It's really incredible how quickly children learn. Granted, there's a lot of repetition and games to make it fun, but still the learning takes place so fast. We started counting silverware when we were 18 months old (ok, I was counting and they were watching, and sometimes they were repeating). It quickly became part of our morning ritual, as I would put away the clean forks and spoons, we would count them. I'd hold up a handful of forks, separated by my fingers and then I'd point to each fork and count. Fast forward to this morning and as I was making my coffee, Little Miss asked to "count forks". Today was the first time that they stopped counting at the right number of spoons in my hand (I was holding six at the time)!
Another skill that we work on with our spoons is big and little (tall and short). Both of my kidabunks think it's hysterical to see a big spoon (a serving spoon) next to a little spoon (a teaspoon). We say, "big spoon" in a deep baritone voice and "small spoon" in a high-pitched elfish voice. After we spend a couple of minutes counting away our flatware, without fail one of them will ask "big spoon, little spoon?"
|Wild One banging the spoons together.|
About a month or so ago, Little Miss demonstrated that she really understands the concept of big/little, when one day she took two of her Abby Cadabby dolls and held up the bigger one and said in her deep voice "big Abby Dabby", then she held up the smaller one and said in her high-pitched voice "small Abby Dabby".
Another routine we have (out of necessity) is Mommy Getting Ready Time. While I'm getting ready in the morning, they come with me and sit in their high chairs to watch a series of mini YouTube videos (they still get up around 6-6:30ish, even though all of the baby books and sleep books say we should be waking them up around 7-7:30ish - that's another post though). Some days the theme is numbers, others it's phonics and letters. There are so many wonderful learning videos on YouTube, there's also a lot of stuff that I would never want my kids to see. I created a video for them demonstrating how to count to ten (using a lot of repetition) and of course a cheesy song - sorry I'm not ready to share that just yet. We rotate that video into the mix (usually when I'm drying my hair, so that I don't have to listen to myself - it's so embarrassing). The videos keep put them into a zombie-like trance and allow me the time I need to get myself ready. Sometimes, Wild One will break out of his trance and repeat a number or letter, but that doesn't happen very often.
We have several board books about numbers that we keep in their book box on their shelf. It's a beautiful sight watching Wild One sit next to the box of books, pull out a book and start "reading" and "counting".