If you pre-school children and want to teach them to read the you can begin by using YouTube videos to help them learn basic literacy skills. You can also use it for numeracy and a whole range of other things about the world they live in.
Youtube is no longer just a place to go when looking for entertainment. It’s now a fantastic library of educational information on virtually every subject and aimed at every age group or level of understanding. There are thousands of outstanding resources on there which allow parents to use Youtube to teach preschool children many of the basic skills they need to get them to begin reading, counting, naming the things around them and even learning how computers work.
Nursery Rhymes and Songs
I started using Youtube with my eldest daughter before she was a year old and we did this to introduce her nursery rhymes and children’s songs in an interesting way. The video shown, ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ has, at time of this going to press, had close to 313 million views, which just shows you how phenomenally popular these videos are with parents around the globe. Once your child finds one they like they’ll want to watch it over and over. What’s more, no matter what nursery rhyme you are looking for, you’ll find it on Youtube.
What I particularly liked about the nursery rhyme videos was that there were many variations of the same nursery rhyme, all with different musical arrangements and animations. Not only was I introducing my daughter to language, rhythm and rhyme through doing this, I was also letting her discover music, new accents and art.
The Alphabet and Numbers
Another use of Youtube is for teaching the alphabet and numbers. ‘Phonics Song 2’ by AJ Jenkins is an excellent resource, not only helping children learn the alphabet, but also teaching your child the correct phonics sound for the letter, something which will give them a head start over other children when they start school. ‘Phonics Song 2’ has notched up 225 million hits so far, putting AJ Jenkins alongside the likes of Justin Bieber when it comes to having your music heard on Youtube.
There are many brilliant resources for teaching the alphabet and numbers to young children on Youtube and many do so in a variety of imaginative ways, using song and imagery to reinforce and strengthen the learning taking place. Children eventually find their favourites and from here soon begin to be able to recite the alphabet or numbers themselves – their first steps towards reading and counting all gained in a fun and engaging way.
Learning about the World
As your child beings to develop, the next stage in their preschool education where Youtube can be really useful is in helping them learn the names of things in the world about them. Once again there are many of these videos which can teach children the names on lots of different things: colours, shapes, animals, vehicles, foods and body’s parts (Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes) being the most common. There are also quite a few videos for encouraging children to move either by dancing or exercising in simple ways.
The final benefit of using YouTube, and this was a side effect of my searching for my daughter, was that within a few months of us watching these videos, she was beginning to be able to operate the computer and understand in a basic way how it worked, knowing for example, that if you clicked on an image a song would play and that you scrolled up and down a page to see what songs were available.
If you have very young children and have never thought about Youtube as a resource, I would suggest you spend a couple of hours exploring to find videos that you think are suitable for your own child. You can easily create playlists on different topics and use these when you are with your child so that you don’t have to keep searching whilst you are actually with them.