How to Teach your Toddler to Memorize with One Easy Tip
So, having worked as a nurse in a trauma floor I realize there are some really important things I want my toddlers to memorize as soon as possible. For example:
*My phone number
*How to call emergency care: 911
*Their Mom and Dad’s first and last name (not mommy and daddy 😉
Once a little bit older, I want them to know:
*Their home address including area code
Starting at age 4 we memorize bible verses in our home, and that really helps as we incorporate love and kindness into how we discipline and how we approach the world. For example, one day I was complaining about something, and my 4 year old replied back to me from the back seat of the car…”Mom, remember our verse this week, “Whatever we do, do our work for the Lord? Col 3:23” Wow, was that a slap in the face to remind me that I am supposed to have a better and more loving attitude. That event never would have happened, if our toddlers did not begin to memorize things that were important to our family at an early age, using this one easy tip.
As a nurse on the trauma floor I have seen and heard so many situations that a parent would not expect to be unresponsive (unexpected collapse, seizure, fainting, or even a weird event like a dog attack at a park or a safety concern from a stranger). These days I see a concerning trend that many homes have only cell phones. There is not a home phone that is in the same place all the time. Do your toddlers know how to call 911 in an emergency? Do you practice with them about police and fire safety? Do they know how to tell a service man / woman what their mom and dad’s first and last name is in an emergency? These are important pieces of information if you were in trouble. Is there something special like a bible verse, pieces of school learning, spelling words, or simply a phrase that you want to become part of the life of your family? This easy tip will help you.
Every one of our children has a spot down low – at their level, this means from 1 to 3 feet off the ground level of the floor with a clear protective sleeve fixed to the wall. You can staple it or mount it however you want. We simply staple it with 2 staples. We print off what we are focusing on that week or month, and slide it into the sleeve. Every morning and night they can look at the words or numbers and tell us. At first my pre-readers obviously need help. But you will be surprised at how fast they learn the meaning of the letters and numbers and know what it says. Then they will notice those same letters and numbers out in the world and begin to point them out. This is the start of early literacy. It happens so young if we encourage it!
Here are a few things that are on our 3 Littles literacy memorization boards right now:
8 yr old:
Her bible verse.
Hug my family 10 times today, they love me and care about me.
Her spelling words.
Her new (we have moved MANY times) home address with zip code and phone number.
5 yr old:
Her phone number.
9-1-1 (and then practice how to do it)
Her bible verse.
Her family lesson: “Our family does not give up!”
Hug my family 10 times today! They love me and care about me.
Our 2 Year Old:
A heart that says I LOVE YOU
Her bible verse: “Love”
Her colors (photos).
We cycle out different family values, names, verses, spelling words, lessons, and other things they need or want to memorize. The one easy tip: To place the clear protectors at their level. This means only 1-3 feet off the floor, in a place they see every single day. Some ideas we have used are: next to their sleeping spot, under their bedroom light switch, inside their fort, inside their bathroom (away from water zone;), on underside of top bunk for the child that sleeps on bottom bunk. We encourage them as routinely as brushing their teeth. I offer them that anytime they want to recite to me something from their memory board, that I will STOP what I am doing (working, cooking, texting, emailing) look into their eyes, and listen to what they want to recite to me. That alone is motivator enough. It takes just a few seconds, and the reward is a hug. Did you know that we need around 10 hugs or loving touches a day to keep our brain, body, mind and heart strong? Positive touches help our immune system, our development of trust, keep depression away, improve self esteem, and improve circulation (Sources here). So, when we offer hugs as a reward for memorization, it actually helps our kids memorize faster and easier, while strengthening our family as a whole.
So, I suppose that was 2 really easy tips! They really work.
Here are the clear sleeves you can buy (affiliate link):
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