Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I planted a seed!

My plan to introduce some countries that would be represented at a festival here in town didn't really get followed through on very much, although I did present to ds the African countries I had chosen. For some reason, Zimbabwe caught him and he even coloured the flag and posted it on his bedroom door. When we did manage to make it to the festival, one of the first things he asked was, "Where's Zimbabwe [the tent]? I want to go to Zimbabwe." The kids are always allowed to choose one small thing that I buy for them. Well, when we got to the Zimbabwe tent, he was very happy and loved these wire animals they had and chose himself a lizard. You just never know what planted seed will grow in a child! :)

Other than that, I've been busy with other things and just not getting my mind organized and focused enough to do more. My 11yo is always away at summer camp for the first time, this last weekend was a long weekend... So much going on. I did decide yesterday that I had to find some more things for my 20mo niece as she is just go-go-go and getting into everything, following the cats or dog constantly, disappearing upstairs or downstairs (the baby gates haven't been up since we started the renos)... Always so busy making messes or potentially getting into trouble!

I remembered an activity that her big sister loved at that age: a large plastic yogourt container with a big enough hole cut in it to put some round game pieces (I took them from a game called Bottle Tops). I prepared one for her today with a margarine container. I forgot that she is more dextrous than her sister was at the same age--the hole could have been made smaller so it was more difficult for her to get the pieces through the hole. But she loved it and did it over and over. Of course, the 4yo saw something "new" and wanted to do it, too and was impatient about waiting. I thought it a perfect time to show her something else new and showed her the last of the cylinder blocks I have--the cylinders are all the same diameter, but they are different heights. She only did that once, but then used them like the knobless cylinders and did some building and discovery.

The two girls exchanged at one point (I know, I know, not Montessori--materials should go back and you only take from the shelf) but the toddler grew tired of the cylinder block rather quickly. I put her on the floor with a bucket of soft geometric solids (geometric softs? ;) ), which, of course, the 4yo saw and came over and tried to "play with her sister". Um, yeah, not really--it's more like the 4yo takes what she wants and plays next to her sister. ;) In any case, I nipped that in the bud and said that this was her activity and when she was done, the 4yo could play with it then. She hung around and touched the materials again, so I took her hand and led her elsewhere for something else. There have been other activities on the go: alphabet cards, Lego table for big Lego (preschool Lego), a bus tent pulled out with a pillow and blanket, little counting bears, a recorder, chalk, a mouse got into the garage... And the toddler keeps pulling out movies asking to watch them. lol. All this, and they've only been here 1.5 hours! Despite all that the 4yo STILL complained a few minutes ago that she had "nothing to do". lol

The boys are now playing with K'Nex and starting to focus and calm down, but it's tough to change "modes". They have been mostly out on bikes and scooters and skateboards all summer, and when inside, it tends to be boisterous imaginary play, which is not only getting on my nerves, but it seems to me that energy could be used in pursuits that will build them up in other ways. When my nephew isn't here, ds spends a lot of time doing Lego, KNex, drawing, reading... He does none of that with his cousin here as my nephew seems to be the source of most of the loudness and crazy play. It's constant motion and play and my Montessori inner voice is saying that I need to help them find some other pursuits that will bring some real-life focus!

KNex didn't seem to be satisfying enough; they've switched to Lego. Hopefully they'll come back down to Earth. ;)

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