Crunchy Gal

Play Learning

It’s official!  We have started the school year.  Mostly our days are filled with laughter, some learning through play, and some learning through intentional activities.
So by way of recap, here was the month of September and what we learned.
Aug 24-Aug 28 was the Letter G, the Garden of Eden and the 7 days of creation. We memorized Gen 1:31.
Our activity wa making a contact paper creation book, using cotton ball clouds, fresh grass and leaves, and animal stickers. We had a fantastic, fun morning watching Itty Bitty participate along with us.  The end of the week was about learning about gardens and seeds and how plants grow. So we set about planting our own seeds!

 

Week 3 (Aug 31-Sept 4) brought the planning of the month of September, the letter A for Apples, learning all about Apples. We tasted all kinds of apples and graphed how they were different and what we liked. We then took our apples and painted with them. Later we cut them out and practiced writing numbers 1-10 on them and used them to do sequencing and patterns. Throughout the week we talked about Adam & Eve and Romans 3:23 – All have sinned – and how there are consequences for bad choices.

 

All this learning sure is exhausting, so then it was time for a VACATION!  So we headed to Great Wolf Lodge for a few days.

 

Week 4 (Sept 14-18) was the letter Z for zoo, which we linked that to the gaggle of animals that Noah brought onto his ark, and of course we went to the Zoo! This week’s verse was Gen 6:9 – Noah walked with God – so we talked a lot about what it means to follow and obey God.

 

Week 5 (Sept 21-25) was the letter T for tents, which is what is pictured in our Bible while we studied about Abraham and God’s promise that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. So we made a bed sheet tent and played in it, as well as made a tent out of toothpicks and used a marshmallow to create all the stars. The verse of the week we learned was Gal. 3:6 – Abraham believed God – and how God makes promises that are reliable and we can trust Him to fulfill them, and that God used this family line for Jesus.
I am so loving this time with the Bigs.  The baby sleeps until 10am or so most mornings. This allows for quality time with my big kids and they are loving our activities.  The Man-Cub asks to do “school time”. But what is really incredible is what I have already learned about my kiddos and what I have learned about how to love them even more radically.  Although I am by no means an expert in any way, let me tell you what I am learning!

1. Teach me, do it with me, let me do it myself.
This approach is working so awesome with my brand new 4.  He loves me to demonstrate something, and  then cooperate with him until he feels confident enough to try it on his own. Then he wants to fly solo and attempt to master it independently!  For example, the first week for our creation book we worked with contact paper which was a new thing for us.  He was a little intimidated by the new texture initially and allowed me to demonstrate how it works.  So I did the first day of creation for him.  During the putting together of day 2, we worked in tandem folding and sticking.  By the time we got to day 3, he was ready to fly solo which was when I was able to sneak in some pictures. 🙂

2. Follow the lead of the child.
My Man-Cub so loves practicing his letters.  He loves writing them, he loves cutting them out, he loves tracing them.  The kid is four and he is constantly stepping up his game to understand sounds and phonics and sight words and even pre-reading.  So, we don’t do tons and tons with numbers, since he just loves letters.  I incorporate numbers less directly, I mean the kid can count to 100 already, but we don’t focus on it because right now I just want to cultivate a passion for learning.

3. Loving the ages and stages of your kids.
So my Itty Bitty is younger than my Man-Cub.  Some days she participates and wants to do exactly what he is doing.  Other days she just wants to color or push buttons on her toy or snuggle with mommy & her blankie or open & close doors while the Man-Cub and I are doing something focused.  And you know what, I don’t care.  She’s two.  She only gets to be two this year and I want her to enjoy her childhood and learn through play.  This is actually true for my Man-Cub, too.  My philosophy is to never force anything. I only offer activities that capture his interest, skill set and are based in tactile play.

There is so much I have to learn in this area. I need y’all to clue me in on ways I can be even more present for mine. What are you learning about parenting your kiddos?

0 thoughts on “Play Learning

  1. Genevieve

    I think you’re doing awesome 🙂 One thing I’m trying to do more of is plan time out of the house (which you do quite well) for my children AND for me (like going to mom playgroups I like and want to go to, not just going for my kids).

    1. Michele

      I just read this fascinating article how we now have to arrange play dates, because sadly our kids are no longer just playing outside with the neighborhood kids. Now it’s play dates with mom’s friends’ kids at predetermined places rather than true formation of friends and true exploration. There is for sure true in that.

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