Look for it at your local library—this was probably the BEST tool we had for teaching early communication. And unlike other ASL videos, Kai liked these right away, they have super catchy music, and Rachel is very entertaining for babies. I credit THIS program for his learning to talk so quickly.
If the 4-volume set isn't available, try the individual DVDs instead:
(now called Your Baby Can Learn!)
Kai really grew to love these videos, especially the parent involvement, songs, and...they work! And I learned great tips from the "Early Learning Workshop" for parents (from the old version, back when it was called "Your Baby Can Read!", but you can watch it here). I credit THIS program to why he began reading so early.
If you can't find the 4-DVD Set, try the individual DVDs instead:
Check your library first if desired. Kai loves the "Miss Bee" character from this one, and the singing Koala. I love getting to hear "hello" and "goodbye" in lots of different languages in the intro and ending, and focus on sounds, like b-b-baby.
If you have Amazon Prime, you can stream them.
These feature Marlee Matlin herself, and are super cute and entertaining, Kai loves them. Look for them at your local library, Netflix, or buy.
If the 3-DVD Set isn't available, try the individual DVDs instead:
A photo album for photos of baby's family/friends to help them become familiarized with important faces—but take it a step further! I added the written names of each person on their photo (use a white label, or print the photo with a white boarder and use a black permanent marker), so baby can SEE the names, too. There's a mirror in the back (tip: remove the clear cover on it), so put baby's photo next to it and write their name on the photo.
These super colorful, glossy board books were perfect for keeping in Kai's play pen. He loved these books, they kept him occupied for a long time. And I love that they teach the associated word with the image, and colors and numbers, too.
These are great, and Kai loved them. Each card has an image of an item or animal, is touch-and-feel for sensory stimulation, plus the written word, plus the back has educational tips for parents, and how to say the word in several other languages.
We started with the "First Words" set, and he liked them so much that we got the "Animals" set, too.
Kai loves these cards to this day. They are high-quality thick cards in a nice box, easy to store and use, with an image and written word on front, and visual of how to sign the word (plus the word) on the back.
You can also check out their website www.babysignlanguage.com for free downloadable flash cards (make your own), and video clips on how to sign word
We bought ours at a children's store called Kaleidoscope, but here's a link to one online.
Wimmer-Ferguson See & Say Board Book
This cute book has simple words like fish, boat, dog, cat, house, sun, baby, and "me" right over a mirror in the back.
Babies Love ♥ First Words: Lift-a-Flap Board Book
This fun lift-a-flap book kept Kai busy, he loves flipping the flaps, but unlike other simple 'one-word' baby books, this one has sentences, like, "The car beeps at the...(flip the flap) truck," and "The cats drink the...(flip the flap) milk," so when Kai began reading before age 2, he loved reading these sentences.
This is a fun book that also kept Kai occupied, you slide a flap to reveal the animal. It was great to hear Kai say "J is for Jaguar" and "I is for Iguana" while reading this book (something I credit watching A.J. Jenkin's "A is for Apple" video on Youtube).
A perfect book for reading at bedtime! Shows animals on a boat getting ready for bed—brushing teeth, bathing, getting on pajamas, even exercising. At the end, it shows the boat on the water as the words say, "They rock, and rock, and rock to sleep" (and you can move the book in a rocking motion). Kai loves this book.
We had Goodnight Moon on our wish list for Kai, but had never heard of Runaway Bunny, until a family member gave us this gift set. Runaway Bunny quickly became a favorite, as well as Goodnight Moon. To this day, Kai loves them both, great for bedtime, and easy for Kai to read by himself. Note: The same bunny character is in each book.
Easy to read book, AND easy to sign! Search Youtube for "ASL Brown Bear, Brown Bear" and you'll see. Click HERE for an accurate example. (I may do my own at some point, too.) It's ease in reading is perfect for young readers, this was one of Kai's first books he read on his own.
