Forcing the Bloom

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Pairing Games for Toddlers

B has mastered several activities recently that have been challenging for months!  I’m excited for him but now I need to find more activities.  I introduced matching so that we could then work on sorting, which is a precursor to math.  A good icebreaker was sorting my shoes.  B loves my shoes!  He tries them all on, even my high heels.  One day I decided to mix them all up and have B pair them together.  He did not really get the concept at first but he liked the game.  A few weeks later I introduced an activity from a Busy Bag swap.  One mom had made pairing coins.  She cut and glued felt designs on wood pieces.  I brought them out several times but B did not seem interested so I put them away.  When I brought them out recently, he paired the designs together perfectly.  He went from seemingly uninterested to mastery!  It just shows how some toddlers learn – B absorbs information through observation until he feels confident in attempting the activity.  I’ve noticed his learning style in music class as well.  He observes quietly during class and then waits to practice clapping or signing or dancing when we are at home.

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I made another matching game based on B’s interest in transportation.  The First 100 Machines has always been a favorite book.  I made two copies of the front cover and laminated the copies.  I cut one of the pages up so that he could place the matching vehicles on the laminated page.  B really liked this game and had fun playing with Daddy.  I’m planning on trying this idea with other books.

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We are busy gearing up for the holidays!  B thinks it’s funny when I see “Jingle Bells” but otherwise does not seem to notice the holiday changes.  Amazingly, he has left the tree and the presents alone.  I’m sure next year will be different.  🙂

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Strawberry Picking at Hall Family Farm!

Today I met a few moms for strawberry picking!  Hall Family Farm (http://www.hallfamilyfarm.com/) is a great place to take kids.  There were several different play areas for various ages.  There was a shaded, penned in area with toys, a water table, a small maze, and lots of tricycles.  You could enjoy chickens, a tractor ride and funnel cake.  The strawberry patches were a short walk away and there were lots of patches to pick with lots of room for everyone to roam.  Baby B took a little while to figure out what we were doing.  Ounce he figured out that he could pick a strawberry and eat it before I could stop him (or cared to stop him) things got messy.  And I got messy too!  Baby B loved squeezing the strawberries and ring out the juice.  He slurped drips as they ran down his hands and arms.  Pure bliss.  He smiled at me and showed off each new strawberry that he found.  I tried to point to the bucket and explain that we were collecting them but that seemed ridiculous even to me.  I finally resolved to fill our bucket as fast as I could or at least faster than Baby B could scarf down an entire row.  It was a blast!  I made up for eating strawberries by buying a strawberry smoothie and some honey.

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