I found help with Eebee's DVD Adventures, but would love to hear from real moms Too!
Hi! I'm not an expert by any means, but I have an almost 3-year. I was worried about that too when he was little; whether I was just entertaining him or really helping him learn something.
I have found that children pick up things that we don't even 'teach' them. You don't have to worry too much about making each play time a structured learning experience. If we just let them play and explore in their own way they will learn more than we can possible imagine! I think the biggest thing we can do to help their little brains is talking to them. Talk to the constantly about everything around them. That way the learn the language and who words correlate to objects, and such.
Babies that little ones (well and toddlers for that matter) have such a short attention span that they can only focus on things for a few minutes. If we try to get them to focus on an activity for too long they are going to get bored and cranky. You might be able to go over a few letters or numbers, but then have to just let her do whatever she wants for a while with the blocks. I found it helpful to try to show my little boy something once or twice, then drop it for a while and let him play, then come back to it later, and so on. That repetition really helps too.
All in all I would say don't worry about it too much! She is still very young and has much learning ahead of her. Don't get so worried about it that you forget to enjoy her now! She will learn and pick up what she needs to and soon you will amazed at all she knows! :)
I agree with Angela- do not worry too much about it. Kids will get bored with toys fast, that is their nature. As far as teaching them the alphabet and counting etc I have definitely learned one thing, it will be on their own time. However, we do point to alot of things and label them just the same. Baby signing is a great way to start communication, you would be surprised how fast they pick that up. My little boy likes to explore things, so we explore things around the house and I love the items that he picks up pretending they are a cell phone and a car. Again, don't stress too much, you are fine. If you want to know the average of what a kid should be doing, Dr Sears references are always great... but they will still do it on their own time. Good luck!
Have you ever read the book " What to expect the first year?" You may enjoy it. Don't worry all kids throw toys LOL and I believe they are naturally equipped to be fast learners even if us first time mom's don't have it all figured out .