DK Baby Touch and Feel: Animals (Board Book with cushy cover)
Just a cute book with simple words, but Kai liked it, and when he first started reading words (before age 2), this is one of the books he read.
We found this one at Toys R Us, which is now going out of business, so here's a link to it on Amazon (above). More than words, each page has a rhyming sentence for each letter, and touch-and-feel images. Very bright and colorful board book. Larger than your average board book, at about 8 x 9 inches.
Kai LOVED this book, it was one of our daily readings for over a year, and he still loves it to this day, especially now that he can read. I'd read it at bedtime, and it'd make him want to nurse and snuggy with mama. He'd always make the elephant sound when he saw the elephant. It also educates baby animals names (did you know baby platypus' are called "puggles"?) Paper pages, so for parents to read to baby. Perfect for nursing moms!
My hubby found this at Target, though I don't see it now, only this other one, so here's a link to Amazon (above). I didn't like it at first because the words to Itsy Bitsy Spider are different than the version I grew up with; however, all the rest are the same, and Kai really LOVED this book at bedtime (he'd ask for it), loving us to sing all the rhymes, such as Miss Polly Had a Dolly, Old King Cole, Five Little Speckled Frogs, Wee Willie Winkie, Rock-a-Bye Baby, I'm a Little Teapot, and more. Warning: It has Three Blind Mice (I prefer to skip this one, as the lyrics have their tales chopped off by the farmer's wife...not very nice).
To this day, one of Kai's favorite books, he will pull it out and read it even when nobody is looking. He has many favorite parts in this book, like Pat sitting on everything, Pop getting hopped on, and when Mr. Brown goes flying off the page. Learning opportunities include concepts, too, like upside down, family members, etc. Easy to read and learn sound patterns from, with so many rhyming words (e.g., pat, cat, sat, hat, bat, that; all, tall, small, ball, fall, wall; etc.) You can get this in board book version, but it's a "shortened" version. This paper page one is the full story.
This book makes it easy to teach early concepts of opposites, such as big/small, short/tall, heavy/light, day/night, etc. Kai liked this book and learned from it, which is why I'm recommending it. Any time we can, we incorporate ASL hand signs, as we did with this book. Kai especially liked whisper/shout because we'd whisper "whisper," then (not too loud) SHOUT the word "shout," and he'd laugh.
These are expensive, but might be at your library. Note: If your library doesn't have them, see if they let you search/request from other libraries (our does). Also check Netflix (they were on there for a while). But if you do buy, it's SO worth it—for baby AND parents (it's great to be able to sign to your spouse or child across a room, or out a window). These ones are for AFTER baby has done "Baby Signing Time!" for at least 6 months. We started these around 1 year old, and they worked amazing for Kai (and us).
We watch this from Netflix instant watch, but it's also at our library. This one teaches early reading skills with phonics and cute characters.
Also on Netflix instant watch (or at least at time of writing this), but also at our library. This one teaches counting from 1-10, also counting by 2s. It's a great start, but don't stop there! Get that Counting 1-100 learning mat, and watch the counting videos on Youtube, and you'll be amazed what your child can do.
We watched this on YouTube and Kai liked it, as usual with Rachel Coleman, her songs are super catchy and videos fun to watch. YouTube didn't have the complete version, so we bought the DVD.
Gifted to us, this book turned out to be a favorite of Kai's. He loved reading it over and over again, especially the page where baby makes an "O" face (when the pee and poo finally come), and the parents shout, "Hooray!" and it ends with a bunch of undies.
Ian's New Potty - by Pauline Oud
We found this gem at our local library, and Kai liked it so much that we ended up checking it out on repeat for about a year (should've just bought it, LOL). We still occasionally do, since he still likes it so much. Great potty training book, lots of talk of being a "big boy," and example of being loving, supportive, and understanding for a potty accident.
Note: The author has one for girls too, called Sarah on the Potty.
