Tot school-Ducks and farm animals

Yesterday we were able to do tot school again, and it was great.  I didn’t get any pictures because I had finger paint on my hands, but we had a lot of fun.  Cousin Ebo joined us and I think Mingli really enjoyed that.  Ebo is almost a year and a half younger than Mingli, but the two of them have become best friends lately.

Our first activity was finger painting.  We took some of the plastic farm animals that my parents have Mingli used them as stamps.  Ebo was a little young for the stamping, so he just used him hands.  We did it on the kitchen floor so they could both get to the paint and so we were in a place that it would clean up easily.  At first I tried to get them to only paint on the paper, but eventually they started painting on the floor as well and I gave up.  I try not to say no too much during tot school because it is supposed to be about exploration, so I decided to let them make as big of a mess as they wanted.

Eventually we transitioned from painting to our water play.  I had a container of water that had sponges and rubber ducks and that may have been an even bigger hit than the paint.  They especially loved the sponges and trying to squeeze the water out of them.  It was great being able to do this again and having the energy and emotional bandwidth.  I feel like I have really neglected Mingli over the last few months, and we are both enjoying our time reconnecting.

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Using meal times

Mingli always takes much longer to eat than I do, but I don’t like to just leave him sitting at the table alone when he is finished.  He likes having us with him.  Up until now this has meant that after I finish eating I just sit there waiting for him to finish.  I got an idea on another blog recently and today I tried it out.  When I finished eating, way before Mingli as usual, I pulled out a book and began reading to him.  I decided to go with a book that he would normally have trouble sitting through, so I pulled out the original Winnie The Pooh book and started reading that to him.  In college I learned that there are a lot of benefits to reading chapter books to young children, but it is only good if the child is enjoying it.  Today was just trying it out, seeing if he would enjoy a long book like that, and he did.  We only got through 2 pages this morning before he was done eating, but he was actually paying attention to the book as I was reading it.  As long as he continues to enjoy it I think this will become a tradition.