S has had a fascination with scissors for quite a long time now. We began learning with strips of construction paper and straws so that he could get the hang of one snip. He has just gotten the hang of cutting across a page independently, so I am introducing some more structured cutting practice. I plan to begin with straight lines, then zig zags, then wavy lines. After S has mastered cutting this way across a page, I will move onto cutting out a square, triangle, circle...
There are many books on the market that have cutting practice pages inside them. We don't own any, but I know the Kumon ones are popular.
A less expensive idea would be to use some of the many free printables offered on the internet for cutting practice. Here are just a few I came across with a quick internet search:
Of course an even cheaper option (no printer ink used) would be to draw your own lines on paper. Workbook pages, printables, or DIY versions would make a great independent activity for trays.
A fun Easter craft to do would be to have your child cut strips of contruction paper and then cut the strip into little pieces to glue on a cross or egg shape to make a collage. I plan for us to make an egg with a few different colors. Directions and templates can be found at DLTK.
Those of you who know me in "real life" know that my wonderful husband does all of our cooking, but I was recently introduced to a great cookbook by a friend of mine. I have never wanted to own a particular cookbook in all my life, but there was something about this one. I checked it out at the library and loved it so much that I bought a copy of my very own (for only $10 using my Barnes and Noble Groupon stacked with a 15% off code!). The Family Dinner made me realize that I wanted my boys to see me in the kitchen as well as my husband. I was also pushed in there by the fact that S started calling the oven "Daddy's oven".
Aside from the simple recipes, the book also has lots of ideas for families to connect at the dinner table and ways to make dinnertime special. So tonight I made my first dinner (a simple soup) and we started a new dinnertime ritual. I put a little bowl at the center of the table with some questions in it. S draws a question and we all take a turn answering it. This was a nice break from the regular, "Tell us about school." or my husband and I finding ourselves talking to each other and telling S to not interrupt. I will add more, but a few to start with were:
What is something you would like to learn?
What is something you are proud of?
What animal would you like to be?
What is something that you like about yourself?
What is something that you are good at?
Please leave a comment if you have more question suggestions (that a 2.5 year old can answer).
This past Christmas Santa gave S a small calendar in his stocking (I think he found it in the Target dollar bins). We keep S's calendar on the fridge to give him a visual of the passage of time. At the start of each month I mark weekends with happy face or star stickers and S knows that is when "Daddy is home" and I mark his school days with an apple or star sticker. I also mark special holidays or events. Then we X each day out as we go along. I think it has really helped S see how time passes and patterns in our week. He is also starting to learn some days of the week and months as well.
I started something new a week ago with S and it has been a great way to get him to work independently on an activity or play with a toy.
Each evening before bed, I set out three trays with a toy he rarely chooses, a coloring page, an independent activity, a puzzle, playdough, dot marker page, etc. on each one. He can work on these trays at any time during the day and when I notice he's bored I will remind him to go "pick out a tray." I plan to add more trays as we go along.
This idea is adapted from 1+1+1=1. Her system is more involved, educational and thought out. Mine basically keeps S occupied while I unload the dishwasher ;)
Early Motherhood is the stage of life I am currently in. The phrase comes from my new interest in early childhood development and from being a new mother and all there is to learn from it. As my son's primary educator, I will be sharing my experiences and ideas. I will also share money saving, home organization, parenting, craft ideas - all things I am learning in my Early Motherhood.