Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Purposeful play time

We haven't spent much time at home recently due to the wonderful summer weather, so Peter has been mainly joining us in beach, forest and playground trips, alongside lots of water play in the garden and watering the plants at the allotment to keep them alive. 

Harry has been to some school holiday enjoy-a-ball sessions where he stays for 4 hours so Peter and I have spent some lovely time together alone this week. I don't think I planned any of the play activities in this post, they just happened and I think all purposeful play can be like that. It just needs an engaged adult to facilitate, make sense of the experience and extend it by talking about it and joining in. Learning areas like colour, number and shape come naturally into that for us. 

We have been playing lotto games, practising taking turns and memory skills. Peter knows all the colours in the Red Dog, Blue Dog game now and he enjoyed pointing out all the pictures in Alphabet Lotto and saying the names.

We made pancakes and Peter did very good and controlled mixing, pouring and whisking. Much better to use real ingredients than to pretend, and you eat the finished product! He was concentrating so much and it was nice for him to do everything instead of sharing the jobs between them. Harry dislikes pancakes to the extent that the smell almost makes him sick so I make them for Peter as a treat when Harry is out.

We have been building lots of marble runs and talking about the colours of the pieces as we add them. Peter even had a go at building one himself. Putting things like this together is great for hand strength and motor control and for investigating cause and effect.

We sang nursery rhymes and Peter used some of his puppets to act them out. Here is Humpty Dumpty falling from the wall. We used to read and sing lots of nursery rhymes with Harry and he has always been very good at rhyming so perhaps that has helped. This must also be one of the earliest stages of comprehension for a small child, as they understand what the (sometimes only four) lines of a rhyme mean and, for example, make an ouch sound when Humpty lands!

We used up some stickers from old sticker books and I noticed that Peter had grouped the same kinds together on the paper - pink fish, green fish and squid so we talked about the differences and used some descriptive words like curly, long and stripy. We counted the stickers in each group too. 

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