Gotta love marketing! Here's an interesting article that says babies can't really learn from a DVD. Duh. Here are three things you can do to help your child develop.
1. Read to them and follow their lead...talk about what the child is pointing to or looking at and let them turn to their favorite page.
2. Play with them, which of course involves lots of talking.
3. Talk with them, as in conversation style. Ask them questions and give them time to respond even if they are just 8 months old and just go "Gah!!!"
I think the big one that gets forgotten about is play. Reading and talking sort of come easier. I think it's generally harder for parents to get down on the floor and manipulate toys. I read somewhere that you should let your child lead you in play for at least 10 minutes/day. They should also have 30 minutes of "free-play" by themselves where they can do what they want, and then you should read to them for 30 minutes/day...so depending on their age you might break that up into 3 chunks of 10 minutes throughout the day.
I have mixed feelings about "bedtime" books. I think it's great as a way to remember to read everyday, but so much more is gained when you can play with the books and interact. Like say you are reading "THE RUNAWAY BUNNY." You can have your toddler go find her bunny toy from the shelf...not exactly what you want to do if you're trying to settle a child down for bed.
As far as language development goes, I have tried to practice "on-demand" reading...think of "on-demand" nursing. Basically I will drop whatever I am doing and go read to her for 10 minutes. I've been known to turn the burners off on the stove, etc. because if a toddler wants to sit and read...you better sit and read while they are paying attention!!!! Now that Claire is slightly older, she will want to come read when I offer, but like at this time last year...no way.
Other than those 3 things I haven't done anything special with Claire...have you seen that info-merical on a program of teaching your toddler to read. Now that's just creepy. Lol! And besides that's more "memory" anyways...
We started doing Baby Signs with her at about 10 months when she started waving, but really have dropped it altogether since she talks so well now. I still think sign is fascinating, though. I would love to learn more. Maybe we'll watch some more sign DVDs this winter. And I'll know I'll start doing it again when this 2nd baby is about 10 months or so.
I try to remember to do something writing related where she gets to use her fingers once a day. I have been looking for plastic safety scissors for her to try, but haven't seen any. Maybe I should look online. Any links for me? I bought some safety ones, but they are metal and still feel sharp. I haven't gotten brave enough to try them with her. She still SOMETIMES puts writing utensils or playdough in her mouth so I'm a little nervous she could slice her lips if she wants to taste test the scissors I got for her.
I have already started started to look into preschool for her...crazy, I know! I remember going to preschool and absolutely LOVING it! It's only like 3 days/week for 2-3 hours depending on where she would go, but it wouldn't be till fall. I could have her start in January at 2 1/2, but I think we'll wait until she turns three and just do a regular fall enrollment.
She is at the age where she loves other children. She always has loved other kids, though. She asks to play with friends now however. "I have friend come over, Mommy?" Or "I go Story Time, see friends?" It almost breaks my heart that we don't have MORE stuff scheduled that is just for her. I think she'll really like going to preschool...plus it will give me a chance to go grocery shop with just a small baby and no toddler! :)
Anyways, what kinds of activities do you do with your child/ren that are educational? I mean really anything at this age is educational. Going on walk and pointing out a fire hydrant is like a mini-lesson. She likes to tell me know what fire-hydrants do. "Mommy, that fire hydrant. Water come out! Put out fire!" We enjoyed going on a walk today in this nice fall weather. I hope it's nice on Halloween so she can go trick-or-treating!!! Daddy came with us, and it was really nice!
Claire is sleeping now. I have struggled the past few weeks getting her down for a nap. Her naps were getting later and later. This meant bedtime was getting later and later as a result because she wasn't tired yet. Then yesterday she didn't get up from her nap until 5pm. That is way too late to go to bed at 8. Well, today I decided to try a full day without a nap. It worked! We went on the walk during nap time. We'll see how tonight and tomorrow go! What age was your child/ren when they stopped napping and how did you know nap time wasn't working anymore? She's already sleeping now ... bed at 7:30 yay!