We found this at our library, but you can also buy it here. Bear is super friendly and cute, and Kai likes Tutter the little mouse. Not as effective for Kai as Elmo's Potty Time or Potty Time! with Rachel Coleman, but was still a worthy addition, especially worth seeing Kai laugh his butt off when Bear sniffs at the screen, LOL.
We received these as a gift, and they have been fantastic! At every opportunity, we use these to spell words. If Kai is eating pineapple in his highchair, we'll write "pineapple". If you get a second set, you can write sentences or longer words. We have two unmatching sets, but it works. Also, certain letters turned upside or sideways give you more letters.
Searching for nursery rhymes for Kai, we found this on Amazon, and it's a real gem! Now, any time a video doesn't show words, I like to put on the Closed Captioning (CC) so Kai can see the words. (I do that a lot.) I do it on this one, too.
Music is important for brain development, and I liked this glockenspiel by Hohner because it was actually on-key (many other brands aren't, check those reviews!) The keys match the song "Do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do" and we'd play along to it when Baby Einstein's "First Sounds" was on.
This website offers free games and videos to help kid learn. This particular link above is for "Alphabet Games"—click any letter, and you'll see a game called "Read-A-Word." That is the one we used most. It will pronounce a word, then tell you to find that word out of four (4) options. Let baby/toddler point to the word, while you operate the mouse. (You can also teach him/her to use the mouse later, but we kept the focus on reading in the beginning.) You'll also find printouts under each letter. Remember, there are no failures—it's all just learning! Keep it super positive and encouraging.
This game helps teach the concept of pressing letters on a keyboard. I was amazed to see Kai do this at just age 2, and now he can type his name on a keyboard.
We first found this at LearningGamesForKids.com, however, their link for it is messed up right now, so I found a working version at this other site (link above).
This is just another version of Cup Stacking that I found through another website while searching for "Cup Stacking."
Just an interesting side note... I found ABCya.com through an Elementary School website that has links for their students K-6, and I noticed they even teach Computer Coding to kindergarteners today?! I am finding schools to be more computer-based than ever before, even hearing from teachers that kids are no longer taught cursive handwriting, as the focus is more on keyboarding now. Gee....
So many great resources here! The "free" version limits you to only three (3) downloads per month. It's a small fee to sign up for unlimited access, but I haven't done it yet, I just use the free monthly downloads. Mark your calendar so you don't forget!
Writing Practice (Tracing Letters): https://www.education.com/worksheets/recognizing-letters/
ASL Fingerspelling Printouts:
And SO much more!
Lots of great worksheets here! Some for writing practice... spelling... shapes... counting... math... teaching fractions with coloring... and SO much more! Absolutely free, and appears to have no download limit at this current time.
These free math worksheets start at "Kindergarten"—but keep your mind open, and don't think that kids must be in Kindergarten to LEARN Kindergarten-level stuff—not true! You can start teaching them math very early (we did). Yes, it will advance their skill level and knowledge, but also their confidence and ability to move forward in this world. It's excellent preparation, and early brain development. So go ahead and check out these free and fun pre-K math worksheets. They make counting easy for kids.
Disclaimer: I'm just a regular parent who was lucky enough to learn that babies can be taught immediately in life to help them achieve early speech, reading, counting, potty training, and more. I am not a licensed expert or professional—just a mom who cares, and wants to help other parents and children by sharing what worked for us. This is just what worked for us, and may not apply to all situations, since every child (and parent) is different, and nobody learns the same way, same speed, nor even has the same interests and experiences.
This site contains affiliate links, but many of the books and videos I discuss can be found free at libraries; many videos on YouTube, Netflix and Amazon; and free games, videos, and printouts like worksheets and flashcards from other educational websites. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases (though I haven't yet, as of 2/2/2023, I pay $200/year for this site, but haven't earned anything from it). This does not affect you in any way should you purchase from a link, and may only provide a small supplement for my family. The original purpose of this site is, and always will be, to share educational information.
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