When Connor was 9 months old, I bought him the Fisher-Price Sesame Street ABC Bus toy. I thought he would enjoy the toy because he loved to press buttons and there were plenty on the toy for him to press to his heart's content. He was actually way too young for the toy then (it was recommended for 18mths and older) but I don't think it mattered to Connor. He loved the toy from day one.
It's actually a very annoying toy. Especially if you can't stand Elmo and I can't. There's only so much of his high-pitched voice that I can take without wanting to bash the toy to smithereens. The toy is rather loud too, I had to tape over the speakers with clear tape.
Connor is now 22 months old and he still plays with it. Two nights ago, I was sitting by him watching him play with the toy. He had it in the quiz mode where the toy will ask, for example, "What is the first letter of the word 'Apple'?" Obviously Connor doesn't know that so he'll just press random buttons. The toy gives you two tries before telling you the correct answer. "Apple starts with the letter A!"
Upon hearing that, Connor will press the letter A. I thought to myself "Whoa he got it right! Well, must be a fluke, he never pays attention when I try to teach him ABCs." When he got the 2nd letter right as well, I thought "Beginner's luck." But when Connor got the 3rd, 4th and 5th letters right as well, I started paying attention.
He got every letter right that night. And that's when I realised that Connor had learnt his ABCs from this noisy annoying toy.
I was really, really chuffed. I'd been worried I'd not spent enough time teaching Connor stuff, we don't do a lot of flashcards or charts or whatever. I figured school would teach Connor ABCs and 123s. Besides I thought it would be better if I taught him social and life skills first. This is why my son can't identify colours or shapes but can put on his own shoes, knows he must put his cup on coasters instead of on the teak table and will put the empty packet of rice crackers in the bin when he's finished with them.
But I'm dead chuffed he's learnt letters all by himself. I've never liked Elmo but I'm starting to have more positive feelings about him now. Hehe.