I have a 2.5 year old that I am teaching her numbers, letters, animals, sounds, and Spanish words in order to help prepare her for Pre-K and Kindergarten. These are a few things that I have created for her to help in the journey
With my Cricut
I cut out the letters and numbers. Then I cut out 2" squares and glued the letters and numbers onto the squares. I then had them laminated and used sticker sheet magnets to cut small pieces of magnets.
ABC's and 123's
For the colors I hand cut out these crayons and then wrote on each one the name of the color. I then had it laminated. I recommend purchasing your own laminator machine
. They are really cost effective if you plan to laminate very much. I use mine all the time
I also used my cricut to cut out shapes, then wrote the names of the shapes down and laminated as well.
I don't really know what to call the "stuff" that I have made for my daughter. I heard from a friend that taught 1st graders that they needed to recognize words like shapes (circle, triangle, etc), colors, (red, green, etc). So I have taken that information to the extreme.
A few more details:
1. I first cut out with my cricut and by hand different shapes. I just used regular colored printer paper, I think that construction paper or cardstock would work perfectly as well. I did a circle, rectangle, square, oval, diamond, star, and triangle. I should have also done a hexagon and a heart and there are probably more that I should have done, but you get the gist.
2. I then wrote the name of the shape and did a border around the edge. I did it with a regular black marker.
3. Then I laminated them. If you have a machine its really easy or you can call your local print shops and get quotes.
4. I repeated this process with the crayons ( in the picture you can see that I did the black crayon with white out, I know there is a better way, I just didnt have it available to me at the moment).
5. When I got done laminating I cut them out again and put a small magnet on the back of each paper. The magnets that I used were in a 10 ft rolls of 1/2 inch magnets that are like stickers so they can stick to the paper. I cut the magnets into 1/2 - 1/4 inch magnets and then took the paper off the back of the magnets and stuck them to the papers.
ABC's and Numbers
1. For the ABC's and numbers that you see that are really small I cut the letters and the numbers out using the Keystone cartridge (size 1 1/2) and then I glued them to 2 inch squares in a different color.
2. Laminate and add a magnet to the back. ABC's and numbers (they measured 2 inches square)
1. I did word strips that measured 3 inches by however long the word was. I don't have a picture of this but if you would like a pic let me know and I will post it. The words had things like different types of clothing, different everyday objects, food, body parts, and important sight words (and, the, in, above, etc) and spanish words. The spanish words also have a matching color of paper that has the english word on it.
2. I cut the papers down to size after writing the words on them
3. Take to the laminator and follow the above directions.
Spanish Words and English Words
Un Poco-A Little
1. On the cricut cartridges that I own that have animals on them, I cut out the different animals and layered different colors on them to make them funner for the kids.
2. I made sure that I had word strips to match the animals that were cut out. I think that using any picture that you have found on the internet or in magazines or even old books would work. The one thing to keep in mind is that if it is a magazine picture you might need to reinforce it on some other paper or cardstock. I think that I might do this so that I have more pictures to choose from. Continue as above to finish.
My daughter is only 2 1/2 but I think that it is never to late (or early) to start teaching your children.
Update: my daughter is now 9 (holy cow! Where did the time go?) Anyway, she is an awesome student. She is currently in 3rd grade and is reading at a 6th grade level. I definitely attribute some of this to the work I did with her before going to preschool and kindergarten.