Archive for March 28th, 2008

nurturing a little mind


Well, I met with Peach’s teacher last week and all is going great in preschool.  Peach is a really great kid.  I know all moms say that, but she is! 

Anyway, her teacher mentioned that she really, really, REALLY loves to play at the sensory tables (full of rice, flour, beans, sod…depends on the day) and outside in the sandbox.  She makes cakes, pies, builds castles, and is extremely imaginative.  If she’s outside and there’s no water around for sand pies, she’ll run inside her classroom and run back out with a full cup, spilling it along the way because she’s so excited. 

I know she loves this type of stuff, but as a mom, how do you know what is typical and what is beyond that?  For example, when I was little I LOVED to sing.  I’d harmonize with my mom to “You are my Sunshine” and sing rounds into a tape recorder and then sing with my own voice blaring out of the little red box.  My mom thought that was typical  — she didn’t know anything different.  When I started music lessons it was obvious I had a gift.  This “gift” was nurtured and eventually I went on to get a degree in vocal performance.  My point is…it’s just SO hard to know! 

So back to Peach.

Her teacher said that this type of hands-on sensory-filled play is evident in mathematical/scientific thinkers (wooo hooo….SO the opposite of me!) and she asked if we had anything like this at home.  Guess what I did after school that day?  I ran to the store and got a HUGE tub for her sensory “table.”  I asked her what she’d like inside that tub and she picked flour (she does love to bake!).  Along with the tub and HUGE 25 pound bag of flour, I let her choose goodies for her table: measuring cups, spoons, funnels, siphons, cheap cups and bowls AND some birthday candles were her playthings of choice.  She was thrilled.   

Since that day last week, she has spent her “quiet time” every single day outside playing in her flour tub.  I hear her singing songs, talking to imaginary friends (“Tollock” is her fav), and I love listening to her conversations with herself as she makes me “cakes.”  She’ll let me know if a bug darts by and even today saw a hummingbird and 2 butterflies. 

Is it messy?  It’s awful, horrific to be exact.  Our whole saltillo-tiled patio is white, BUT, it’s absolutely quenching her thirst for hands-on, sensory-filled learning.  She really looks forward to it when her brother goes down for his nap. 

So, I thought I’d share with you some images from today.  She was covered literally head to toe in flour and loved every minute of it!  [hey–thank you to those who made it this far in my looooong post!]


^ relaxed and messy


^ busy


^ extreme close-up of the action


^ “Poof” goes the flour

I know it’s hard to tell, but this patterned dress was basically white!  🙂 

Lastly, I just want to say that I feel very grateful to have found a school that truly supports developmental learning.  I feel her teacher really KNOWS her and her needs.  It’s so nice to have an outside source (other than friends or family) that can give me insight on how to build on her strengths, resulting in a happier kid and mom!  Quiet time is a piece of cake (for now)!!!  Have a great day.  ~m

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