Apparently children aren’t expected to sit and write until 6 because so many things have to be in place – shoulder strength, core strength, hand strength – not to mention the ability to concentrate and sit still. The Early Years Team told us all about it at a recent talk and encouraged us to use “Mark-Making” as more important at this stage. They gave us some jelly beads to have fun with and set us on our way.
Well Little A must have been listening. He has been mark-making in the bathroom this week – this time in the middle of the night. He has decorated both the mirror and sink. He used my lipstick on the sink – sure the red and white contrast were very satisfying. He has been writing numbers in his toothpaste by spreading it on the mirror and using his fingers.
This is the little man who refuses to do anything on the homework book, would never draw a picture, is forced to write a card (poor thing). He loves his Megasketcher but does not like to keep work on there for long, he does not let me take a photo and there’s no chance I could get him to do homework on there. That would be me trying to take control which he would find upsetting. Anyway as currently he is obsessed with foreign alphabets he writes Arabic on there more often than not (nobody else here speaks it). Certainly no “Dear Grandma, Happy Christmas” yet. which would come in handy.
So I have a dilemma now. Do I encourage sensory play with my ruined lipstick and some toothpaste? Or will this just make the spontaneous acts of creativity worse? It’s a lot to deal with before 4 in the morning, I’ll let you know later.
We are big into Christmas this year. My little man is now 5 and fully on board with the “Christmas Countdown” (sorry we don’t do Advent, not religious just appropriating the traditions)
Highly recommend this classic Alfie’s Christmas (thanks Grandma) Being a very literal being, Little A wants to replicate the book. He wants a red scooter under the tree just like Alfie. We also have to make Christmas Tree biscuits. So that’s what we are doing this afternoon. I use the term “we” in the loosest sense.
Challenges we face:
- Not eating all the batter
- Love/hate the mixer. Love to watch it. Hate to hear it.
- Oven on is scary because Mum made the smoke alarm go off before
- Mum is not great at baking (see last point)
Despite this, we did cutting and baking and we might decorate once Little A has eaten a few.
…when you find this haul behind the bed when cleaning
- 3 fidget spinners
- 2 light up balls
- A chew toy
- A helicopter (spin)
- A spinning puzzle
Sums up our life really!
Simple things are sometimes the best activities.
I took 8 coins from the play till and buried them in the playbox of sand.
Now we just play pirates and dig up the treasure. This was inspired by a Bubble Guppies episode that he enjoyed about being pirates. I love to encourage anything that is pretend play even if us saying “Arrr”!
Next time I might wrap up some card circles in foil, it was really hard to find all eight and Mummy had to take it quite seriously to get them all found.
Sometimes with sensory seekers you need to redirect hands that can get up to mischief. Well he’s 4 so maybe it’s just that he’s 4 but there’s been some undesirable behaviour recently. (I’m not going into detail because I want to respect his privacy)
Playtime needs to up its sensory game so here were yesterday’s ideas:
- No mess painting. Splodges of paint on paper inside a ziploc freezer bag. Squidging time!
- New slime. Yes I know you can make it but I bought some cool slime from Tiger. It took a bit of encouragement but he soon let me lay it on his hands and we were away.
- Pouring and squeezing bottles. I poked some holes in a bottle lid (blue tack under the lid and be careful using the knife). I filled a bucket put in cups, a jug and plastic bottles on the table outside. It was a great success. I love messy play that you don’t have to clean up. He was cautious at first but was soon squeezing and spraying. I could even see some bilateral skills which he is working on still.
I’ve got some rainbow beads on order to make the water more colourful and a new Sensory Play Ideas Pinterest board here.
Having time to write is the perennial problem, right?
Having a little boy who doesn’t play so well by himself means I am in demand frequently.
This morning however I have found that I can think about a back story for a short story I am writing as we played with Playdoh. Very therapeutic! I have scribbled some notes. Maybe it’s not my 1000 words but each step takes me further forward.
I was inspired by this infographic http://www.hodderscape.co.uk/infographic-14-top-tips-stephen-kings-writing/
Must have pinned this five times already.
This morning though number 3 struck me particularly. Sometimes situations or stories do come first but then when I come to write the backstory, I find the people are right there waiting for me.
Which way round do you find your characters?
In a few days we will be moving out of our small flat to a small house. We seem to have accrued a lot of stuff since moving in 6 years ago, getting married and having Little A. I mean who doesn’t need 32 1980s compiliation albums (here’s looking at you husband)?
Change is tough for little A so it is better to involve him in any activity. He flicked a duster at a few of our less breakable possessions this morning as I madly clean and sort.
The reality is though I cannot pay as much attention to him and he resists change. Queue choas. Drinks dumped out, eggs broken on the floor, toothpaste eaten… Behaviour that is showing me clearly he is already finding this week challenging. And being Little A he refused the Time Out handed out for this until he was ready and told me “I want time out on the bed.” Me too kiddo.
After calming play with the fans, some special time with play doh and of course some bouncing we have recovered. I may just leave everything else dusty.