Friday, August 27, 2010

:: the phone book experiment ::

One day J tore a page from one of his books.

I quickly removed the book from his hands and out of temptation. I didn't scold him because it is my fault for leaving a non-board book accessible to his busy little hands. However, this incident reminded me of the importance of letting children explore the properties of materials. This got me thinking of things he could tear. Then I remembered the stack of outdated phone books we have.

So, I set one outside and opened it. After he looked at me inquisitively, I tore a page out to let him know that this was a book he could rip.

He quickly got busy:

He tore out a few pages:

Lined a few up in a row:

Then he decided to experiment. He tossed the paper off the edge of the deck as he did in the BOOM! project and watched it float to the ground:

Ah, back to his true passion! After tossing a few more, he decided to toss the entire phone book:

He couldn't figure out how to throw it off, and as it didn't seem to upset him I didn't interfere. He then moved on to opening and closing the screen door. 

I just love his scientific mind.

The end!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

:: the bath mat ::

I have a colleague who affectionately known throughout our center as a hoarder. You know it has to be pretty bad for a fellow teacher to call you a hoarder, but I won't mention any names...BETH.

She bought this bath mat a few years ago because she thought it had an interesting texture. Here is a profile view:

After she thought about it for a while, Beth decided that with hip-length hair, it would get gross pretty quick. Fast forward ten years later and its on a table in a bag with the original receipt. She cheerfully let me bring it home to my baby so that it would finally get some use as a sensory  mat.

I love how lil' man stops to smile at me before any new experience. I almost feel as if he is saying, "thanks, ma!" Either that or, he's just mugging for the camera. One of the two.

Anyhoo, he stepped on and began almost kneading his toes into the textured bristles. Its soft but it does feel strange.

Then he hopped back and forth on his feet:

I'd say he enjoyed it!

The end!

Monday, August 16, 2010

:: it's about the journey, not the destination ::

I love our local library. Well, it's the library of the city where we used to live. But my library card is still valid until 2011, and I can't let it go to waste!

There are many reasons why we love this library, most of them having to do with the children's section, which is never empty of children for little man to engage with. But for little man, he also loves the stairs.

Here he is on the library stairs giggling because I pulled out the camera:


You have to climb up three long flights of stairs to get to the children's section. I think they must look like a mountain to a toddler. And I let little man climb up every single one of them by himself. I do this because:
  1. he likes it
  2. I have no desire to carry him up there and
  3. it wears him out so night time isn't a struggle. 
If that last reason isn't enough I don't know what is. 

Today at the library, to his surprise and delight, there were orange cones on the landing:

He had to knock it over a few times:

Then I showed him that you can see through it, which had him side stepping to see me when I rotated my torso around:

I can't believe I didn't think to use it as a magaphone!

Ah, children: so easily and joyfully amused.

When I stop to think about it, this interaction would never have emerged if I had carried him up the stairs to the place were were I intended us play. I am so grateful I did because, lets be honest, sometimes it's just easier and faster to do it our way, especially when we are harried. But I really want our lives to be an adventure together. And as they say, it's about the journey, not the destination.

The end!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

:: checking out the bob cat ::

While staying at my parent's lake home my dad noticed a huge sink hole in the ground. Apparently the ancient septic tank collapsed. This is a huge problem in itself, but to make matters worse, the only way to get the septic tank up the steep hill was to winch it up with a tow truck.

Lil man, my sister, and I took notice from inside I opened the screen so we could get an unobstructed view: 

J loved watching the the bucket and arm of the bob cat dig and swing back and forth. The old septic tank was the size of a barrel. The new one was humongo:

I love all the men standing around outside the huge hole watching:

He lost interest after they started burying it. Then he went down for his nap and I left to do errands. I didn't get to see them fill the hole back up and winch the machine back down. Too bad!

The end! 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

:: a quick study of the nightly rainbows ::

The front of our house faces west. Light streams in every evening.

When the rays refract off the beveled glass in the door, rainbows burst forth splattering the wall and puddle on the floor. Their mysterious allure is not lost on my child, who stops to touch one:

The end!

Monday, August 2, 2010

:: mirror and pine cone provocation and a reflection ::

Mirrors are great. I think we take them for granted not knowing how educational the concept of reflection can be!

Knowing this, I placed my bedroom mirror by the fireplace. He has seen this mirror before, but sometimes an object takes on a whole new light in a different context. In this instance it is now laying horizontal instead of vertical and it is in a new room. I also lined some pine cones up in front.

Here comes little man, fresh from his nap. Intrigued, he runs over to see what is new:

He squats down and looks around:

He spots me in the mirror and turns to look at me:

He experiments with his reflection, delighted by his hand for a moment before he moves on:

Reflecting on this activity, I wish I hadn't put the pine cones in front of the mirror. I should have let the mirror stand alone, and add objects in front later.

In dialogue: where  would you go from here?
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