Home learning planning and curriculum for infants and toddlers can be an adventure. It can be exciting and rewarding. You don’t need a huge budget to find the right supplies and planning can be fairly easy.
When I was a full-time employee it was very important to me to consistently teach Maddi and the essentials that she was learning at her grandparents house. Sign language and a book a week were important during the infant stages. Through my own research I learned that it was helpful in developing communication skills when a child isn’t able to verbally communicate. My first day of dropping off Maddi I had created a cute pink & green polka dot binder (created by my friend Brandy) that included a few page protected printouts of her current eat/sleep schedule, breastmilk prep guidelines, sign language pics of what we were currently doing, a book to read to her, a blank feeding schedule, and a FAQ list. The FAQ list included things such as “if she cries before a feeding time what to do”, “if she’s gassy what helps to relieve it”, “how to handle breastmilk if she doesn’t finish a serving of it”.
Don’t get me wrong, my in-laws are well versed in kids but it had been a number of years since they handled a newborn plus they weren’t really onboard with breastfeeding and didn’t have experience with it outside of what they may/may not have seen when they were growing up. Sometimes our best laid plans don’t always work out. My in-laws are very old school, so the things I was trying to implement was very foreign for them and unrealistic. In any case,
I’m a firm believer that we should always strive to do better than those who came before us. We live in a world where technology and the Internet always allows us to gain insight through a few keystrokes.
In the evenings I would review our sign language and read a book so many times to where she would memorize what comes next. As she grew I purchased learning toys that taught numbers and alphabets and reinforced those things during our daily routine. For example, while climbing steps we would count. While reading mail we would point and recognize letters. We would count toes, legs, feet, etc.
Target has always enticed me to spend more money than planned on any shopping trip. The target dollar spot is even worse.
You can find a number of useful items ranging in $1-$5. I would scoop up their learning flashcards, alphabet writing tablets, and anything else we could use at that present moment or near future. Even if it was just 15 minutes a day, I consistently tried to review material.
Here’s a list of items that we’ve found useful (most of the items linked are more expensive than Target, but I wanted to give visuals of what to look for):
1. Alphabet Writing Tablet
2. Board books featuring short life lessons
3. Board books featuring numbers, shapes, alphabets, etc. lessons
4. Flash cards (shapes, numbers, sight words matching)
5. Blank notebooks
7. Large (fat) pencils
9. Coloring books
What are some of the things you’re currently using or thinking of using to teach your little one at home?