Learning tricks from Grandma

Learning TricksThis Grandma taught her eldest child to read at two years old.  Okay, for those of us who were teachers at one time, I taught her memorization and sight letters and words.  Children are sieves and playing can be teaching by grandma too.  We are not embarrassed to be silly with our grandchildren.

It takes five experiences, five different ways of exposure, to something before we learn it.  That sort of repetition is the expertise of this Grandma.  I do not mind reading the same book to a grandchild fifteen times if they say, “more.”  I know I am facilitating their memorization of the words and phrases, and able to hold them in my lap for longer.

Here are some other learning tricks from this Grandma:

“One, Two, Three.”

This can be played with  a baby who holds his head steady to a young child who reaches the weight where you can no longer pick the child up, much less dance and jump and twirl holding the grandchild, three times and counting each time.  With the youngest baby, you may start with small bounces, one each as you coo one, two, three.  As the grandchild is sturdier, grandma can begin to really move, jump one, two, three; twirl one, two, three.  Yes, this Grandma has gotten dizzy more than once.  A sitting game begins by facing the sitting baby and  putting your hands behind you back.  Bring one hand around with one finger and say one, put both hands back; repeat one faster, then slower, with one finger over your hand, coming around on the left side and then right side.

Then, of course try to graduate to the one year old holding one finger up when he or she is one.  Dance with holding the grandchild’s hand and pointing  the pointer finger against your pointer finger, singing a silly song about one.  If you are not creative, dance to the refrigerator, and say one, one refrigerator; dip into one sink and say one, one sink, etc.   Sit on the floor and line up cars, dolls, everything you come across and count.

This Grandma has gone up to ten, but the easiest and best as they’re getting heavy by ten, is to sing the old ”Ten Little Indians” song.  For toddlers and preschools, we count by tens, twos, etc. as we dance around or clap.  And of course, there are books!  See Dr. Seus’s, “Ten Apples Up On Top.” Click here to buy.


Of course, as we are with are young grandchildren, we are constantly talking and pointing things out.  100 words by age two is the “rule,” I think?  Before my oldest daughter was two, this Grandma used index cards writing one word on each and taping them to every wall, chair, door, etc. in the house.  I would always point as we walked to the word and said the word in a funny way, and said, “you do it.” If she said she couldn’t, I said, “Yes, you can.  You are capable.”  Yes, focused and another word taught.  I now say exact saying to my grandchildren whenever they say they can’t.

Then, I concentrated on one room, kitchen first, labeling just three items (One, Two, Three above) and we learned the words.  I would play games.  I would take one off and have the child replace it.  I would mix them up and have the child fix them (“Oh. No! They are mixed up!  Can you help fix them?”).  At some point, the child will be so proficient, that the child can “read” every card and place on the right item.  Labels are so easy now with post-its!  Click here to buy.


Dr.  Seus books are great for memorization.  They now have board books to start our baby grandchildren on Dr. Seus.   In addition to, Dr. Seus’s, “Ten Apples Up On Top,” this Grandma can still recite from memory, “Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb,” click here.

And more Dr. Seus books than I ever remember!

Play games.

Remember the games we played.  They are still popular , with, “I spy with my little eye. . .,” and “Red light, Green light, One, Two, Three.”    “Pick up Sticks,” is a great way to practice counting.  They now even come in giant size.  Click here:

Provide experiences.

Providing experiences is the best way for Grandma to expand vocabulary and enhance learning.  Our family vacations are planned around providing experiences and 2014 family vacation to Kiawah Island is in the planning stages.  With very little planning, we grandmas can get the grandchildren to put down the electronics and go places with us.    The supermarket fruit and vegetable section is a learning experience itself.  Even the toddler loves the zoo or the circus.  So does Grandma with



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