Friday, January 8, 2010

day eight: teach toddlers and preschoolers with posters and table mats

   "When a baby is picked up, spoken to, and loved, he is starting his education as God planned it."
                   ~ For The Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay~

When I read this quote I was taken back to twenty-plus years ago when we used posters to teach our toddlers and babies. When Joshua, our first born, was a toddler, I would get him out of his bed in the morning or after a nap, and waltz him around the room, reading posters that I put on his walls--Scripture posters, songs, rhymes, etc. He would laugh and giggle at my antics--and he was learning already..."starting his education as God planned it."

Fast forward a few years later to the days when our three oldest children were preschoolers and all learned "The Pledge of Allegiance," "My Country 'Tis of Thee," and "The National Anthem"--you guessed it, from posters again. I had posters hanging all around the dining room. (Our home was decorated in "Early Childhood" for many, many years!) As we all cleaned the kitchen together after a meal, we would look at the posters and recite and sing. All three of them learned these "classics" early through these posters and the repetition provided by that nightly cleaning ritual.

Through the years, we have used store bought posters, Scripture cards, homemade family "rule" posters, character quality posters, educational place mats, and more to teach our young children informally. Here are some ideas to get you started in teaching toddlers and preschoolers informally using posters and other visuals:

1. Buy posters with patriotic songs, rhymes, etc. and alternate these. Work on one or two at a time while you chore with your children, just before bed or naptime, or after breakfast each day.

2. Hang posters in the nursery and read them or portions of them to your baby or toddler before bed or when rising.

3. Get Bible character pictures/posters and as you read Bible stories or have Sunday school lessons about a certain Bible character, hang these up to remind your preschooler of the lesson.

4. Use a colorful calendar/poster to go over the month, day, and year with your preschooler each day.

5. Get colorful placemats for your preschoolers--many come with colors, numbers, alphabet, etc.

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