“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. ” -Audrey Hepburn
I mean…who doesn’t like Audrey Hepburn? Anyways, what a meaningful quote! I just started a new lesson on gardens and growing. It’s a very important topic because gardening promotes health,responsibility, and dedication! These are some important qualities that I want to share with my kiddos! Gardening can also introduce early science lessons. Of course my little Saylor isn’t going to question why plants grow but consider an older age group. Encouraging our kids to notice a plants growth over time shows them that caring and nurturing attitudes can create wonderful results! Later in life they can use this skill not only in the garden but in day to day relationships. It’s not always smooth sailing teaching the little ones patience but it’s totally worth it.
I demonstrated washing cabbage and radish this morning to share the importance of caring. It’s really important for me to show my kids the benefits of caring for the things we engage in (such as eating) and not just going about life mindlessly. I encouraged Saylor to join in and help me on his own. He used fine motor skills and hand eye coordination to wash the veggies on his own. I also encouraged him to observe colors, textures, and shapes. While observing I communicated about the qualities out loud in order to promote language skills. I encouraged Saylor to repeat colors back- no such luck today! I also want to be forward about the environmental changes I had to make before finishing this lesson. I attempted bringing this activity outside and letting Saylor observe it all in the grass. Instead the whole yard was his playground! It’s so easy to overstimulate these little ones. So if you’re ever wondering, “why wont my kid sit down and do such and such?” you are not alone! Saylor is not always interested in holding still to observe either. When this happens I just try to create a change in our environment that allows him to focus easier. This morning that change was strapping him into his high chair. I never just forget the activity and move on to whatever it is he wants to do. I think it’s important to share the importance of structure and rules at a young age so that it’s not a culture shock later in life. When the activity was over I let him climb around the yard until his little heart desired! He loved it! He also enjoyed the activity once I made it easier for him to focus on. Babes love free play and believe me I am all about stepping back to allow that. They are also craving your guidance and structure. Even when they don’t know it! It helps me to be consistent with our activities. I usually get them knocked out before nap time and then the later part of the day is dedicated to more laid back and flexible activities.(walks at the park, free play, etc.)
One way I like to make things easy is using our sensory items again for art. Repetition is a helpful way to help kids build connections. We used the same radish sliced from sensory to create some red radish art! Saylor used fine motor skills and hand eye coordination to direct his radish slices in the paint. He observed colors, textures, and shapes while I encouraged him to talk about them. I always get asked how I keep Saylor from making a mess during art. The answer? I don’t. Let those kids make a mess from time to time- it’s good for their soul. It’s also good for creating a sense of control and boundaries. I know you’re thinking I am full of it, but one of the most beneficial ways of learning is hands on! What an easy opportunity to let our kids be hands on. I find it does make my life easier when I am prepared for clean up before the mess even begins. When Saylor does art I get out a wet wash cloth and prepare the clean up before I even turn him loose on the art. This gives me bit more control during clean up when hes trying to grab my hair, clothes, etc!
I keep the occasional finger paint originals. I also like to create items relevant to our current lessons if it works out. Do you think Saylor will look back at his art puns with embarrassment? HA!
I did not create a specific spot for sensory today, but I included it in all of our projects. Saylor used his senses to observe colors, textures, shapes, and sounds during these activities. I talked about the colors, shapes, and textures out loud to help Saylor make connections with words and his surroundings. I always think about how it’s really a blessing that I am so good at talking to myself. This world is brand new for our babies and they need you to talk about everything out loud to better learn!