Tuesday, October 18, 2011

China Week Wrap-Up

Jackson knows where China is now. It's on the blue thing that spins, aka the globe. Heh.

And he knows what 42 looks like, because he was very interested in Ping's 42 cousins, so we counted out 42 links every day and hooked them together into a long, fun chain. He also learned about "swooping" and "diving" from Ping, and he heard the song "Row Row Row Your Boat" every day, in conjunction with "the jerk, jerk, jerk" of the oars. He learned that boats can have wise eyes. He knows that ducks dive for fish, and that it's uproariously funny when mama makes sounds like the boat boy or Ping's master, who says "La-la-la-lei."

The Story About Ping is the longest book he's ever let me read him, and it's fairly complicated--there's at least four separate "acts"--but he sat through it every time, so long as his tray was full of food. This was a great experience because it make me certain that Jackson's attention span is expanding and that we can continue stretching it further. He didn't take to either the fingerplay or the longer stories, but I might try to slip in Tikki Tikki Tembo (another quasi-Chinese childhood favorite of mine) and see what he thinks. Plus, we need a reason to stretch out "China week" a little longer: I still owe him a bowl of wonton soup, and we haven't even seen grandma and grandpa's China slide show yet.

In other news, Jackson starred blankly at the Montessori-style sized-cup nesting activity for the first three days we did it, and then on day four, he just reached out, nested them himself and then looked at me expectantly, waiting for me to increase the level of difficulty. I was overjoyed, because he was genuinely befuddled at first, and then, after three days of demonstration and (then a couple of days off when we were camping), it clicked and he got it. I've seen book-related learning take place, but this was my first spatial-relations lesson that had a real effect and it was so cool. Definitely continuing with these. I think next we'll do "sorting silverware" since Jackson loves playing in the dishwasher anyway and because I have about 25 McDonald's fork-and-knife packets that I don't have anything else to do with.

I don't know what theme week to do next, mostly because I'm paralyzed by the possibilities. Trains? The five senses? Art? I also want to do a billion craft projects, like making Play-Doh and fingerpainting and ironing autumn leaves between wax-paper sheets and so forth. There is so so much to learn and do at this age, not to mention that there are so many parks to visit, adventures to have, and grandparents to socialize with. I'm pretty sure just hanging out and doing stuff and reading sometimes is an overabundance of stimulation, but you wanna do as much as you can, right?

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