This week, we’re going on a bear hunt! Lucien likes the sing-songy nature of this book, and he loves every time I read “We’re not scared,” “Can’t go over it,” or “Can’t go under it.” He gets to respond with a delighted “Noooooh!”
On Monday we got out some play doh and a few counting bears. We talked about where bears lived and then constructed caves for our counting bears. Lucien decided himself to make “two caves for two bears,” and then “four caves for four bears.” One-to-one correspondence and counting – I guess he is working on some early math skills! We also took a trip to the zoo Monday morning in hopes of seeing the sun bears. But when we got to the zoo we were distracted by putting pennies in the well. And then there were monkeys singing and screeching. And we had to pet the goats. And the skunk was out! And pretty soon Lucien was starting to fall asleep! and we hadn’t even made it halfway through the zoo. It was a fantastic morning, even without the bears.
On Tuesday Lucien was enthusiastic to continue his work with the play doh, so we made more caves. He also decided to make play doh rocks for his counting bears. Maybe he was inspired by the final illustration of the book, where the bear is walking home beside the rocks? In any case, we made lots of rocks, and then practiced picking up them and the counting bears using toddler-friendly tongs. I have been noticing lately how rapidly his fine motor skills are developing.
We also did some counting with the counting bears, arranging them by color and then counting from zero to five. Lucien has a very strong sense of order and insists on segregating his bears by color. We have also been learning a new (to both of us) song this week, entitled “The Bear Went Over the Mountain.”
Lucien asked to “do art project,” so I suggested some finger painting. We smeared some swishy green grass on the paper, glopped on some thick, oozy mud, and poured on some blue river water. His interest in painting waned quickly and he decided to make some more play doh habitats for the bears. (I think that finger painting might be a bit too messy for his sense of order.) Lucien also decided to read our “special book” to Percy (the pet guinea pig) which was adorable to hear. I was impressed with how accurately he retold the story.
We read through two of our “go-along” books, both counting books featuring bears. We counted red apples, squirrels, acorns, geese, snowflakes, and lots of other things that we might find in the forest, and talked about forest habitats, changing seasons, winter chill, and hibernation. I imagine it is hard for a toddler living here in Hawaii to conceptualize winter, but I think that he remembers last year living in Wisconsin. We certainly look through a lot of old scrapbook pictures featuring snow and warm winter coats!