If you are looking for some fun educational books for your little willings these series are really wonderful. They are among the favorite for both of our boys since their youngest age. What makes these books so great in my option, is that they are reach in content, yet the content is presented in simple ways and easy to grasp portions. And the illustrations are fairly realistic. Each page in one of these books shows an eco-system, such as forest, garden, vegetable patch, ocean, sea shore, desert, etc. And on each page there is a list of creatures that are to be spotted on the page and a number showing how many of them there are.
It aligns with my belief of learning through play is the best way. And here they learn both about natural world and numbers in a playful way.
“Do not keep children to their studies by compulsion but by play.” – Plato
In my own words — learning through play is the only way. Truly, I think it is very important to let children learn at their own speed and only with their own desire and games is the perfect way to lure them into such learning. I also think learning should be a very lively activity. After all, children are just not meant for sitting. 🙂
I introduced the letters to both boys from the earliest age — we have little letters from HABA for them just to play with in whichever way they choose, we discuss letters a little bit while reading books at night, we have a very large alphabet chart (see the DIY instructions here) in their play room. I just try to keep the letters there for them to see, to become familiar with and when they have interest learn about. At times I casually talk about the letters on the chart, or pick up some letter cubes and start looking at pictures, looking very engrossed and fascinated. Of course they want to see what all that interest is about. Target achieved! 🙂 One thing they both always really like are these little alphabet cards with animals I got a while back. These are the same cards we used to make our alphabet chart. I really like them, so I got 2 sets. And recently Ale and I came up with a little game using these cards that he enjoyed playing many times over.