Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Flip Flopin'

October offered some beautifully warm days that allowed us to revisit our summer attire one last time.  Most importantly this gave us that chance to wear our Havaianas to walk around the neighborhood.  Ava received her Havaianas for her birthday but had such tiny feet that she was not able to wear then until now.  So we relished in the opportunity to have her march proudly in her Baby Pets!

We love the fun rhymes in Baby Shoes by Daska Slater, Shoe Bop by Marilyn Singer, and Flip Flop Bop by Matt Novak.  These fantastic picture books help to build both Phonological Awareness through rhyme and Print Awareness through the fun, eye-catching layout of the words.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Sensory Experiences

Sensory experiences can give children a hands-on sense of the world around them and helps them to develop many skills. Ava has amazing fine motor skills and these skills continue to become more refined because of the many different things she is exposed to. Early on Ava was exposed to simple scientific principles through sensory play; such as the different states of water and measuring solids.

Ava enjoys playing with a bowl of ice cubes, splashing in a water table, and scooping flour into a measuring cup. By exposing Ava to these real world items she learns how to travel through life with every day items.

Board books are wonderful! From infancy, children are able to have the sensory experience to prepare them to become readers. However, it was important to me to expose Ava to picture books with paper pages and teach her how to handle and treat books. She has yet to destory a book by tearing out pages (there have been some chewed on board books). The difference between the experience my child has had and that of other young children became very clear to me at a recent family gathering.

Two of Ava's cousins and grandpa had birthdays at the beginning of October and we planned a large family celebration. I brought a bag of new picture books to share with the children that would be in attendance. A few of the books were scattered on the floor as Ava sat down to look at one. About 5 adults gasped and got up to take the book away from her out of fear that she would tear the pages. I'm not sure they knew what to make of my 15 month old that sits sweetly and looks at books for extended periods of time. That's just how life is at our house.

The overwhelming favorite of the weekend: Ten Tiny Babies by Karen Katz.

Can We Do it?

Ava has been showing an interest in tools lately. Recently we visited a friend who had a play tool bench and she had the best time! Without any guideance Ava uses the tools correctly reminding me of the power of observation.

She has watched a deck being added to the back of our house, a room addition to her grandparents house, and many other projects involving tools. Ava stole a small wrench from PawPaw while he was assembling a table and took it to "work on" her riding school bus. She pretended to turn the wrench on bus and when her work was complete Ava lifted the seat and stored the wrench inside. We will be adding a toolbox to Ava's Christmas wish list!

My mother-in-law has a small collection of books for the grandchildren to enjoy. In the pile Ava found 2 Bob the Builder board books - one shaped like a hammer and the other a saw. These fun little books are excellent for Print Motivation. After reading the story Ava can pretend to work like Bob making the story come to life. We are also enjoying Tools by Taro Miura, Tools by Byron Barton, I Love Tools by Philemon Sturges, Whose Tools are These? by Sharon Katz Cooper, Monkey with a Tool Belt by Chris Monroe, and The Toolbox by Anne Rockwell.