Friday, October 28, 2011

River Stones

At the moment, I'm really trying to attune Eden to her sense of touch.
I'm not against TV in general, but really, it's just a whole lotta visual information. I feel it's important to give your children the opportunity to develop their other senses too, and it's so simple to do.
You could incorporate it into your day in a thousand different ways. For example, next time you're at the park, ask your tot to close their eyes and you begin talking to them about all the things you can smell; the flowers, the grass, the soil after the rain, the bark of the play equipment, etc. Use descriptive language, talk about whether the scent is pleasant or not. Then ask them what they can smell, and prompt them of they seem to be struggling to find the right words. So simple!
Segue over...As I was saying, I'm really trying to attune Eden to her sense of touch, so I bought a bag of river stones ($2 at Sam's Warehouse) and poured them out onto the rug. This is a completely open-ended activity*; your child can sort the stones by colour or shape or preference, they could make pictures or patterns on the floor with them, they could pretend the rocks are other things (Eden pretended they were coins for a while), they could put them into different containers (tins, plastic bottles, etc) and see what sounds they make when shaken, etc.
Eden and I sat together on the floor, and looked at each one, and discussed how they felt, and if we liked them or not, and why. Another day, Eden sat with her grandfather who explained which gemstone each pebble reminded him of and why (“this one is like quartz, because it's the same colour; this one reminds me of obsidian” and so on. She may not have understood, but she loved hearing all the new words, and has already said 'ob-sissy-den' several times).
Try it, and see what uses your child finds for them.

*Open-ended activity means an activity with no set goal or purpose (making a rainmaker is not an open-ended activity; giving your child some water and an eye-dropper is).

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