It's been a busy busy week this week. The rainbow shelves have had a lots of use; some things we're keeping for a bit longer, but we've added a few new things too. We've also been busy discovering about ocean animals following a trip to a sealife centre (click to check out the Ocean Theme Shelves here).
Floss and I have also started at a new parent and child group this week. It's run by two Steiner kindergarten teachers and it was an amazing morning. We'll definitely be adding this lovely session to our weekly rhythm and I can't wait to see how this influence may change the play in our home. I'll keep you updated!
Feelings are still a big focus for Floss at present. Do check out the last post if you want to know a little more why this is important to us currently. The Hape Eggs have been used so much. We act out the different emotions together - it's lots of fun. I have noticed this week that she's been more curious of the emotions of others rather than immediately upset by them. Floss can also be quite shy in new situations, we've chatted lots while looking at the shy egg about it being OK to feel shy and when we might feel that way. I'm not sure how much she understands yet, but when we went to the new morning group this week she seemed to join in with play much quicker. However, the sessions was lovely and it could have been to do with the beautiful, nurturing environment.
As this shelf had been so popular I decided to keep some of the items and add the mini feelings books and puppets into the mix. I've used the puppets when I was teaching to help act out different problems, such as sharing, and got the children to act out what they would do if the problem happened again. Floss loves puppets, so I thought we might use them to explore emotions some more.
I just can't put the Grimms Natural Bowls out of rotation, they are used so much. I've added the Hape Colour and Shape puzzle this week, but it's not quite been used as intended. Floss has spent most of her time trying to see how many of each shape she can fit in different Grimms bowls. I think it's just a teaching habit that as she adds them to the bowl I start counting, she's been really enjoying the rhythm in this counting and has begun to join in. Once a bowl is full she has turned it over and refilled it again wanting me to begin the counting rhythm.
For any of you who have checked out my Instagram post this week, you'll know my little one has an eclectic taste in music from classical to dance. I thought these bells would allow her to make some of her own, tuned music. I didn't grow up in a musical home and although listening to music I'd not had the opportunity to learn to play instruments. Floss is very fortunate to have incredibly talented Auntie So and Uncle T who both sing and play a range of instruments between them.
Since a baby Floss has been mesmerised listening to Uncle T play on the cello; he's also been wonderful showing her how to touch a bow and pluck strings from a very early age. I think because of this early appreciation and careful tutoring she is so delicate with instruments and finds them fascinating. Her Auntie So has bought a guitar this week and has begun to teach herself how to play it. She's previously taught herself the ukulele and while she played the guitar she let Floss use her ukulele. Auntie So was sat on the floor playing the guitar and Floss sat down, adopted the same position as her Auntie, and began to gently pluck the strings while carefully watching what her Auntie was doing. Floss is 20 months right now - it amazed me.
We often give children un-tuned, percussion instruments when they are little to play and experiment with, for some children this can be their only experience of making their own music. I've seen such value in giving Floss the opportunity to observe musicians playing tuned instruments and them being brave enough to allow her to have hands on experience with these. The joy can be seen on both sides and I believe it has given her a richer understanding.
If you've read other posts and pages of ours then you'll know Floss has a bit of an obsession with balls. I rediscovered these steel balls that I bought years ago off ebay, Floss loves the feel and the sound of them as they bounce along our flooring. I've teamed them up with a couple of texture puzzle pieces so that she can feel the difference between them.