Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Colors, Shapes, Alphabets & Numbers

I was thinking about how, as if by magic, our children grasp the concepts of colors, alphabets, numbers, shapes etc. at such a young age.

For instance, our daughter who will be 2.5 years old in August is able to sing the whole ABCD song, rattle off numbers from 1 to 14, and identify some of the shapes. She is able to recognize alphabets and relate them to objects: for example 'g' for grapes, but she is not able to say the alphabet when asked at random. She has some trouble identifying colors as well. Maybe she is still too young for this.

We do the same things most parents would do: read to her daily; let her watch educational shows on TV; sing nursery rhyme songs along with her whenever she feels like singing, and help her identify and say numbers and colors when there is an opportunity.

I was just curious in general, apart from the above tried and tested methods of helping our child learn, if any parents have come up with unique and novel ways in which to help their children learn to read and recognize alphabets, numbers, colors, shapes, etc.?

We would like you to share them with all the readers so we can make this whole process much more fun than it already is for us and our children.



Krishnan Sivaramakrishnan said...

Arriving at alphabets

You can organise a simple game to help tots recognise alphabets.

Let's say your aim is to train them to recognise alphabets A to F.

Draw six shapes in the form of circles or squares on a playing surface such as a floor or a compound. Write down an alphabet clear and big, inside each shape, using a chalk.

Now, get the children to stand in a group quite near the shapes. When you call out an alphabet, the children will have to run to the circle that contains that alphabet.

Some of them may get it wrong. Wait patiently. The spontaneous reactions and prompting by fellow group members and onlookers will enable them to go to the correct position.

This simple game will train tots to literally arrive at the correct alphabet. They will learn alphabets from the sound they make, and more importantly the movement of the team.

After a few rounds, they will begin identifying the characters on their own.

pncool said...

This game sounds simple & interesting. I also feel that they will learn the alphabets, numbers etc when they start preschool. But introducing them to music & rhythm is also important. Let's say you form them in a group & give two rattles of different colours in each hand. Sing a simple song which includes the sides ie "left & right" , colours . Ask them to shake the rattle when the appropriate side or colour is mentioned in the song. The kids follow instructions faster when they are in group.

Krishnan Sivaramakrishnan said...

Any colour you like.

I am trying to list down a few approaches to train your up-to-three-year-olds to identify colours.

Train them to identify one or at the most two colours at a time. I found that the colour red, green or blue works best.

Select their favourite toy or any other object they find popular at home. A writing pen has one prominent colour can work especially well. Call out the colour aloud. And identify or associate that object with that colour. For example, 'Green pen'.

Once the child gets that right, you can move to the next stage. Here, you can substitute the pen with a toothbrush or a vegetable of green colour. And repeat the procedure. This will enable the child to intuitively understand that object and colour are really two separate things.

My wife, a great fan of cartoon features, proposes another approach. She says, watch cartoon shows with children, and call out the colours that their favourite characters wear. Like, 'Dora's brown hair' or 'Red Ranger' or 'Jerry's brown tail'. She thinks children will find this activity more fun.

To get children more actively involved with colours, allow them to choose the colour while buying their personal items.

When your child calls correctly, "I want that pink hair brush" - you can assure yourself their brush with colours will be a shade more lasting.