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More Fun With Twig Blocks

August 10, 2011

This morning we started the same activity we did before, with PlumGirl sorting “juice” and yellow sticks into stack of same-colored blocks, but PlumGirl really was not very into it.

So instead, we had some fun.

I made a tower of all of the biggest cube blocks and PlumGirl dropped the sticks down the middle.

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When PlumGirl got too excited and knocked the stack, she stacked them right back up.

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I am hoping this will lead to even more fun with blocks.

Color Sorting with Twig Blocks

August 8, 2011

I LOVE the Twig Blocks that I got PlumGirl as a sorry-we-are-bringing-home-two-babies present.  The blocks are beautiful and naturally inspire a lot of different learning activities.

This morning I set up stacks with each of the different colors that we could drop the littlest stick blocks into.  At first, I sat and did the activity myself while dictating what I was doing, but soon PlumGirl was interested in joining in.

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Once she was involved, I gave her just two of the stacks so that she could practice matching just two colors.  Her favorite color right now is “juice” (orange) so we sorted with the orange and red stacks.

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Getting the sticks into the little holes was also great fine motor work for her. It often took her multiple tries to get them in.

The activity did not last long, but she definitely “got” the idea of matching colors.  Several times she took a red stick and put it to the orange stack, then she would laugh and say, “No, no!”.  We definitely had fun while it lasted.

Cutting with Bananas

August 7, 2011

PlumGirl has been showing a lot of interest in cutting with knives lately.

By interest, I mean that whenever she is within reach of a knife that we are cutting with she grabs for and gets very upset when we do not let her have it.

Finally, I had the brains enough to think of a cutting activity that she could do.  I gave her a small cutting board, a ripe banana, a fork, and a butter knife.

She loved it!

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Her technique is not the best, but she did manage to cut the banana.  She also ate some of the pieces off the tip of the knife.   I know that this is an activity that she will want to do again and again.

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I plan on continuing to demonstrate “proper” technique whenever I am cutting for myself, but to let her experiment however she will when she has the knife.

Modeling Writing

July 29, 2011

A few weeks ago I realized that PlumGirl rarely saw me writing.   Almost all of the writing I was doing, even my shopping lists, I was doing digitally.  Once I made this realization, I knew that things had to change.

Writing is an essential skill that PlumGirl will be learning in the next few years and, just as with reading, seeing writing in action is a very important part of the learning process.

So, I have been consciously deciding to write with a pen and paper where I might otherwise have used the computer or smart phone.

I have been writing shopping lists, packing lists, and recipes.  I have been reading and taking notes in a notebook.  I have even started a daily journal of happy moments I would like to remember, which I have actually been good about writing in almost every day.

As a result, PlumGirl is writing too.

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Whenever I am writing in one of my notebooks, she goes to get her own.

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I am relieved to have made this realization and a commitment to model writing in our daily life.  It feels wonderful to know that such a simple decision will have such a large impact on the lives of my children.

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Reading to Me

July 28, 2011

Every day when PlumGirl wakes up from her nap she asks me to lay down in bed next to her to read her a story.  We keep a special stack of books next to her bed just for these after-nap storytimes, and we add to it regularly.

Her latest favorite is Harold and the Purple Crayon, which she refers to as “boy”.

Yesterday when I went to read to her, she decided that she would rather read the story to me.  She had been “predicting” the story to me as a read, but this was the first time she showed interest in reading the story herself.

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She flipped through the pages and said a word for the pictures she could name.

Then this morning, she read to our dog.  I cannot wait for her to read to me more often.

Circles, Circles, Circles!!!

July 27, 2011

PlumGirl continues to show an interest in circles.  When picking shapes out of a collection she usually picks circles first.

I have a feeling this love of circles stems for her obsession with bubbles.  She loves to blow bubbles outside and gets excited whever the PlumTwins blow spit bubbles.  She has also started asking me to draw bubbles for her.

She has even started drawing circles pretty well herself.

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I am trying to think of ways for me to encourage her exploration on circles, but so far I have not come up with any ideas that I think would capture her interest and be at her current ability level.  So for now, we are just continuing to draw bubbles.

Lacing Beads

July 26, 2011

PlumGirl has been interested in lacing for a while now.  I originally found her a set of lacing beads at a consignment sale, but she was having trouble with the string it came with.

Then, I found the Alex Toys String a Farm.  This set is great!  Not only are the farm animals fun, but the string has a wooden needle attached that makes lacing a lot easier.

Even though PlumGirl had been playing with these for quite some time, she hadn’t mastered threading the bead onto the needle and then grabbing the needle and pulling the string through.

Then, this morning something clicked!

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She had so much fun and filled up the entire string!

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She even practiced naming a few colors, matching colors, and her animal sounds while she was lacing the beads. I also named some of the shapes for her. I am very tempted to buy a second set of Alex and Co beads because I know that she will enjoy them and I will have two strings with needles for when the PlumTwins want to play with them in the future.