Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Four tips on how to teach your little one animals, colors, shapes and counting

I would first like to thank my dearest friend Adrianne, for sharing this post on my blog. She is an independent, strong, hilarious, brilliant, sarcastic woman, that doesn't take sh!t from anyone... I guess that's just how they raise "them Southern Girls".

She loves sarcasm, real talk, her kids, cats, all things fluffy or fuzzy, and puns.
She received her Bachelor's Degree and is hoping to return to school in the future to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. She is married to her perfect mirror match, a career-Army Infantryman, who is full of sarcasm and loves his protein. HAHA!

How Peek-A-Boo learned her animals, colors, shapes and counting can be summarized easily: Repetition, Group Effort and Books

I have a few things that worked in my favor for her learning those things a little before “schedule”.

First: I am a stay at home mom who doesn’t really watch TV so I have plenty of time to play with and teach her.
Second: The group effort thing is a pretty awesome tool. My husband spends time with her playing and looking at books when he is home.
Third: My secret weapon, our oldest daughter, the Kiddo (age 7). She has the patience of a nun and loves books, teaching and her little sister. So, teaching her sister from books is borderline the most fun she could have while at home.

Four: Peek-A-Boo is just naturally a genius, but that’s just my humble opinion. In my house, we are all readers therefore, it was pretty much second nature to just pick up a book about a given topic and start going over the material (i.e. shapes, colors etc) as early as I could. I started really attempting to start teaching her at about 6 months old; she was mobile and was starting to have some semblance of an attention span. I just simply pointed at things and said the word. If it was a picture of a circle touched it and said “Do you see the circle?” or “Here is a brown horse.” If she wanted to turn the page so be it if she wanted to play with a different toy we put the book away. I never sat with her thinking “Ok this time we’re going to sit here until this kid says square”. Trying to force learning on a baby, my friends, would be more than counterproductive; it would be an incredibly stressful disaster. She is stubborn, like her father ;)

Animals were the easiest to teach her for a variety of reasons. She loves animals, we have a million little plastic animals that both girls play with all the time, and animal books are pretty easy to find. We have several that I really like and that Peek-A-Boo loves looking at. The primary books we used to teach her animals were: My Big Animal Book ,Treasure Hunt: Can You Find Me, and Stop, Look and Learn’s First Words (this one is a little dated, but it does the trick and honestly it is one of her absolute favorite picture books!)

She learned colors quickly, I believe, because, we always labeled them… on books, toys, puzzles, crayons EVERYTHING. When we were looking at books, toys or whatever I made a habit of labeling the color. Instead of “cat” I will say “black cat”. If is an object with more than one color we usually say something like “Oh it’s a cat with black, white and orange fur.” We touch each color as we say it. We don’t have book dedicated to colors life is full of colors! So I saw buying a book dedicated to colors as waste of money.

Shapes I broke the books pattern and used a wooden puzzle as her learning tool. The same way with everything else, I just touched the shapes and said its name. I did that over and over until she started picking it up. Circle, or “ker-cull” is still her favorite shape. Knowing her shapes we have down, saying them properly is a slower process! I used the Melissa and Doug Shapes Chunky Puzzle for starters, but now we do activities with books we read with pictures. If there is a picture of a window I ask her what it is and she tells me it’s a window. I’ll then ask her what shape is it, some days she says square some days she just says “page” meaning it’s time to turn the page.

Our new achievement is counting objects!! We used a counting page in Stop, Look and Learn’s First Words and Melissa and Doug’s peg puzzles to get the basics and now she’s counting everything from blocks to Power Rangers!

So if you want your little on to learn shapes, colors, animals, numbers or whatever grab a book, snuggle up to your kiddo, prepare your fingers for pointing and start repeating things over and over and over and over again. It’ll work, just give it some time!

What are some tips that you use to teach your children their animals, colors, shapes or to count?

Want to learn more about this Name That Sponsor Giveaway Game?
Click here to go to the original post and read up on the prizes and rules of the game!!!


  1. I just had this discussion with my 91 year old Mom who I am pretty sure taught me the same way as you are saying because---she said she hoped my niece was doing this with her daughter! Strangly enough just the other day when I was in a Dunkin Donuts a young boy gently grabbed a banana off the counter and I found myself saying to him--You like the Yellow banana?

  2. Spending time with your kids is the best way for them to learn. They learn through experience. I homeschooled mine, so everything was a learning experience. I constantly read to them too.

  3. super tips--I have a daughter that was also a great teacher with her brother when they were younger! Fun lil hunt you're doing too =D

  4. Great tips.. i really do not remember how we taught our kids.. but this is such good info.

  5. Like you, I don't watch TV and although I work from home, I work for myself so I make my own schedule to homeschool my girls. I agree that they learn by experiencing the world!

  6. I know we watch to much TV but we also play a lot as well. We sectioned off part of our living room into a play area with a little table. That's where we teach about shapes and everything. my youngest loves books about animals especially dogs.

  7. Great post. There is so many ways to teach kids shapes, colors, letters and counting. You can get very creative indeed. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Spending time with your lovable kids is the best way to teach them all. Child’s brain grows at an explosive rate during the first three years of their life. During this critical brain-growth period, long, thin nerve pathways grow inside the brain. I use to teach children to learn shapes in the following way, Cut shapes made of colored paper, and make a board with have drawings that fit the shapes. Make child match the cut-up shapes with the ones on the board. Encourage them even if they are wrong.

  9. We are working a bit on this still with my 4 year old. We try to use montessori as much as possible but general use of a variety of inputs helps the brain to keep information.

  10. My kids are a bit older but we used many of the same tools. We are readers and our home has books and magazines in every room. My kids learned to read early and easily... It does take effort and patience. I agree.


Thanks a bunch for your comment love!