Thursday 15 December 2011

Back to basics

 (Goblin is 26 months)
This week I have gone back to basics with Goblin's shelves. I think I have been pushing him towards activities that are too difficult and beyond his ability. I got carried away with the fact he showed an interest in counting, and tried to turn all his activities into number based ones. The result was he ignored his shelves all week and just played with his cars and did lots of sensory activities like cooking, playdough and water play. So I observed him, and listened to my instincts and opted to go right back to the simple stuff. Goblin likes this stuff and has fun, and thats whats important.

 So on his shelves this week I have:
pouring - Christmas themes with red and green rice and sparkley 'happy christmas' glitter;

matching - I found some gift tags with double sided tape on the back so I have stuck 4 down on a card and left the rest in a pot for Goblin to sort under the ones on the card;

Tonging and one to one correspondence - I found some glittery pine cones in our random book shop and put them in a bowl for Goblin to tong into a muffin tin; 

Pincer grip and accuracy - I bought a bag of those christmas present bows, and I am using my pot from the gnome counting game and some craft tweezers so Goblin can lift them and slot them into the hole in the pot.
I also have his christmas house with balls that go down the chimney, a pasta shaker and kebab sticks, and his sound cubes.
I changed up his shelves while he was taking a nap. We were due to go to Nanny's in the afternoon so when he woke up I got him dressed and put his shoes and coat on. We were just about to leave and I nipped into the living room to get something. Goblin followed me and saw the shelves. The shelves he'd ignored for about a fortnight. And before I could stop him he'd taken down two separate games and started to play.  I think this demonstrates that I simply had the wring stuff out last week.
 The glitter pine cone one to one correspondence work was a great hit. He has played with it again and again.
 When he fills up all the slots he gets me to put them back in the jug and starts again. 
 And again!
 As well as his activities on his shelf we have been doing a bit of art. Goblin gets really excited by rockets. So we made one out of a kitchen roll tube. And Goblin painted it.
 He also painted his hands - again!
 And finally I wanted to post about another activity I tried with Goblin. I found it on another blog and I even left a post saying how great it was and that I'd need to try it out, but now I can't remember which blog it was I found it on so I can't reference them (Sorry if it was you).
 Anyway, it was pasta threading, on spaghetti. You pop spaghetti into playdough and then get your toddler to thread penne and shape pasta onto the spagetti. Goblin found it very difficult to do when the spaghetti was in the playdough. I should probably have done this on the floor because by the time you put the spaghetti in the top of it is at Goblin's eye level which is quite a stretch if you are practising fine motor skills. He cheated and took the spaghetti out of the playdough, threaded the penne and then put it back in the playdough. The spaghetti was actually too delicate for Goblin and he ended up breaking quite a few bits so I eventually swapped it for wooden kebab skewers.
But before I did he got quite into pushing the spaghetti into the playdough. This was a really good exercise because he had to be firm but gentle, if he was too rough he'd break the spaghetti and if he wasn't firm enough he wouldn't get it to stand up.  Next time I do this I will use penne with straight edges, the stuff I had was cut on the diagonal and that made it even harder for Goblin to thread. He enjoyed trying though.

I'm linking this to
  Montessori Monday

Fun Stuff Fridays
It's Playtime at hands on : as we grow
Tot School


  1. Looks like going back to basics was great fun! And what is it about kids and painting themselves.. my little one loves doing that too!

    Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty :-)


  2. Love your shelves, as usual :) Pinning the gift tag matching craft. I think Boogie will love that!

  3. Good for you - I know we all get carried away in wanting our kids to learn or comparing them (at least I find myself doing that at times) instead of letting them explore & learn through play.... Love the gift tag matching game! Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Merry Christmas,
    Beth =-)

  4. Hi! Visiting from TGIF! I love your ideas for your little one! Amazing! I too sometimes have to remember to "get back to the basics". I recently bought a set of tongs and my 2 1/2 year old LOVES them! He has played more with the tongs I got at the Dollar Tree than I ever imagined! I need to use muffin pan for my son too, great idea!

  5. Thanks for all the lovely comments. This wee's shelves were definitely more successful. Glad I took a chill pill and stopped trying to rush Goblin.

  6. Love your activity trays. That spaghetti threading activity looks cool.

  7. yeah Goblin loved the pasta, I am so annoyed I can't remember which blog I got it from so I can give them proper credit. I am trying to set up a Printerest account so next time i find something cool i can pin it and then i'll remember where it comes from.

  8. I've noticed the more simple the activity, the more both of my boys enjoy gets their imagination going!

    Stopping in from Tot School!


  9. Love the tweezing the bow work. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Your trays are great! With so many great ideas from so many blogs, sometimes it's hard to remember not to push our little ones too much! It looks like getting back to basics was a great idea!

    Criss-Cross Applesauce


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