Up and Running

J (10m) has been with us for three weeks now and I thought it would be nice to share a few of the things that we’ve been doing. It’s amazing what you can pack into two days a week! We have been to the park, the library and the local toddler group and we have had LOTS of fun at home, while J has got to grips with his new environment. When he arrives each morning, there is a big smile on his face as I open the door and hopefully, that says it all: one happy customer!

 

J loved splashing on the AquaDraw mat and we are definitely planning more water-based activities.

 

“Dear Zoo” by Rod Campbell is a great book and one that probably has a place on most  toddlers’ bookshelves. J (10m) and N (14m) both love listening to it and lifting the flaps. N now does the accompanying animal noises and I decided to enhance their enjoyment of the book by giving them a story box containing the various animals sent from the zoo. The boys loved exploring the box on their own, emptying the animals and throwing them back in. J in particular spent a lot of time opening and closing the box lid.

 

Early one afternoon, when both boys were well-rested and well-fed, we had fun with gloop (cornflour and water). I poured the mixture straight onto the highchair trays, figuring that had I given them bowls, they would inevitably have tipped it out everywhere. N was one step ahead of course and started flinging it onto the kitchen floor! Never underestimate the mind of a one year-old… (Note J looking on for future reference!)

  

J loved the box of shells when he came for his settling in sessions and now that he is familiar with his surroundings, it remains one of his firm favourites. The day that I took the pictures below, he had spotted them on the shelf, pointed and made it quite clear that he would like to play with them. I added a new twist to his experience by giving him an empty egg box and showing him how to place the shells in and out of it. And of course, the egg box had a lid, which he loved too. After a while he moved on to pine cones and another box with a lid.

  

Last week, we did some playdough. N has become quite the little expert now and instantly started inserting matchsticks and googly eyes into his dough to make something resembling (to me anyway) a green hedgehog.

It was J’s first experience of playdough and he simply enjoyed the tactile experience of squeezing the dough with his hands and pressing it with his fingers. He wasn’t sure what to make of the dough that clung to his fingers but he definitely liked the squeezing.

  

The boys spent some time with the dough and we even ended up doing some singing. I attached googly eyes to five small balls of dough, which instantly became “5 little speckled frogs”. As the song progressed, the frogs jumped into the pool and were handed over to eagerly waiting little hands that enjoyed… er… squishing them!

J is really enjoying his new environment. He is developing a lovely relationship with my two sons N (14m) and A (3y) and gets even more attention when my daughters come home from school. And the more familiar I become with J’s likes and preferences, the more able I will be to plan lots of exciting things tailored to his unique interests and ways of learning. Starting with next week!

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