Best Educational Items for Toddlers …Ever!

Alex (aged 4 and three-quarters) got given a game for Christmas from his Godfather Paul which becomes an immediate new entry in my list of “Best Educational Items for Toddlers …Ever!” It’s called Rush Hour and it’s a logic puzzle which is apparently for eight-year-olds and upwards (certainly all grownups love it), but it hasn’t so far proved insurmountable for a four-year-old, and I’d thoroughly recommend it. In fact, you can “try before you buy” because there are online (Flash) versions such as this one: Online Version of Rush Hour

So here is my current list of “Best Educational Items for Toddlers …Ever!”:

1. Google Earth – should be compulsory in reception years in schools. Watch in amazement as it suddenly all falls into place inside their minds: “So that’s my house, and zoom out, and that’s my town …wow! My house is in my town! And zoom out, and that’s my country …wow! My town is in my country! And zoom out, and that’s the Earth …wow! My country is on the Earth! So wait a bit… zoom back in… my house is on the Earth! In space!”

2. Print out a calendar as a linear strip of 365 days, on 12 sheets of A4, and stick it on their bedroom wall. Mark on birthdays, Christmas etc with pictures. And make a little Blu-Tack pointer they can move along each day. Then marvel as they realise how time goes along in a straight line, how one event comes before another, and the speed at which it all operates. Fantastic.

3. Rush Hour. “Dad, I’m stuck on this one, can you help?” Hmm, the lesson to be learned here may well be that Dads aren’t perfect and can’t do everything. Oh dear…