Last week theme was created spontaneously – B. chose a train set to be put on his shelf. Transportation, vehicles, big machines – those are his favorite…
Wooden train set
Few months ago B. used to ask us to build tracks for him, later he added few pieces from time to time, now he is able to start building his own track which we finish together to more complex system. This is one of my favorite transportation related activities with B. We also add road signs, figurines, animals, trees. I do not bother to place road signs according to the roads built, because B. likes to line them up and when I do something else with them, it is a huge problem.
Wooden road signs
B. understands that road signs carry meaning and he knows some of them, e.g. stop sign, signs that are placed near car accidents or works on the road. Then I came out with an idea, that we take our basket of wooden road signs for a walk. We tried to notice all the road signs on our way to a park and looked for those in our basket of road signs. I informed B. about the name of each sign and explained him what meaning it carries.
Cardboard arts and crafts
During B.’s screen time I tried to find some videos about road safety in Slovak language. I find few, some were OK, some I will not play any more. We also found inspiration for these arts and crafts activities and it was B.’s idea to start working on them. So I collected materials and we set it up.
We used opaque watercolors which are very easy to use, as they are the right consistency. B. painted traffic lights and also two paper rolls “cabriolets”. He was focused on covering the cardboard with paint precisely. He also practiced mixing colors, fine motor skills and gluing.
Traffic lights served as a aid to practice what individual colors mean. Stop! Get readyyy… GO! We had so much fun! Later traffic lights turned into muffins and later into cakes – raspberry, honey and apple cakes. B. practiced the process of shopping – presentation of goods, talking about price, receiving “money”…
B. likes this matching activity where he needs to magnify small pictures in order to match them with bigger ones. He even plays with them, beeps and lines them up. I found this activity here.
Train puzzle is still a little bit challenging for B.
B. can build various objects form magnetic shapes. One of them was a train.
This coloring book about airplanes was a big hit last week. B. enjoys coloring with oil pastels which can be mixed nicely. He puts thick layers of pastels on paper, sometimes even the picture he colors is not visible. He can spend even 45 minutes with this activity.
As the topic of last week is one of B.’s favorite topics, we have so many books about vehicles and roads. But I chose just few of them and included also other types of books.
- František z kompostu (free translation of the title František from Compost) by Simona Čechová is a beautiful book about František – an earthworm who looks for the purpose in his life. He finds it in what he knows to do the best – in recycling organic matter and increasing amount of air and water in the soil. The book also educates readers about the process of composting and importance of every piece of ecosystem.
- Busy Tractor by Samantha Meredith is one of B.’s favorite books from all the books we have. It is for younger children but he still loves it in his 3 years. There are cute short rhymes and each page contains a movable element.
- The Ultimate Book of Vehicles: From Around the World by Anne-Sophie Baumann and Didier Balicevic. This series of books is one of B.’s favorite. This is the first one we bought and it has many reparations done to movable elements.
- See Under the Ground by Alex Frith and Colin King. This book is not related just to transportation but there is a lot about it. It contains flaps and is very informative. B. was interested in caves also. We watched some videos and prepared him for a potential visit of the cave.
- Build a Tractor by Cathy Jones, Tom Connell and Martin Bustamante. I was very excited when I found this book and B. shouted with excitement when he realized we can build models of tractors. However, our excitement decreased as we found out that models are printed on the thick cardboard that does not fit the holes for it. Therefore, it is not possible to build models from this book (we have also another book from this series and that one is fine – we have already built two models).
- Rozprávky o dopravných značkách (free translation of the title Tales About Road Signs) by Peter Stoličný. As far as I remember, I bought this book when I was pregnant with B. At that time I was very happy that I found a story book about road signs. It seemed to me that those stories make the understanding of the meaning of the road sign clear, obvious and easy to remember. But… My book standards have altered since then. The text was written in 1985 and stories are valuably old-fashioned (too nicely said…). Last week I have read just the first story and I have had enough. The story is about the main road sign. The sign thinks there is no other sign more important then she is. She wants all the other signs to adore her. At night the sign paints and decorates herself with ribbons. In the morning, still sure about her importance and uniqueness, she is placed on a garbage dump because she does not serve her purpose. Other objects on a garbage dump even leave her in her belief. Self-centeredness, arrogance, superiority, phony, mocking – these are not values I want B. to learn and consider them standard. Maybe other stories are not that bad but I am not even going to read them. It is interesting that B. refused to read this book although I offered him to read it (it was before I read the first story myself). Somehow he has an inner radar for recognizing absolutely inappropriate behavior in others, as this was not the first and only situation he refused to watch or listen about characters behaving inappropriately.
- Jamberry by Bruce Degen is one of my favorite rhyming books in English. We have the book since B. was 1,5 years old and we read it quite often.
This week was fun for B., surprisingly fun for me too and even quite easy to prepare for. I am ready to come back to the theme in near future.