Monday, June 9, 2014

Panda finger art board with finger painting

Whenever Xue learns a new thing, I like to reinforce the learning with more activities and help him form more connections. Like when he saw a bumble bee in a park, I came home and showed him the more pictorial bees in his story books and did a bumble bee craft work with him. These activities will help the kid connect the real life thing to the pictorial/ object. The bumble bee art board is on the wall now and he will point at it excitedly whenever he see a bee in his books or when we mention bees. We visited River Safari over the weekend and the idea for this month's sticker art board came from, yes you guess it right, our celebrity pandas.

Here's what we used:
A cute pandas sticker (I got this from The Paper Stone and they are perfect for art board this week)
And basic stationery

I used felt to make the bamboos and sun and straws for the sun rays to introduce more textures onto the board. As I sticked the bamboos onto the paper, I told him facts about pandas like how they eat bamboos, where they come from etc. he may not know all the things I tell him now, but I love talking to him and telling him stories. One day, when everything makes sense to him, he will be able to connect all the dots.

We did something special here too, finger painting which didn't proceed too well. It's the first time I let Xue try painting and I was so worried about him creating a huge mess. Throughout the activity, I held his finger and hand and forbid him to handle the paint himself. My attempt to keep things under control put a lot of restriction on him and he really didn't enjoy the finger painting activity. You can see the few spots of paint on the art board and after that, he got very frustrated and didn't want to paint anymore. End. of. activity. We moved on to play with his toys while I put away his painting stuff. We continued with the art board at a later time and he pasted all the panda stickers. Tip of the day: Don't take out the stickers too early as the stickers will take away all the attention.

Yeah, things like this happen every now and then. That's the real picture when it comes to planning/ doing activities with kids or a 14 months toddler in my case. Don't be discouraged and that's an advice to myself too! I have friends telling me "Wow, Xue is such a good boy" or "I wish my kid can sit through an activity like Xue".  The truth is, Xue is like any 14 months old toddler. He walks off halfway, he throws things around, he tears up papers, he messes up everything. I love to show you photos of the not-so-perfect-moments, but it's really not the best time to take photos when Xue is throwing a tantrum and getting all frustrated with an activity. But one important thing for me is that when Xue refuses to do an activity, I don't scold him or force him to do it. I really don't think that kids are being naughty here, it's just that the activity is not engaging or meeting his developmental needs. So I always look at what he likes to do now and try to be just one step ahead of him. It's not always a hit with this guessing game but my guesses to what interest him get better with practise and observations. What do you do if an activity for your tots doesn't go as planned?

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