Even young babies can discriminate between a small set of objects and a large set of objects. Young children learn to match their culture’s number words and symbols (e.g. 1, 2, and 3) to specific quantities. Research has shown that maths skills can improve with practice; young children who are given plenty of opportunity to work and play with numbers and counting will improve their basic maths skills. Counting rhymes are very popular with babies and young children and teach them basic maths concepts in a fun way. A young child may make mistakes when learning to count (e.g. missing out the number 6 when counting 10 bricks). But this young child is still demonstrating the basic maths ability; linking number words to actual numbers, realising that each item can only have one number word, and that the numbers have a sequence. Number games, learning about sequences and singing counting rhymes all help to enhance children’s basic maths skills. Repetition is also important, for instance, singing counting rhymes over and over again gets babies used to number words and their sequence. Toys that count as babies, for instance, place bricks in a slot and computer games that present children with fun maths problems are also useful learning tools. Play and practice with numbers is fun for babies and is essential for the development of young children’s understanding of quantity.
Heightens curiosity and encourages exploration.
Even young babies love to learn about the world through exploration. Kicking and waving their arms while lying in their cot can lead them to discover that a kick can make a banging sound. Exploration and play are closely linked in infants where, for example, discovering that a toy makes a noise leads to infants repeating the action that made the noise. Babies learn a great deal through repetition. Once babies are either crawling or walking their mobility gives them more opportunities to explore their world. Babies need to satisfy their curiosity about an object or toy by approaching and handling it. Adults can influence an infant’s confidence about the world by encouraging and smiling at them when they approach an unfamiliar object or toy. Babies can show uncertainty about a new toy and in order for them to confidently explore and discover it they need the emotional reassurance from their parent or caregiver. The confidence to explore and discover new things develops during infancy and creates a healthy curiousity about the world throughout childhood.
Introduces the alphabet, letter sounds and vocabulary.
Babies start to babble at an early age and this can be seen as the first signs of language. They are predisposed to pick up the sounds of the language that they hear around them. Adults can facilitate babies’ language development by playing with them, focussing on particular toys, reading books and naming everyday objects. The more babies are exposed to language the faster they will begin to pick up it up. There are social skills involved in language acquisition such as realising that it is necessary to wait until the other person has finished speaking. Babies begin to learn about conversational turn-taking from an early age; if a baby is babbling the adult waits for a pause and then talks to the baby. Babies learn to take turns even before they are using words. Social interaction is important for language development and turn-taking games are a fun and educational way for babies and young children to learn. Young children also need to practice their language skills. Toys that name alphabet letters and everyday words satisfy young children’s need for repetition and rehearsal when practicing words and sounds. For instance, young children can press a button repetitively to hear the same sound or word again. Babies and children learn a lot through repetition and pick up words rapidly in this way. Once children begin to read their vocabulary expands enormously.
Encourages fine motor skill development.
An infant’s growth and development in the first year of life is rapid. Many movements that young babies make are in preparation for the next stage of their development. When young babies watch a mobile they are constantly moving their head, arms, legs and even their mouths in response to the movement of the toy. Sound and movement attract a baby’s attention; if a toy is placed almost within reach of babies their movements become more animated. Bath toys provide opportunities to develop and use motor skills to great effect. For example, a young baby has greater control over their leg movements than their arms. You will often see young babies in a bath reaching with their legs towards a floating toy and kicking. All these movements strengthen muscles in readiness for the next stage - walking. As babies develop they become more adept at grasping objects. Young infants learn to grasp an object, for instance a cube. The grasping, at first, is quite clumsy but through repetition, and across time, infants become adept at grasping and develop fine motor skills. Infants first use the ulnar grasp where their fingers close against the palm when trying to hold an object. Within another month they are able to move the object from hand to hand. After the first year, infants adopt the ‘pincer grasp’ where they use their thumb and index finger to grasp even very tiny objects. Shape sorters help infants to fine tune their visual perception and hand coordination. Soon infants are building towers with two cubes; this also requires fine coordination skills. As the child grows computer games have been shown to help with hand and eye coordination. Spatial skills can also be enhanced when playing games that require concentration, quick responses and finely tuned motor skills.
Includes over 100 interactive curriculum questions.
Teaches phonic sounds, letters, vocabulary, numbers, counting and safety rules.
Features over 30 lively melodies, songs and fun bus related sounds effects.
Includes 26 letter buttons, 1-10 number buttons, brake, horn & driver buttons and an open & shut door.
Encourages language development, basic maths skills and discovery & exploration.
Best for ages:
1 to 3 Years
Teaches phonic sounds, letters, vocabulary, numbers, counting and safety rules. Features lots of melodies, sing-along songs and realistic bus sound effects!
Climb aboard for a fun learning journey! Start the engine and take a trip with the VTech® Playtime Bus with Phonics! Through over 100 interactive curriculum questions your child can learn phonic sounds, letters, vocabulary, numbers, counting and safety rules. Also includes a quiz mode to reinforce learning. Features over 30 lively melodies, songs and fun bus related sounds effects, 26 letter buttons, 1-10 number buttons, brake, horn & driver buttons and an open & shut door. Chunky buttons on the top of the bus call out shapes while the smiling passengers say funny phrases when pressed. Encourages language development, b