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Enrichment Activities for Gifted Toddler

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D


Q: My son Shreyas is 2 years and 8 months old . He has got an amazing memory power and grasping skills. When he was only 2 years, he showed a great interest in computers and was able to do so many things in the computer. Like, with the links in the internet explorer (that i have created for him) he navigates on his own to various websites like Thomas, sesame street, Noddy , Bob the Builder, ScoobyDoo etc, go to games, puzzles, colouring. He can drag & drop, press F5 to refresh the screen , do 12 piece jigsaw puzzles , counting, memory match ....etc. He can also draw, circle, rectangles in Microsoft Paint and colour them.

  • He could identify 15 colours, all shapes and correlate shapes with the things we use (he could do this when he was 20 months)

  • He could identify and name at least 30 friends of Thomas Tank Engine.

  • knew many animals, veggies, fruits and other usual things.

  • Showed amazing interest in music, learning many rhymes

  • Could identify many personalities when i show the photos.

  • He showed a great interest in jigsaws. He could do any jigsaw so well and could do the most difficult one in Thomas just like that

  • By 2 years 3 months, he could identify all alphabets (lower case as well as upper case) .He could spell (say the alphabets from the word) anything by looking at the words.

  • Could say at least 30 words when i just spell (including his name).

  • He could do Thomas jigsaw puzzle 12 ( 2 levels) piece, form an engines by combining the tools just like that.

  • Could grasp and sing many songs , sometimes identify the singers.

  • He can identify 35 countries in the world map.

  • By 2 years 6 months, he could search for Ant in Google Images.

  • His all above skills mentioned is improving very well ... He can identify at least 15 different cars by their name like (Ford, Nissan, BMW, Merz, Audi, Seat , Suzuki etc... etc..)

  • He can say 1 to 100 also, by seeing the number chart. But when he says without seeing the chart he was saying with very less mistakes. He has the ability to make up the numbers like when i say 100 is one hundred and when I ask him what is 200, he was able to think logically and say TWO HUNDRED.

  • We got him 36 piece Thomas, fifi jigsaw, which he did in 10 minutes, first time without our help.

We are really thrilled about this and want to really help him to carry on this. Would be grateful, if you can advice us on how to take this further.

A: At his age, Shreyas has definitely showed above-average development compared to his age mates. It is very good that you have recorded his milestones and appear to be doing a great job in helping to nurture his abilities which has proved fruitful looking at his current development.

The good start would be to encourage your son to follow his interests, which you probably are doing already. In case you find that he is fascinated with something, do more of it and gradually increase its complexity. Having said that, more work of the same kind may sometimes bore gifted children, so it is always important to vary the same activity. This involves creativity on your side. You must also know when to stop a good cue is to observe when he starts to lose interest (irritable, distracted). Then, drop the activity and allow him some free play time.

If you have plans to enroll him in any educational program, perhaps play school that allows long periods of free play with other children may be a good option (e.g., Montessori based nurseries). It has been found that in the long run, attempts to force academics skills at an early age may depress intellectual development of young children.

You may also want to introduce him to the world of books. At then same time, vary his daily activities by offering lots of new experiences. Maybe when he is slightly older and more ready, you can introduce music lessons (which develop specific areas of the brain region) dance art, museum, nature outings, etc. What is important here is to find a good balance between his abilities and intensities. Best wishes to you!


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