Today Vada and I got out the ABC Cookie Game. A lot of our games that we have we just look at and explore through the pieces right now, the game playing will come later on when she is really able to learn those specific concepts. For this game Vada choose a single letter at a time. I said the name of the letter out loud and then made the sound of each letter asking for help with the sounds, kind if like what she would do during her speech sessions. We're fans of Leap Frog here and I know the song for each letter from the Leap Frog videos so I sang those as well and especially when Vada's attention began to go elsewhere. We got through about half of the bucket before we put the "cookies" back into the "cookie jar".
Another letter activity that we did was with double sided magnets. One side of the magnets had a letter and the other side had a photo of something that began with the corresponding letter.
I talked with Vada about each letter and each photo. The colors and shapes that we saw, the foods that we eat and how things go here and there.
For a fine motor activity I thought that I would try to see what we could do with High-ho Cherry-O. Both Jasmine and Kiliegh, my older two girls, loved this game when they were younger so I thought I would give it a try.
Again, the game playing concept is past Vada's capabilities right now and I knew that going into this. What I was hoping for was a new grasping activity for her and I think with more practice this could be fun. Today only lasted a minute or two before she threw in the towel and thats okay!
I also brought out 4 Squares More Squares for her to mess around with. Eventually this will be a great way for her to learn math concepts. For now its just something to play with and to get familiar with. I also used it to talk about colors.
Since I had the 4SMS out I thought I would also try the wooden block shapes. This was another of Jasmine and Kilieghs favorites. (I am glad that for whatever reason, I saved all of this learning stuff!) For this activity, Vada showed NO interest. That's okay too! ere still getting a feel for all of our stuff and we have so much time with it being just her and I!
Vada and I did a little Bear patterns. She really paid attention to this.
She colored. Today, she used the Crayola Color Wonder markers, for something different.
I read The Naping House while telling the story through felt figures. Vada loves when I uses felt to tell stories! I wish they had a larger selection out there because I have only found a few sets.
Another fine motor activity that we did was with a traveling Connect Four game. All I asked Vada to do was to put the tiny piece into the top slots. This however could be a choking hazard if your child still puts objects into their mouths. Vada will occasionally, so I have to watch her and keep a hand close by just in case her hand starts to go for her mouth! This seemed to be fun for Vada. She seemed to enjoy the sounds of the disks dropping and she kept asking for more. It really made her focus too!
We went to Texas to see my foster parents over this last summer, while we were there we went to a zoo where I found these teeny tiny animals. I immediately thought of fine motor activities. We have used them in sand, rice, shaving cream, jello and here where I had her pick them up and put them into containers and then take the out of containers and put them into new containers. I also take advantage of the fact that they are very realistic and talk about what kind of animal they are and the sounds that each animal makes. Vada can "moo" like a Cow and make the sound, while using her arm to demonstrate the nose of an Elephant. Every now and again I can get her to reply to "What does a Pig say?" For a child who does very little speaking, this is all good!
I do a lot of talking throughout our "class time", I mean A LOT! Everything that I do, everything that she does, I make sounds for. Like when we were doing the Connect four, I would say "Did it go down, down, down, boom!" and then I would pat my hand onto the desk. To keep her attention with the tiny animals I would grab one and make its sound and make it dance around the edge of whatever container we were working with all the time making it roar or hiss. We hug and kiss and high five a ton! Which is something you don't get in a typical class. I tickle her and she tickles me. She throws fits too, don't get me wrong!! There are those moments too! But a lot of what I do besides the constant reading of books throughout the day and evening, is talk, talk, talk through our learning time.
I have been asked several times how I "keep" her attention. I have found that it is important that she is in her seat during our learning time and that I am not always serious. If I make things fun and interesting for her then she stays with it. Also, I plan what we are going to do at least one night ahead of time. If we go through all of the stuff that I planned on and there is more time and I thin that she is still open to learning more then I turn on some music and let her play while I grab more things to do.