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At 2.5, I was following my kids' leads. Say "what do you want to learn today?" If the answer is "elephants", make an elephant theme off the top of your head... like making elephant feet out of shoe boxes, watching Dumbo, talking about elephant habitats/food, learning that "E" is for elephant, making an elephant craft (just google free printable crafts with the keyword elephant), etc.
I didn't really "teach" anything at 2.5 years old. I'm very unschool-ish until about 5.
I agree, 2.5 still seems a bit young to be doing sit down work, we're just starting a bit more of a structure with my 3.5yo, and wouldn't even now if he wasn't begging for it. If you think you need something structured though, I suggest a numbers file folder game (I don't have any links on hand right now since I'm on my phone, sorry!)
It went pretty well He wanted to watch videos of pigglets on youtube, so while he did that I drew pictures of pigs and elephants (as requested) for him to paint. Then we baked a cake and he spent half an hour washing his hands
I must learn to go with the flow more, I'm to much of a controle freek!
__________________ Co sleeping baby wearing mama to Puddles 3 years and Fiancee to Yetti. Pretty signature to come soon!
Being a control freak could be super helpful later though! For the future, I've always liked taking mine outside and letting them run around. If you're encouraging curiosity you'll get questions, and that turns naturally into things you can teach, especially that young.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. - Hellen Keller
I think having a bit more contorl is great for kids who need it. On some subjects, and on some days, it's exactly what my kids need. But on other days, even I don't need or want it, lol.
At that age, heck even still at the ages mine are now (13, 11, 8) my kids are VERY hands on. Anything and everything hands on, is absolutely awesome. When learning words, letters, numbers, things like this, I have found dough is a fantastic tool. Even aside from letters and numbers, dough can make ANYTHING. If you use an actual dough you can bake, you can then later eat it too, which is a double bonus. This is something my kids still get a kick out of. Heck I get a kick out of it.
You can make the letter/number/shape/word/object/whatever all while discussing it. Letting their imagination run wild. You can let them help you make the dough, working in a math lesson, home ec. lesson, science lesson, language arts lesson...you get the point.
After done molding your creation, you let it bake. You could end your lessons entirely there, and let the child go off and do whatever, or you could move on to other lessons while you wait for your first one to finish. When finished, you could move back to your first lesson, discussing it a bit more, while you enjoy the fruits of your labor. You can even incorporate the rest of the family to your lesson too.
I'm a real big fan of combining concepts, at any age. It's actually pretty easy to do, even with kiddos who have special needs, but obviously easier with kiddos who don't(hopefully that doesn't come across offensive, I've got both, so I understand both, personally).
At a young age a lesson like this is usually a hit a for a myriad of reasons but the top one is most often because they get to eat it at the end, lol. It's usually pretty effective too. It's exactly the sort of concept I used to help my kids learn their letters and numbers. With numbers we counted out the parts of our recipe, the balls of dough we'd need for the creation, we made the shapes of the numbers, etc... You get the point I'm sure.
Of course the shapes won't be perfect, but, it's still by far one of my favorite kinds of lessons with a kiddo that age. I can't even pinpoint one exact reason why. It's just so open ended. You can go so many ways with it, and do so many things working in so many subjects. You don't even need a game plan, lol.
To this day, it's a go to plan(though how we execute it varies, greatly), even more when a kiddo is beyond distracted or generally being a, well, kid. We've used it in various science lessons, math lessons, art lessons, lol. You name it, we've used dough to work on it. I almost always use an edible dough(I primarily use a breadstick or pretzel type dough), because it's way more fun. And come on, who doesn't like eating their work. A snack while working is always awesome
At that age, I just let my girls play. I kept the tv and computer off and let them have at it with blocks, tea sets, dolls/animals, cars/trucks, puzzles, etc... It was the best thing I could have done for them. They are both super imaginative now and good at occupying themselves. A little boredom is actually very good for kids! And they wont let it last long.... kids are good at manufacturing fun! For things to do together some of our favorites were: cooking projects, painting (the finger variety), ring around the rosey (we adapted it to jump, hop, tip toe, etc.. around the rosey), and simple craft projects (think paint a paper plate green and then stick shapes to it to make a turtle shell).