• "Everything is a grace, everything is the direct effect of our Father's love—difficulties, contradictions, humiliations, all the soul's miseries, her burdens, her needs - everything, because through them, she learns humility, realizes her weakness - Everything is a grace because everything is God's gift. Whatever be the character of life or its unexpected events—to the heart that loves, all is well."
  • - St. Therese of Lisieux

Friday, July 22, 2016

7 Day July Challenge: Day 4

Day 4 Challenge from Hands On As We Grow!

Draw a target on the driveway or sidewalk in chalk. Make, or gather, mud to throw at the target.

We did this challenge after our afternoon walk so it would be shady on the sidewalk.

Since our little one is just 2, I drew a red circle on the sidewalk and told him that we will try to throw mud in the circle.

My husband and I prepared a little planting spot for our tomato plants, pechay , oregano and sweet potato tops. Since they have not been replanted yet, I got the hose and made a little mud puddle.

I invited my son to grab some, as I put my hands in the mud, but he shook his head and said "No." So I went to the sidewalk with mud in hand and showed him where to stand and throw. He still was not interested. 

Not giving up, I asked my son if he wanted to throw stones instead. He immediately looked for one and dipped it in the mud. Ha! Then went back to the target and hurled the stone. I cheered on as he went to retrieve the same stone which hit the target but bounced out into the grass.

He did this for probably 2 more times as I cheered him on and watched, but it seemed he was more interested in the mud because there were earthworms squiggling in and out.

So he abandoned the target practice, found a bamboo stick and started poking in the mud.

As I sat on the grass beside him, I asked, "What are you going to do?" He made a stirring motion, his sign for cooking, and pointed to the mud. Remembering that we are working on his expressive vocabulary, I said, "Oh, you're going to cook." Then he started putting stones and leaves in as I tried to label all his actions.

Labeling actions is one way to scaffold your child's learning. In our case, learning to say the words. Scaffolding, like in construction, refers to a temporary support for a learner (child). 

As the little one played with mud, I also asked questions like "What do you think is under all the soil?" He would answer "eeh, eeh, eeh." Meaning insects. So I say "Oh yes, insects! I think I saw one right there." Or I say, "You're putting in some leaves. Leaves. Leaves." And he tries very hard to say it back. Whatever sound comes out, I say "Yes. leaves."

He was really enjoying himself that he did not notice he was putting his hands in the mud already. He tried to dig up some earthworms with his stick but I think they all went deeper into the soil.

This is definitely better than sitting your toddler and teaching him how to talk. By using his senses as we use words, his brain is able to process and work on the information when the time comes to use the same words in a different situation. Who knows? Maybe tomorrow when we do our morning walk and pass by a pile of leaves, which was swept by the neighborhood gardener he would happily scatter them and say, "Leaves!"

We went in the house all happy and muddy after 30 full minutes of playing. 

Here's how Jamie of Hands On As We Grow did Mud Target Practice with her boys.

I hope you'll try this challenge soon too!

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