Sunday, October 02, 2005

Educational Activities for a Rainy Day

This weekend was a long one for C and me. Will is in the U.S. visiting with his family following his granddaddy’s funeral on Thursday. He’s back tomorrow morning and we’re going to mob him at the door.

Will’s trip coincided with (or perhaps prompted?) Caroline’s crib boycott. She can fall asleep on the bed at night, but she just can’t fall asleep for a nap and so she’s sleep deprived and grumpy and so am I. All was not a loss today, though, and here's the list to prove it. Please refer to today's title, before we begin.

  1. Actively listen to children's TV show with child: translated every time Barney said Eins Zwie Drei!
  2. Get kids involved in cleaning up and simple cooking activies: cooked eggs for lunch while Caroline perched on counter to help. Bonus, showed off best clean up practices for smashed egg on floor, courtesy of helper.
  3. Work on expanding your child's food palette: experimented with sardines for lunch. Reverted to Bird’s Eye Custard for dessert to take fish taste away (“phoey”, only comment from C). Supplied piskoty (Vanilla Wafers) for dipping and extra space filling.
  4. Encourage child to learn how to count everyday items: C counted sippy cups accumulated during nap. I applauded her ability to say “one orange sippy cup, 2 orange sippy cup, 3 orange…”
  5. Demonstrate how to do something by practicing it yourself: showed off my own best napping practices until C tired of demo and wacked me hard on the head. Dizzy, yet awake, illustrated weaving from room around obstacle course of overturned toy chest(s).
  6. Help child learn to play on her own: handed out child-safe scissors* and colored paper, drew several flowers to cut out and left C to her own resources (* really wonderful, they truly just cut paper and that only on occasion).
  7. If an activity is a success, try expanding its potential: Returned from 9 minute break to find a happy C and frayed paper collection. Attempted to turn paper into attractive fringe hat. Following tears and incriminations turned hat back into many many many armed octopus.
  8. Create parallels between child's enthusiasms and everyday activities: discussed swimming during bathtime as C is pro swimming (it involves octopi and making waves). Attempted to persuade that it also involves getting hair wet and may even include soap. Failed in persuasion (this time!).
  9. Teach child to use words when frustrated: Worked on encouraging negotiation skills while attaching diaper and pajamas. "In a case like this, saying ‘I’ll trade you moo for the prison garb’ is more effective than kicking, go ahead, you try!"

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