Last year I tried the “Teach Your Baby Math” program and decided that while it’s great in theory, it takes a lot of time and I’m not sure it had really important results. So if you want to buy the program, let me know because I’d love to sell you ours for a deeply discounted price. Who knows, it may work for your family! 🙂
For very little children, I think it’s great to count things, talk about numbers in the course of the day, show kids measuring cups and spoons while cooking, and other hands-on activities. At this point, Hannah counts up to 20 pretty well (with some faltering in the upper teens at times!), and sometimes can be induced to do simple addition with her counting bears, though she’s more likely to think of the bears in terms of families and groups big enough for shopping.
Dovey recently pointed me to a fantastic website called Living Math that has a lot of great suggestions for integrating math related play into your day. It also has an excellent resource list of books about counting and other math concepts. We’ve checked out some great books based on those suggestions that I think will be quite helpful for learning about how to tell time, addition, subtraction, counting by fives, and other topics. I’d highly recommend the site for your perusal.
We also have a number of good books on science-related topics, mostly involving nature study. Two of our favorites are A Seed Is Sleepy and An Egg Is Quiet – both have beautiful illustrations and can be read on surface or deeper levels. Hannah is interested in birds, so I checked out some books about birds and we’ll be using those to learn some basic bird names, talk about colors, draw birds, and so on. The other favorite nature topic at our house is farms and farm animals. We get our milk from a local farm every week, and both kids love to look at the animals and thank the cows personally for our milk (which I think is really funny, but good to learn early where the food really comes from!). Well, Jack mostly waves at them, and Hannah moos and shouts her thanks. We have some great books about farms and farm animals as well as books about gardening and how the seasons change, like Lily’s Garden and Around the Year
I also checked out a book from the library called Mudpies to Magnets: A Preschool Science Curriculum
that gives a lot of good ideas for science projects to do with young kids. I haven’t actually gotten into it very far yet, so I can’t give it a thorough review, but I hope to do some of the projects with the kids this fall.