Friday, 24 October 2014

Observe your children

Watch them closely,
follow their interests, 
see who they really are.
Watch them closely,
even when they aren't aware of you being there.
You'll be amazed!!

Daddy repairs school clocks as part of our business. MJ has become very fascinated by them.  He has a tool box full of old clock parts.  MJ plays with them, connects them together and builds with the parts.  Recently MJ came to me and said he wanted his own clock.  I suggested we make one.  First he stuck some numbers and letters to a round piece of cardboard.  Then I showed him how to fasten the hands on so that they could move.  MJ looked at a box of clocks in the office and pointed out that Daddy's clocks had a box on the back for the motor.  We quickly found a box that he filled with clock parts and taped it to the back.  Oh how proud he was!  Daddy was very impressed too.

Still very pleased with his project, but not quite satisfied, the boys now wanted their own real clocks.  Daddy kindly found some that could not be repaired mechanically.  MJ now takes 'Clockey' on outings with us!  Of course Clockey doesn't work and NEEDS to be fixed.  It is also has a glass face an is sort of delicate.  Hmm... maybe a very kind Mommy suggested a trip to Ikea for some plastic clocks.  Hurray!!!  The boys counted up their money to help pay for their purchases.  With the new clocks decorated and loudly ticking we are all set.  Next up is learning to tell time.......

MJ loves to make concoctions.  We went to the store to buy a few ingredients that the boys could use for themselves.  MJ had invented a mixer (bowl with the tracks from an old truck) and needed to make something to mix in it.  After combining all his ingredients together: jello powder, salt, flour, paprika, water; MJ wanted to cook the mixture.  I suggested he could try pancakes.  My little guy was so excited to be allowed to cook the pancakes himself (usually that is TJs job).  He was so excited and talked about how delicious they'd be.  He couldn't wait to try them.  the first nibble was fantastic.  The next bite revealed that "These are disgusting mommy!".  But none the less he was thrilled to have the experience.

Not to be outdone in the kitchen, TJ's been reading recipes recently.  First we made playdough to replace the batch that TJ licked (yes he still eats the playdough!!!!).  While playing the boys opened up stores to sell paintings made of the dough.  MJ realized he had made this amazing owl.

A few days later TJ was rather hungry so we made muffins.  I tried to help as little as possible, only guiding things along.  TJ read all the ingredients and measured them out.  We talked about fractions and what they meant.  He was so proud to tell everyone and share them too.  I was happy that we adapted our regular recipe to be reduced fructose.  Incase you didn't know we found out that the boys are fructose intolerant (more of a fructose malabsorption).

Looking outside one day, the weather looked cold and miserable.  The boys and I were busy exploring, learning and playing when Daddy encouraged us to rush outside and enjoy the surprisingly warm weather.  So we took a drive to a nature reserve for a walk.  We walked through a lonely pine forrest,  told stories, brought our stuffy friends, discussed how seeds travel, and watched leaves float around like little boats on the lake.  The boys draw in their field journals as we enjoyed the beauty of the autumn season.


We babysat my adorable nephew the other day.  It was such a delight as we've never had him on his own before.  The boys had a great time playing in the dirt and forrest.  When they weren't aware of me and my camera I snuck a few photos.  TJ was climbing a tree near MJ's forrest home.  The boys collected acorns to plant in the forrest.  MJ helped his cousin into the house at lunch time.  I observed that my boys love nature and caring for the earth.  They are great problem solvers and are both wonderful with younger children.
When given enough free time to explore, play and use their imaginations children are fascinating and so creative.  The boys discovered some masks that Grandma Scott gave us.  Oh how much fun that was.  Somehow a plain green mask became a doctor's mask so we played hospital.  TJ planned a party in his forrest home for Fuzzy the dog.  We played games, had a snack and dressed up. Later as we were doing some house repairs Jon and I looked over to see the boys trying to ski down the gravel pile.  If you look closely you'll see a wooden board for skis and some shed anchors for ski poles.

Oh I wouldn't trade these times together for anything... What have your little one been up to?  What are their interests?   How can you feed those interests and the things that they love?  Have you played today? 


PS :

Try journaling.  Write about what you see and do with your kids, no matter if they are home all day or at school.  Taking the time to focus in and write down a bit about you kids will reveal a lot.  You can track their progress and also not forget about the things they mention (you know the things that you mean to get back to but often forget).