Friday, March 12, 2010

Week 6, day 3: Desert animal activity

Nugget has been begging and begging and begging for another animal activity, so I whipped one together last night even though I was exhausted. I had hit Joann's yesterday with a big pile of coupons and totally stocked up on Safari Toobs, so I pulled out the Desert set since that was the easiest environment I could figure to create (just brown paint and a few brown construction paper rocks). I also bought a small wooden box to store the animals in as an extra point of interest (she loves finding things hidden in little containers).

I didn't have time to make the beginning sound letters, so when Nugget found the activity, that was our first order of business. We pulled out each animal, identified it, and determined what letter it started with (I had removed an animal or two whose sound was difficult to figure out). I then made small stickers of each of those letters and let Nugget choose where to put the sticker (i.e., where the animal would live).

We set all that up (no problems for her identifying sounds and letters) and then spent some time talking about the different animals. Her favorite question is what they eat. Thank goodness for Wikipedia!

When we were done, we scrubbed the sea shell a bit again (vague interest on her part), then she pulled out the animals again while I chose to do the shape puzzles. Nugget helped me with that and did one on her own. I really don't like this set -- the cards and the shapes are both slippery, so any little bump on her part disturbs everything she's already set out. I wonder if I should glue some nonskid mat pieces to one side of each piece.

Nugget moved over to the bed to pretend to be a scorpion while I pulled out some I Spy Phonics books. I haven't had a chance to look at these closely, but we made up our own I Spy for each page. Nugget doesn't quite get the idea -- she'll take a turn saying, "I spy something that starts with the letter.... duh." But then when I can't find anything and ask her what it is, she'll come up with something that starts with D but isn't in the picture at all. And then she tries to fudge it. For instance, she said she spied a ... um .... doll. I asked her where the doll was, and she looked around for a while... then claimed the toy horse was a horse doll. *lol* We did this for a little while, but she wasn't so interested.

She took a quick break while I played with the Red Rods. I'd put those out the other day, but hadn't had a chance to look at them closely. Nugget was intrigued by this, and helped me align the bottoms of all the rods. Then we stood the tallest up to see if it or she was taller (it was!), and, after a demonstration, she moved the smallest up and down the line to see that the difference between the rods was constant.

She turned to a puzzle while I built towers with the Knobless Cylinders. Her contribution to this was to knock them down and then help me return them to their boxes. :)

Finally, Nugget wanted to work with the texture balloons again. And she actually chose to use the blindfold! We matched and did same/different.

All together, about an hour in the room today. I hadn't really been looking forward to it -- it seemed like all she wanted was new materials, and I was still a bit frustrated by the Sensorial issue (although I was trying not to be). But today went pretty well, and I think I'm making progress on letting go of my expectations re: her reduced interest in Sensorial and Practical Life and increased interest in Language and Science. I'm really anxious for my backordered Small Number Rods to arrive (they were supposed to ship on Wednesday, but I haven't heard anything from Montessori Outlet -- so annoying!) to see if she's ready for moving into Mathematics. She's been doing more unprompted counting these days, so I'm just waiting waiting waiting for the material to arrive to see what she thinks of it.

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