Monday, January 11, 2010

tot school: coin-hunting in rice, and a snowflake thank-you card

Since playing with rice is still by far Basbusa's favorite tot-school activity, I thought I'd introduce a new twist to it this evening: coin-hunting. I took three pennies and a quarter, and drew around them on an index card, as a visual indication of how many things Basbusa had to look for, and how big they were. Then I hid the coins in the bowl of rice, and Basbusa excavated carefully with a cautious index finger until she found them. She put each one onto a dot on the index card, so that she knew when she had found them all, and then we put the four coins back into the rice again. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Basbusa loved it, both the finding and the hiding of the coins. She seemed to think it was magical, the way they sank down and disappeared beneath gently-jostled rice :) From my point of view, it was fun for her; it was more sensory exploration with rice; it was a little tiny bit of one-to-one correspondence by putting the coins onto the dots; and it was a chance to talk about big and little as we found either pennies or the quarter. (In other words, my kid played with some rice. I'm not sure whether or not I've gone completely insane with this tot-school stuff.)

Next up, we made a thank-you card for a beautiful set of mini-books which Basbusa received recently. I used this fantastic post from Valerie at the Frugal Family Fun Blog as the inspiration. Amazingly simple and amazingly pretty given that it's created by a toddler! You just use a few bits of tape to make a snowflake on a piece of paper (or a card, in our case), go wild coloring over the whole thing with blues and purples, and then peel away the tape when you're done. (Basbusa scribbled with markers rather than using paints, though, to reduce mess and drying-time.)

Although I love how it turned out, this was totally artwork-for-mom's-sake rather than for Basbusa's. I did the folding of the card, I taped the snowflake, I chose the colors, and I did most of the snowflake-tape-peeling when she was finished. Very cute, but I must remember that making messes, not artwork, is the point, when she's still so young!

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