Teaching your toddler in the lonely ‘burbs

So I have been on this mission lately to start doing educational yet fun things with my son at home. I admit I would never have thought of doing this in India. Life is too full of action there, and too full of visiting relatives and friends. But here in the suburbs, away from family it tends to get lonely. I have had many wonderful lazy loving days with my son, but now I want him to see more life. Plus he is demanding it too, wanting to go out and see the world. So here are some free and fun things we have been trying.

1.How mail moves : This began by writing a letter to the grand parents and taking it over to the local post office. I know I could have just put it in the mailbox, but the point was to get out. We queued up inside and the babe noticed that each of the doors have an alphabet – J, K, O, etc. And in his trademark style asked ‘Why’. We opened the big box for dropping the parcel umpteen number of times, and used the automated machine to generate stamps. The babe like most toddlers loves buttons. We then walked by the post boxes and into the little room with all the postal workers and then out just in time to see a huge mail truck ( the 18 wheeler equivalent) roll out.

The next day it was time to go to the library and check out some books. We chose :

‘Here comes Mr. Eventoff with the Mail’ – by Alice Flanagan and Christine Osinski

and

‘The Post Office Book’ By Gail Gibbons.

The first one does a good job of showing all the things we saw – the mail boxes, the post office as it uses photographs. My husband did not particularly care for the large images of Mr Eventoff dominating every picture (instead he felt the focus could have been on the mail or the machines etc). But I liked in. The second one is for a little older kids, I think, but it was fun for me too, as I did not know much about how the US Postal system works.

Then we examined all the mail we got that day for post marks and stamps and sender and receiver addresses. It was fun.

2.  Library: We go to the library for story times. What a lovely concept! Did you know about that? I only found out after reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s namesake. Anyway, they do stories and songs and then they set out crayons and paper for coloring. It is great fun. While we were asking the librarian for good books on post office, the babe started pretending he was a librarian himself. So we borrowed the book ‘Lewis the Librarian’ which was great fun and it just helps him understand the place we visit. Of course he loves lending his books out to me and reading me stories, cupping his hands to make a book.

3. Local Transport: Now if you are in SFO or NY your kids probably love the local transportation. But here, out in the suburbs there is very little local transport. So I took the babe one afternoon into the city for a ride. We parked the car, took a snack and walked into the station. The babe loved the automatic ticket machine and scanning his ticket as we entered. We just took the train into town, and he loved it, looking at the streets below and how the train went in and came out of tunnels. I am yet to get books, but will soon.

I will post more as we do more. What do you do with your kids? I would love ideas.

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4 Comments

  1. joysree

    i also have a chance to take my grandson to lib. story time. both of us enjoyed interacting with the story teller.being a book lover i like the concept which encourages the childs attention to story book inthe computer age.

  2. Sentimental and nostalgic. Great.t

  3. Khushi

    Thank you Rosina

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