A few years ago, my Son then 2, asked me why I enjoyed reading and having so many books? I told him that I read to be knowledgeable because knowledge doesn’t update itself and we must keep our minds active.
At my House, we love to read. My husband is a huge Mechwarrior/Battletech fan and has all the Books (and a large selection of action figures). I love reading Inspirational, Educational and Christian books and I have a bunch around the house. It only made sense for us to give our kids a good start in reading and learning. We visit the Libraries, Bookstores, we use the computer to read stories, play challenging games and much more.
I have been reading to my children since they were infants. At 5 months we started using the Laugh, Smile & Learn™ Computer Learning Systemand Amazing Animals™ Sing & Go Choo-Choo™ by Fisher-Price®. VTech® Baby’s Learning Laptop and Explore & Learn Helicopter. We used Magnetic Letters Set as well as Learning Blocks to identify numbers, letters, words and pictures.
Alpha Robot by Redbox
The recommended age: 18 months – 3 years.
Within a few weeks of owning this cool bilingual robot, my Son was able to recognized all the letters of the Alphabets as well as the numbers. I am sure this little robot triggered his love for reading. My Daughter used it to learn her ABCs too and loved it as much. She has long outgrown it.
- Hear him speak letters, numbers and nursery rhymes in two languages (English & Spanish)
- A great teacher for preschoolers, robot’s LED displays letters and numbers
- Moveable head and arms delight young students
- Alpha Robot Measures 8.5″ tall
- Requires 2 “AA” batteries
Fisher Price Amazing Animals™ Sing and Go Choo-Choo™
The recommended age: 6months – 3 years.
- Musical Choo-Choo train with baby animals lights up and plays catchy songs
- Animals have movable joints, textured feet, and teethable ears
- Train lights up and each car has unique feature to keep little ones busy
- Choose between sitting mode for youngest baby and motion-activated as they grow
- Includes 3 animal friends
The Fisher-Price Amazing Animals Sing and Go Choo-Choo is such an adorable interactive toy for kids. It remains one of my children favorite toys. It teaches them about animals through songs and play. You can add to the fun with even more Animals.
Learning Blocks Wagon
The recommended age: 2 years and up.
- Animal Picture
- Numbers (0-9)
- Alphabet Letters (Upper and Lowercase)
- Non-Toxic Coloring
These blocks are very educational; however, the size of the blocks will vary depending on the brand. It’s always a good habit to be around your children when they are playing with blocks to insure that nothing goes in their mouths and also to help them identify the objects.
I purchased one for my Son (as pictured below) when he was just one year old and he loved it. He enjoyed dragging the wagon around and learned so much from the blocks. Although Collections Etc. no longer carries the toy, you can get something similar such as Melissa & Doug Classic ABC Block Cart or Uncle Goose Classic Embossed Alphabet Blocks ABC.
B.® Zany Zoo Wooden Activity Cube
The recommended age: 12 months – 3 years.
- Doors to open, friends to find beautifully illustrated A to Z animals
- Loopty-loo routes for you to wind through
- Zigzag race paths to race up and down
- Spinny spinners
VTech® Touch & Learn Storytime
The recommended age: 12 months – 3 years.
With four interchangeable story books, story time takes on new meaning with Baby’s First Storybooks! This interactive storybook has touch sensors and a magic pointer to encourage your baby to play and explore words, pictures and sounds! Touch sensors on each page for easy learning.
VTech® V.Reader Animated E-Book System
Though the recommended age: 3 – 7 years, my Son had his at 2 and he’s loved it since then. In addition to their storybook cartridges, they each have over 50 downloaded eBooks in each V.Reader.
The VTech® V.Reader Interactive E-Reading System features:
- Color touch screen
- Plays fully animated stories with story narration, character voices, vivid graphics, and exciting sounds and music!
- Storybook Cartridges have 3 ways to play: Watch the Story, Reading Games, and Story Dictionary
- USB port and SD memory card slot for expansion
- Multimedia Capabilities: Photo Viewer, Video Player, Art and Writing Programs
- Durable, kid-friendly design
- Download additional e-books and track your child’s progress at VTech’s Learning Lodge
VTech® Brilliant Creations Notebooks/Laptops
My Son has had his for almost a year now and we got one for my Daughter a couple of months ago because she was fighting to use her brothers’. They love it, they use it daily and they are learning tremendously.
Both notebooks feature an LCD color screen and educates your child in a fun and colorful way through learning activities that focus on creativity, letters, vocabulary, counting, matching and more! A working cursor mouse is included with this electronic learning toy for added interactivity.
VTech® Brilliant Creations Advanced Notebook recommended age: 5 – 8 years
VTech® Brilliant Creations Beginners Laptop recommended age: 4-6 years.
Fisher-Price® Fisher Smart Cycle Extreme
When it comes to my super active Son, the Fisher Smart Cycle Extreme is a life saver for me. Given that my kids fight a lot over toys and because of the size of the Smart Cycle, I cannot purchase a second one. So, I only have them use it during Summer, when days are longer and sleep remains elusive most of the time.
I let them pedal until they can’t pedal no more and all they want is a good night sleep. The Fisher Smart Cycle Extreme is a great source of exercise while learning and my kids love it so much.
The recommended age: 3 – 6 years
- It’s a stationary bike, a learning center, and an arcade game system-all rolled into one
- Cool rumble feature in the handle bar
- Drive, Pedal, steer and learn at your own pace
- Reinforces important preschool concepts like letters, numbers, shapes and colors
- Adjustable seat for growing kids.
Paper, Crayons, Chalk & Chalkboard
One of the best things you can do for your child is put a paper and pencil in their hands to get them started on their writing skills. With a little luck, they can turn into great artists. Depending on the age of your child, some supervision may be required (to see that nothing goes in the mouth and or on the walls).
Lots of Communication, Crafting, Play and Outdoor Exploration/Experiments.
I am ending this post with links to three sites I absolutely love:
- Wonderopolis® – A place where wonder and learning are nurtured through the power of discovery, creativity and imagination.
- Poptropica® – A virtual world for kids to travel, play games, compete in head-to-head competition, and communicate safely.
- Starfall® – A free website to teach children to read with phonics (for preschoolers, kindergarteners, and first graders).