Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Matchy Matchy & Bookstand Benefits

Fish Colors Mix N Match Peg PuzzleI don't know if this is exactly a developmental milestone, but it is a good thing for me the mom: As of tonight Jackson can match puzzle pieces to their slots in a puzzle. He doesn't have the manual dexterity to snap them in yet, but turtle goes on the turtle hole, barn goes to the barn spot, orange fish goes to the orange fish. Whee! I celebrate mostly because this means there's hope of him someday helping me put away puzzles instead of just pulling them off the shelves, dumping out all the pieces, making little piles of them, and then wandering off to his next project. :)

He's also had a leap in the past couple of days where he actively solicits vocabulary and is able to then volley the word back immediately, rather than grunting in acceptance and then actually deploying the word or sign days later. I can say "magnet" and he'll say "manna" and then we can do that for two or three rounds as he slightly refines the sound. I taught him "salmon" at breakfast and then my friend A. came over and we had sushi, and when I mentioned salmon again, Jackson delivered a version of "samman" that was completely intelligible to a non-family-member grownup.

A Harry the Dirty Dog Treasury: Three StoriesI introduced Harry the Dirty Dog for the first time today and Jackson loved it. In addition to "DOG!!!" there are lots of background trains and construction sites and dirt and boy things that I probably never appreciated when I read it as a little girl. I was also pleased to discover than I can actually sign a fair number of words in a short children's story, thanks to the instructional miracle that is Signing Time! On a related noted, I bought an inexpensive bookstand at Office Depot to free up my hands when reading aloud, and now not only can I sign--which I think reinforces some words and/or slows me down to make the reading more comprehensible to a little one--but Jackson can really see the pictures. When I'm holding a book I think the angle is ever changing and it bounces around quite a bit, but the bookstand lets him really gaze at illustrations and dig into the detail. (Also, when I'm in the kitchen and he's snacking on Cheerios or whatever he can look at books without getting his adorable sticky fingers all over 'em.) We were reading Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm (grew up with The Year at Maple Hill Farm, never read this followup before, LOVE IT SO MUCH), and when I went to get more food, I left the book open to a horse page because he loves neigh-neighs. When I came back he signed apple and lo and behold, when I looked closely I saw that one of the illustrations depicted a girl feeding a horse an apple. Anyway, yay bookstand. I wasn't sure it was a good idea, but now I love it, and I think it's a great addition to our mealtime readalouds!

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