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How can I to get my toddler to say his ABC's and count to 10?

My son is 33 months old. He still cannot say his ABC's, and has trouble counting to 10. Is this normal for his age? I feel like I've tried everything.

Submitted by Marigracef

It's understandable that you want your toddler to be "ready for school", but developmentally he's not supposed to be focusing on academics just yet. Many children CAN count and recite their ABC's at this age -- but they're not truly using numbers or reading. Rather, they're reciting what they've heard much like they would repeat the words to a song they know (and like). Instead of focusing on specific tasks like the ABC's, have your pediatrician help you evaluate his overall development. Is he on track in general? If so, there's nothing to worry about. You can sing the ABC song (along with other fun songs) -- not specifically so he'll get a "jump start" on academics, but rather to have fun singing and playing with you. That's his job, developmentally, right now -- creative and imaginative play. "Pushing" academics won't get him ahead in school, and increases the chance that he'll "burn out" on academics later. Let him play and have fun with him instead now! 

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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I have a 2 year old girl and she loves playing with puzzles and learning that way! We go through the alphabet and number puzzles every day and that seems to be helping immensely! I also allow her to watch Dora and Mickey Mouse on occasions and they seems to encourage her to learn both the numbers and alphabet as well. Many times I will go over what she learned on the shows afterward and that seems to make a difference! Hope that helps a little :)
Submitted by baby_treitline