It’s Not All Mary Poppins

I love to organize

Once upon a time, I taught kindergarten. It’s not surprising, then, that when I get an interested four- (or sometimes three-) year-old in the ranks, I start with the Educational Activities. Wait, now. I can’t think of anything that isn’t educational at this age … no what I like to indulge in are Overtly Pedagogical Activities.

Like this:

Here’s the whole thing. We have calendar pages (which you can find here), so that we can cross off the days as they happen, and see a day, a week, a month, in chart form.

Insofar as this is a chart that the children are reading, and insofar as we count the days each day, it’s math activity, but primarily, of course, it’s Reading.

Emily (just turned five) looooooves this activity. Love, love, loves it. She’s becoming a reader these days. In less than six months, she’ll be reading. (It could be less than six weeks. I’ve seen that happen before. My eldest went from reading picture books with one line of text per page to reading Little House on the Prairie books in one year. Once they’re ready to go, they can go like the wind!) Little brother Tyler will probably read at a younger age than Emily, because he copies her every move practices with her, every day. It’s adorable.

This activity, though, has lots of little pieces. Twelve months, five days, thirty-one numbers, plus the weather and activity vocabulary words, which are increasing daily. I did have a couple of envelopes taped to the wall, but they soon became so jumbled you could never find anything. They also kept falling off the wall. More jumbledness.

I needed a SYSTEM. And then I found this book, part of the smorgasbord of wonderful craft supplies I got from my designer friend. Originally, it stored wallpaper samples. Now, it will store WORDS!!!

Each page has three pockets on it. The pockets are cut from clear plastic (in my case, page-protectors, because that’s what I had), and held in place with electrician’s tape on the sides and along the bottom.

You can see better with the number page. The tape down the sides and across the bottom of each pocket. If you look carefully you can see the faint line where the plastic ends at the top of each pocket.

You still have to be a bit careful –the book has to stand upright when you open it, or words will slide out — but it’s a whole lot better than two messy, overstuffed envelopes on my dining room wall (or worse, scattered over the floor with the dog-furballs (dogfur balls?)!

This makes me happy.

December 10, 2010 Posted by | crafts, Developmental stuff | , , , , | 3 Comments

Riches untold

864729_lucky_numbers_1“Here’s some apples for Nissa.” A small heap of apple bits pours onto the table in front of the girl.

“And some apples for Noah.”

“One, two, free, sebben, TEN!” He’s at that endearing stage where he knows that numbers and actual quantity are somehow connected, but just exactly how is still pretty fuzzy.

As Noah ‘counts’ his apples, his pointer finger waves vaguely over the heap. There is no one-to-one correspondence in this boy’s life just yet, either. “Free, two, five, sebben, TEN!!”

First the rote counting, then the one-to-one. Everything in its season.

Noah continues counting, because really, there are a lot of small apple pieces in front of him. He understands that much.

“One, two, free, sebben, free, sebben, TEN!!!”

But somehow, he’s not encompassing the masses of apple bits, and he knows it. “Free, sebben, TEN!!”

Nissa’s been taking in his dilemma, silently. (Rather astonishing for the river of verbiage that is Nissa.)

Noah tries again. “One, two, one, two, one, free, sebben, sebben, sebben, TEN!!!”

Nissa sits up and throws her arms wide. SHE has the solution.


Startled at first, Noah’s face brightens. “Touzan?”


Noah beams at Nissa, at his pile of apples, and declaims along with Nissa. “Touzan!!!”

“Touzan!” Now THAT’S a number!

September 29, 2009 Posted by | Developmental stuff, food, Nissa, Noah | , , , , , , | 5 Comments