Saturday, April 28, 2012

Breaded Rabbit

I enjoy looking for new activities for us to do. There are so many creative ideas and fun activities. Recently we found our own - at the dinner table.

We were eating salad and bread. B held up a half eaten slice of bread.

"Rabbit" he said "Hopping rabbit". And he hopped it around the table, let it eat some lettuce and have a nap. Then he took a big bite from it!

Throughout the meal he made a swimming turtle, slithering snake and little pig. We talked about how they moved and ate. It made dinner very lively.

So although I love finding new activities to try out, it is even more enjoyable to watch B create his own games. We had a long conversation with lots of new words, ate lots and lots of healthy food and gave his imagination a little work out. Never say don't play with your food!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Coloured Foam

I had read a few things about shaving foam and the benefits of using it as a new sensory experience. It's fun, interesting and clean. So I jumped on the band wagon and bought some. We had fun squishing it, blowing it, throwing it around and painting our faces with it. Then I decided to make a cloud jar. There are also some good pictures here.

The suggestion was to use food colouring and pipets, but as usual, we didn't have these things. I collected:
  • empty jam jars
  • shaving foam
  • paint watered down in an old ice cube tray
  • a plastic syringe from a fever medicine bottle
  • water
  • lots of newspaper
all of which was on a kids table on our plastic craft sheet that I'd layed on the floor. B doesn't like to make a big mess, but the risk of spills was high.

I expected excitement at the foam in the jar, interest in the paint as it hit the foam, comments about the water changing colour. So, reminding myself to stay quiet and let him do the work, I watched with baited breath for the result.

The excitement I felt was not matched by B's! He was so concentrated on using the syringe to get all the paint out of the ice cube tray and make it shoot through the foam that the colours mixing and foam changing was put in on the sideline. However, he worked his hands well during the 30 minutes this activity took, and he enjoyed gaining expertise in paint sucking and shooting! I'll have to find more things to do with the tray and syringe that don't involve aiming it around the room!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Paper Cubes

I used to love making 3D shapes from one sheet of paper as a child. I've always like creating something which seems completely different from the original material. I had a book full of shapes to build with designs by M C Escher which entertained me for hours. So, after playing a game involving a die with colours I decided to make a cube with B. I had no idea how well the activity would turn out. It was a spur of the moment thing late in the evening as he was wide awake after a long long nap in the afternoon.

He was fascinated with the process: drawing the pattern, cutting it precisely and then gluing it in place. It was like magic as the flat, oddly-shaped pattern became a real cube! He loves numbers, but letters are the new thing right now, so I wrote a - f on the sides. It was a success. We played "Find something which starts with..." for a relatively long time. The most fun came from the fact that we had made it and before long he was asking for more. "Big one" he asked. "Make big one please". So I promised that we would search for a really big piece of paper in the morning and make the biggest die we possibly could.

I did wonder what he gained from this experience. A two year old can do little in the construction process, but the fascination was proof enough to me that it was a worth while activity.
These are my conclusions:
  • we worked and talked together
  • he saw how one thing can form entirely shapes
  • he watched me use scissors correctly
  • he saw me measure accurately to make a precise shape
  • maybe his mind was thinking about other things which might be possible
  • maybe he was wondering if we could make a bus in the same way
We enjoyed our evening activity and I was looking forward to building a really big cube with him. Perhaps there is a way to make a bus, with wipers and doors and all that. Maybe we can recreate Waterfall by Escher...