Thursday, March 10, 2011

Look at Those FINE Motor Skills!

I've been writing about some pretty heavy stuff lately. Thank you for all of the support and the love. It is very much appreciated.

In the midst of all of my physical and emotional turmoil, my daughter has decided to continue on her path of becoming an amazing human being.

Since our schedule has become so much more regular, I've been working harder on having some more structured activities. Most days it's something tiny like stickers, coloring, sidewalk chalk or bubbles. These things are all fine, but she's starting to need more of a challenge.

I guess that this is pretty common for her age as just today, a mama in one of my on-line communities put out a call for toddler learning activities. I mentioned our playhouse box and our efforts in decorating and using it and Signing Time videos. Then I went to Michael's in search of more foam stickers. While I was debating sticker styles, Lily Ruth found a tub of assorted plastic beads that she was immediately inordinately fond of.

My first thought was that she was too little for them. Then I thought about all of the things that we do together that she's probably a bit young for... and I thought about the fact that I would not just leave the beads out for her to choke on. Instead, we would play with them together. All of a sudden, this tub of cheap beads had potential. We can sort them by color or shape or size. We can string them and build patience and coordination. We can wear them and advance ourselves in the fashion arena... (note: as I type this, I had to ask her to empty her mouth. I had given her 10 seconds of bead carte blanche - she used it to fill her cheeks with tiny choking hazards.)

On my way home, I talked to Kittyn. She wholeheartedly supported the bead idea. She even elaborated on the theme and told me about letting her daughter sort things into ice cube trays! By the way, you need to check out her post on re-making crayons. It's wonderful. They sent us a set of heart crayons that Lily Ruth adores. They're so pretty that she cannot stop trying to eat them even as she colors.

When I got home, there were more responses to the post about activities. Now I have 2 more blogs to keep up with. The Artful Parent and Chalk in my Pocket. That ought to keep us busy for a while. There's even a recipe for bathtub puffy paint!!!!!! But it will have to wait, because today we have BEADS!

We started by just running our fingers through the beads. Then we dug in and started sorting:

In a matter of minutes, she went from needing help to being able to string beads all by herself!!!

She sorted and strung for about ten minutes. Then she wanted to get down and have a snack. Then she wanted to bring her Ernie doll in and show him how to play with beads. Ernie was spellbound. He also found the beads to be quite tasty (she shoved quite a few of them in his mouth). Then Lily Ruth got down and used her bead string as a lasso. It took me a minute to figure out what she was doing, but when she said 'ye-haw! cowboy!' I finally caught on :-P

I have to go lay on the couch now. I am in overload - too many cool things in one day...

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