My daughter loves peering out the window through the cracks in the blinds as the kids from our neighborhood get on and off the school bus on weekdays. She is fascinated by the big yellow bus with the friendly driver who often will wave and smile warmly back at her when we are outdoors. I know that someday - I'm sure that "someday" will come much sooner than I can imagine and it makes my heart ache just thinking about it - I will likely be the one waving to my little girl as she climbs the steps and smiles back at me. If I let her take the bus, that is. ;)
For now, I am enjoying this wonderful pocket of time when my daughter is 2. She's learning so much, soaking up everything...and it's incredible to watch her mind at work. Two-year-olds really are little sponges and it seems like an optimal time to be intentional about teaching - everything from manners to numbers.
Christy Cook is a mom who had that very same thought and, as a result, created Teach My Toddler, "the first all-in-on learning system for toddlers." Designed especially for toddlers, the tote contains 17 coordinated teaching tools (teaching charts, board books, foam puzzles, and flash cards) to help toddlers master four skills: the alphabet, shapes, numbers (1-10), and colors.
The best thing about this system is that it's all-inclusive. It's nice to have all those learning tools in one spot...and in a handy-dandy tote with a handle no less! The concept is really quite brilliant and I haven't seen anything comparable on the market. It's refreshing to see a product that emphasizes parent/child interaction rather than the "set your child in front of this DVD and he'll become a genius in 60 days..." advertisements that are more common in the toy aisle. The foam puzzles are especially fun and are definitely my daughter's favorite component.
The downside of the product is that the corresponding illustrations in the board books and on the charts are not very good (in my humble opinion). For example, the kangaroo looks more like a dog than its namesake and the newt just looks plain weird. As we play, I find myself saying, "I know that LOOKS like a [NAME OF ANIMAL], but it's really a..." a few too many times.
I also should point out that I think this system is ideal for ages 18 months and up. A friend of mine and her 12-month-old recently visited and he made short work out of chewing up and tearing the foam puzzle pieces so use at your own risk with the wee ones.
WANT ONE? You can purchase Teach My Toddler online for $39.99.