As you know, I’m a home-schoolin’ mom of 4 silly boys. 😉 This year, I’ve been teaching my 2 year old some of the basics. Sort-of like preschool, but not extremely structured if you know what I mean. Two-year-olds pretty much only have about a 2 minute attention span. This has actually been studied. I remember when I was a teacher working on my master’s degree I read a study (wish I still knew the reference). Anyway, in this study they found that most children have the attention span of their age – that is, if a child is 8 years old their attention on one thing is about 8 minutes. After that, they will start to get a little figity. Some children more than others of course, because all children are different. But in generalities, it pretty much works like this until you’re an adult. Adults have learned how to focus our attention for longer spans of time. This isn’t to say that we don’t have wandering attention spans as adults, we just know better how to control it. So, back to my 2-year-old. Knowing his attention span is only about 2 minutes, I’ve been trying to think of quick activities for him to do that teach a lesson. And, because my education and experience has been in elementary education, I’m compiling all these activities into my own preschool curriculum. It’s quite the task, but I’d say well worth the effort. My son is enjoying these activities immensely, and he’s learning too!
So, one of the math activities that I created uses numbers on bottle caps. I home-made these counters for him. Basically, I printed bear counters and number graphics on label paper, and then saved bottle caps (like from gallons of milk or Gatorade bottles). Then I stuck the labels on to the caps and had the perfect counters!! I had him arrange them in number order, use them for counting, and match the bear counters to the numbers. I also created activity pages for him to use the counters with. You can make your own counters just like these if you download my “All About Counting” curriculum HERE. Or you can download it by clicking on one of the pictures below.
I’m so excited that I’ve been able to keep his attention…even if it is only for 2 minutes! I have a little longer with my older two (8 and 7), but a little shorter with my baby…LOL
Now, if you’re still reading this congratulate yourself…your attention span is hereby made it! And seriously mom’s…Do kids really even have an attention span…sometimes I wonder about these “studies” LOL!!!
Here’s my 2 year old using the math counters & activities…
Here’s the math curriculum I’ve compiled: