Thursday, March 20, 2008

Stacking Blocks and a Little Monster

Well, I haven't yet finished my pink tower (more on that later), but in the meantime Ella's been using "Funny Blocks" made by Djeco which are a lot of fun!

Until recently, I had only put out five of the blocks (every other one) to make it easier for her. She quickly mastered that, and on Friday I put out them all. It was a hit! She worked with the blocks for over 20 minutes.


She didn't get it perfect on the first try. She skipped one of the blocks, which she tried to add in as she went along, but (ah, the "control of error") it was obvious to her that it didn't fit, so it just ended up being left out. No problem, though, she just took it down and tried again. The second time she tried, she got it, and was just delighted with her accomplishment. Here's she's doing a little "victory dance" in celebration!


Because this was the first time she had completed the tower with all the blocks, she just had to run into the study and grab Dad to show him too!


For some reason, known only to her, Ella loves to arrange things horizontally. I've yet to explain to her that when we store/place things horizontally, it takes up WAY more room, which can be bad in a small house! Here she is counting the blocks, which she likes arranged as "stairs!"


This is the first appearance in the blog of "Little Monster." Ever since Ella was a very little baby we've played an ongoing imaginary game about "Little Monster." He started just as something fun to keep her occupied while we were waiting, or when she became bored and no other toy or book was handy. Basically, I used my thumb, index finger, ring finger, and pinky finger as four little "legs," and my middle finger was the lengthy "neck" and "head." He would crawl all over her, making little noises and "talking" which was an "Err, errr, er, errr..." sound. Ella adored Little Monster, and for a brief time wanted him CONSTANTLY, much to the annoyance of myself and her father. Well, as she grew and became more dexterous, she began to have her own "Little Monster" (but using her index finger for the neck/head rather than the middle finger) and my hand graduated to "Mummy Monster." It's handy on long trips to have a built-in imaginary friend to chat with!

At any rate, Little Monster often shows up at school, "helping" Ella do her work (I'll occasionally hear her scolding him saying, "No, no, no, Little Monster, not like that! Her brain goes up here!"), or taking advantage of the work she has done, as he is in the above picture. Once Ella has done the work correctly, Monster gets to play on it, in this case he is running up and down the "stairs." (He does similar things with the yellow cylinders when they're placed horizontally.)

If Little Monster becomes too much of a distraction (as little monsters are sometimes wont to do), I tell Ella to tell him that he will have to settle down and be a good monster and help her with her schoolwork, or he will have to go away! Somewhat surprisingly, this works!

Coming soon:

  • 3-Part Geography Lessons
  • Reigning in the Imaginative Child (While NOT Squashing the Imagination)
  • Make-Your-Own Sensorial Materials (And Learn from My Mistakes!)
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      2 Comments:

      At 10:56 AM , Blogger Shannon said...

      Joshua has Yoda, like from Star Wars! Joshy talks to him, and about him. I guess there are worse friends a boy could have!

       
      At 2:44 AM , Blogger southerncross said...

      Hi -- just haven't been able to find the post where you discuss "reigning in the imaginative child" -- would be keen for your thoughts :). I just got the pink tower for my 3.5 year old daughter and the pink cubes *are themselves* people, in her mind. She has sorted them into two "families"...and plays with them as if they are getting into two cars (complete with a big "mummy block" strapping a little block into her car seat!). Some blocks are boys and some are girls...she has at one time arranged the blocks in order of size...but otherwise...she prefers this pretend play! What would Montessori say to this...in my reading of her lately it is stressed that children prefer the real to the pretend.

      And by the way... I have only skimmed here lately but have gathered that you know more than you did a while back about your child in utero -- children, that is!! Congrats on the coming of your twins....

       

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