Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tot school: (non)sorting and some engineering

My "official" tot school session wasn't really very successful today. Or maybe I should say, it didn't go as I had been planning. I hadn't even been planning to have it at all today, actually, but Basbusa spotted the materials I had been planning to use for sorting, and wanted to play with them. When I said that we wouldn't play with those now, but we would the next time we did "school," she ran to our tot-school-corner and started tugging on the mat we spread out during "school time." So ok, I guess "school time" just arrived :)

It didn't work out phenominally well, though. I was using a kind of mini-peg-board thing that that my husband picked up at a flea market. Basbusa has played with it several times before, sometimes just with pegs to put in and take out, and sometimes with elastic bands for looping around the pegs, but she hasn't been wild about it either way (read: lost interest after about 30 seconds).

This time, I was hoping we could put all the blue pegs in one board, and all the red ones in another. Basbusa had no interest whatsoever in this plan. So far, she has had the same reaction to any sorting activity, no matter how appealing the materials. I don't really understand it, because she does seem to get the concept in other contexts - she can pick all the peas out of a veggie mix with no problem, so as to avoid eating any corn, for example. (That's "sorting," right?) But when it's a goal for its own sake, she either doesn't get what I'm talking about, or else has some objection to doing it, I'm not sure which. Maybe she just doesn't see the point?

So, complete failure of the sorting activity. On the other hand, she spent a total of about 40 minutes playing with these "toys":

A padlock and a mini-screwdriver set (I think it's supposed to be an eyeglass repair kit). She spent forever practicing putting the key in the lock and taking it out again, and then opening and trying (unsuccessfully) to close the padlock itself. The screwdriver set has five teeny-weeny little heads, which she took out of their holders and replaced about five thousand times, before figuring out that they could each be inserted into the screwdriver-handle, opening up a whole new world of putting-in-and-taking-out.

So, I'm calling this one practice for fine-motor skills, and an introduction to engineering :)

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