Welcome back to our recap of the week, filled with lots of fun and learning, some of it centered around and inspired by The ABC Bunny!
Wednesday morning, as I posted earlier, we spent at the Discovery Center caring for baby dolls. Lucien also spent a great deal of time exploring inside the Japanese house exhibit. He sat at the low Japanese table and served and “ate” sushi using chopsticks. (At least, he tried valiantly!) He arranged flowers, explored different Asian fruits, and looked at Japanese books. He was fascinated by the Kanji, and kept asking me to read what it said. I had to disappoint him. I explained that Latin or Cyrillic alphabets I know how to read, but that Kanji is a different code that I do not understand. Lucien has really been starting to grasp lately that the written word is some sort of a code, that represents the words I read to him. He will ask me repeatedly to sound out a single word on a street sign, or he will demand that I read a single line from a story over and over again. I read one line from his Highlights magazine over twenty times in a row yesterday, pointing to each word as I said it aloud. Lucien hates unsolved mysteries, or not understanding how something works (“Show how works!” is one of his most common utterances.), and I can tell his mind is trying so hard to figure out this code that is the alphabet.
That is a wonderful segue back to The ABC Bunny. Lucien loved the bunny hat craft so much that I decided to offer another paper craft invitation on Wednesday. C was for carrot and T was for triangle. We used glue sticks to paste large orange triangular carrots onto the brown dirt, and then added smaller triangular green leaves. And then we ate carrots with our lunch.
Lucien enjoyed the pasting. Really though, he was just enthusiastic about his glue sticks. He got two new glue sticks! And the glue is purple! And he can twist the bottoms to make the glue go up or down! And then after he had completed his picture, he had an absolute blast chasing his (slow and bumbling) mother around the house with the glue stick, as she screamed “Oh no! Sticky!” Much giggling ensued. We managed to pack art and physical education into one activity!
Thursday morning? Another trip to the Discovery Center, of course! And a trip to find Lucien his own baby doll. That was by far the highlight of the day. In the afternoon we got out Lucien’s alphabet train puzzle, put some of the pieces together, and talked about all the different animals inside the train. Lucien decided that the engineer should not drive the train, so we discussed which animal should be the driver. I think it was the wombat. We looked at Lucien’s own ABC book – a book that I made for him using pictures from our lives. He comes back to that book again and again; it is one of his very favorites, probably because it contains so many happy memories. S is for swing in our book, and Lucien decided that swinging was a fantastic idea. So we stopped at a swing park in the afternoon.
Then we headed off to the library to get some more books, and to play with the alphabet puzzles.
Friday morning we drove down to Waikiki. We spent some time at the zoo then walked over to the beach. It was beautiful, warm, sunny weather, and we had a grand time digging through the sand and getting our feet wet in the ocean. Then we went home and had some fun identifying letter stamps and stamping in play doh. I got Lucien his first set of ink and stamps for Christmas (It was a set of barnyard animals.) and for a while he was very enthusiastic about stamping with ink. The shine since wore off, so I thought we would break out some new letter stamps, and try play doh as our new medium. Something a little different did the trick!
After three weeks of BFIAR, I have some observations. One is that Lucien is not the type of child who likes to hear the same book read over and over again. If I introduce an new book to him he might want to page through it once or twice, but then his interest usually wanes. Unless we discover one of those very special books that truly captures his imagination. Then we read it together multiple times a day every day for a week or more. (He is an all-or-nothing sort of boy.) The books in BFIAR are classic and lovely, but most of them seem to appeal more to adults who are choosing books for a curriculum than they appeal to my son. I like the idea of introducing him to new, classic children’s books, but those books just do not seem engaging enough for him to be the focus of our week.
So for next week, Lucien is picking the book! We are reading Two Little Trains by Margaret Wise Brown. Lucien selected it at the library. He loves it. He is crazy about trains. It should be awesome. There is actually another book by. Margaret Wise Brown in BFIAR – Goodnight Moon – but neither Lucien nor I like it. At all. I have no idea why it is considered such a classic. No disrespect to those of you who are fond of it, I just do not understand the appeal. Two Little Trains, however, is a delightful, charming, amazing book with wonderful text and fantastic, engaging illustrations. If you have not read it, you should. It totally redeemed Margaret Wise Brown in my eyes the first time I read it with Lucien.