I have been meaning to update you all on Julia's "academic" progress and how impressed I am with how well she is doing in this area.
She has recognized all of her colors (red orange yellow green blue purple black brown and pink) for quite sometime. I bought multi colored blocks not too long ago, as well as color cards and had her sort by color (which at first she just did by recognizing that two blue blocks were the same, not neccesarily that they were blue) and labeled each block or color card as we went ("Julia, pass me the blue block"). She eventuallly just caught on and started naming the colors herself. She even uses colors on a regular basis now, when describing something to me(For example outside in the snow today she said, "Mom, I got the purple bucket").
The color cards that I bought were also sahpe cards. After reviewing and mastering her colors, I decided to start working on shapre recognition. She now recognizes squares, rectangles, circles, triangles, diamonds and, occasionally octagons. At first, she would only recognize the shapes on the cards and not other objects out in the "real world." Now though, like with the colors, she uses shapes in her everyday descriptions of things("Look at the circle, Mama" when pointing to the hoola hoop).
Perhaps the most impressive of all? She recognizes all of her letters. Not only can she label a letter (by asking her "What's letter is this Julia?") but she can find them mixed into words in books or in the form of her puzzle pieces spread out about the room ("Julia, where is the "A"?). I will probably start working on letter sounds with her soon.
She is also beginning to recognize different sensations and labeling them correctly ("This is cold", "This is yucky" This is wet" "This is warm"). I have some ideas of different things that I can do to encourage her in this regard which I will probably start working on with her sometime soon.
She has been making huge strides with her language development too. She has been able to make choices correctly which, although still needs a little improving is drastically improved from when she didn't even understand what the concept of a choice was. Last time at playgroup, when it came time to choose a song card, she jumped right up willingly and actually verbalized her choice of the bug song. She has also (though not consistently been able to choose between foods and toys. Her overall communication skills improve on a daily basis. For example, yesterday while out in the snow,after being warned that we would be going in the house soon, she said, "I don't want to. I want to play with my snow." Her 4-6 word sentences are the norm for her now, and, as the above example illustrates, has been using two sentences strung together on many occasions.