Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sweet Pete

I was reading an old craft book with Nugget this afternoon ("How to Make Flibbers, etc.") when we came to instructions about putting cloves into an orange, which they called a "Sweet Pete". After I read it, it occurred to me that she might be able to do that -- and we just happened to have one about-to-be-thrown-out orange!

It's pretty simple. We used a skewer to make it easier (the book called for a toothpick), and Nugget did a fabulous job of pushing it into the orange (with me holding the orange for stability). She made a small hole, removed the skewer and placed it on the ground.

Then she picked just one clove from a bowl, turned it around so that she was holding it by the top, then pressed the pointy end into the hole.

She stuck with this for quite a long time, and covered a lot of the orange with cloves. It's sitting on our table, smelling fabulous.

I was really impressed with how Nugget handled this. She watched patiently while I demonstrated the first clove, then followed the process carefully each time. A few times she caught herself not putting the skewer down before picking up a clove, but she corrected herself. Also, there were some skills here that she's only recently mastered, like pushing the skewer into the orange in a controlled way and maneuvering the clove around in her fingers so that it was positioned correctly.

I think this was the best activity we've done in a while, and it just came out of nowhere. I'm going to keep my eyes open for more similar activities to exercise her new fine motor skills. Her ability to follow directions is also really promising for doing more complicated things in the future!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Idea stage -- Counting and sequencing cards

Wow, sorry I disappeared for so long! Nugget hasn't been interested at all in sitting down and doing activities -- when she hasn't been sick or having a dairy reaction, she's been all about imaginative play. Yesterday she pulled the lid off the game of Life, sat in it, and declared that it was her "sailing boat" and that she was off to an island. She then "landed" on the island, exited the box top, ran around the room "looking at the island", and sat back down in the box to sail off to another island. Then various friends and supplies started to come along, and there was no more room for the captain....

Anyway, I've been standing back and letting her and her imagination roam. She has plenty of toys that get used in creative ways in her various scenarios, so I've felt no need to stock up on more traditional Waldorf items. I do still long for some play silks, but I picked up some silk scarves at a thrift store and they've filled that role so far. If she starts to use them more, I may dye some of my own silks.

In the meantime, I've been doing some sewing and keeping up with the garden. But I'm starting to think about some new activities that I might try to introduce. Nugget's been doing some basic counting in her conversations -- one, two, and sometimes three -- but won't count items on demand. I thought maybe some cards with different items in various amounts to match up might be good. For instance, one shark and one elephant, two tigers and two butterflies, and three worms and three birds. Something like that, where the subjects were different but the numbers were the same.

I also would love some sequencing cards. I tried to look for some online to print out, but they looked pretty bad. I'd love to have three- or four-item sequences for her to organize. I don't think I have the straight-up artistic talent to do the drawings, so that might be something to pick up at the local teacher's store.

I'll try not to disappear for so long again, but I feel that Nugget's in a bit of a lull for the sort of things that I've been posting on here in the past. Guess I'll just have to evolve to keep up with her.
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