You may not be able to put a round peg in a square hole, but you can do a lot with kids blocks, which are loads of fun for little ones to play with, and a great learning tool at the same time. When kids play, they think that they are doing just that, playing, and nothing else. When you make up games for them to play, you can turn their fun into learning time, and they will never know the difference. This is a great way to prepare toddlers for preschool and kindergarten, and to have some fun bonding time with them.
Your baby is never too young to start playing with these. When they are very small, there are soft ones made from cloth and rubber that are ideal for tiny hands. As they reach the point where they are able to recognize objects and are learning to form words, you can use picture cubes to teach them how to talk. One idea for a fun game is to hold up a toy that matches a picture on a block. One example would be to hold up a teddy bear, and have your child find the one which has a bear on it, and say the word bear.
Using Alphabet blocks is a great way to teach younger children how to spell words, and a good starting point for reading. You can make up all kinds of fun little games to play that will teach them how to spell words, and eventually even spell out complete sentences. For instance, when they are first learning to spell, get them to use these to spell out the names of people, pets, favorite toys, etc. After a while, you can begin teaching them how to form sentences, and they can also do this with these. This is going to really get them on their way to being good readers.
You can teach your child math basics with the number versions. These will help them with counting, which is the first step on their way to learning basic math skills. In fact, you don’t even need to have numbered ones, because they can play games with regular blocks, such as stacking them and counting as they go.
It is important to make sure that when you are playing with your children that you are also teaching them things, without it seeming like you are teaching. You and your kids will get a great opportunity to bond through these activities. Playing with these kids toys is a really great way to accomplish this, and you and your kids can have all kinds of fun, while they are learning the things that will prepare them for school.