but the portable design allows us to take learning on the go. All 26 letter buttons are also represented by an animal, and she’s delighted each time they come to life when she draws the correct matching letter.
Sending your little guy or girl off to Preschool or Kindergarten can come with a bag of mixed emotions…for you and them. The good news is that we, as parents, have about seven months to help prepare our budding little Preschooler or Kindergartner for the coming school year.
And, here at VTech, we are just happy to help them along on the journey!