Remember when DJ received these pattern blocks for his birthday and he was so frustrated because the pieces would shift as he added new pieces? Well, six months later and there's no more frustration, just a lot of fun!
He's also really enjoying being able to count to 10. Despite being very proficient at it, he still repeats it over and over and over. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, TEN!! I think I might go insane! Haha. In this photo, he was playing with some seashells he received in a Brainy Kit and it also included laminated cards 1 to 10, so he used them as an ad hoc "cards & counters" activity.
We've really been enjoying the Brainy Kits. A new kit comes each month but we don't sit and do all of the activities at once. I just put them on the shelf and let DJ discover them as we go. He almost always wants to read the included book as soon as the box is opened though. I really like that these are non-fiction books with a lot of facts. These will be great resources for elementary when DJ is learning to research and reference his work.
DJ is also working hard to learn to count from 11-19. The picture above shows the Tens Board. There are 9 printed 10's and then 9 cards labeled 1-9. I love how this material teaches the child how to create the numbers 11-19, they aren't just nine more numbers to memorize but they build on the decimal system. So he learns that "10 and 1" are eleven, "10 and 2" are twelve, etc.
Of course, this is also where I curse our English language as it would make so much more sense to call 11 "oneteen" or something like that. DJ has definitely caught on to the idea once he gets to 14, although for 15 he almost always says "fiveteen". That's right DJ, start a trend!
Having some knowledge of numbers helps with the daily calendar. When I first bought this he only cared about the pictures. Now I can tell him that the it's June 17 and he knows to get the 1 and 7. He still doesn't really have a clue what the date means, but it's good practice.
I've also been surprised that instead of connecting the days of the weeks with the iconic pictures I selected (like Odin for Wednesday or Thor's Hammer for Thursday), he instead connects the day of the week with when he goes to grandma's house or when he Skype's with grandpa and then he connects THAT activity with the picture of Odin. He also very directly connects the concept of months with how far away from Christmas we are and when he gets to start his Advent Calendar again! Yes, I put chocolate in it last year and it made a HUGE impression.
His passion for counting 1-10 has sparked an interest in the polynomial drawer of the Geometric Cabinet. I find it interesting that he prefers to count corners instead of sides, but he gets the same answer either way. On the day of this photo he counted the corners of the nonagon and then asked me why it doesn't have 10 corners. I answered because it's not a decagon. Then he pointed to the decagon and asked, does this one have 10 corners? Yes, yes it does. Then he counted the corners of each shape and I named them as he went. Although I feel quite sorry for him because for some reason I really want to call a hexagon a sextagon and a heptagon a septagon. Ugh. I'm sure it's very confusing for him!
Later that day, he completed the Color Box 3 "sunburst" pattern all by himself! I was so surprised that he had the focus to complete this AND he didn't ask or insist that I do it with him. Yay! You'll notice on the pinks & reds he did not get the gradation from light to dark quite correct but I don't care, he did it all by himself!!
AND he put it away all by himself! I am so giddy over this I can't even explain. Putting away "big works" has definitely been a struggle for us so I celebrate every victory.
Today while I was working he pulled out the North America continent box and showed an interest for the first time in the 50 state flashcards I bought at Target. So when I finished, I brought out the U.S. Puzzle map and he matched several of the states based on the map shown on the flashcard. Here he has Florida and is studying the card. He's identified that it is near the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico so he placed it in the bottom right of the map.
When he found the correct piece, he noticed that the northeast part of Florida had a small sawtooth pattern, connecting to a similar pattern on Georgia. He also noticed that both the puzzle piece and the flashcard showed that detail. I love this!
Next we laid out the state flags over the map. I made these flags so one side has the state's flag and the other is white with the state name printed on it. I wish the country flags I bought were like that!! I would read the name and give him a general idea of where it is based on what he knows - "this one is Arizona, it's next to California and above Mexico". (Btw, he's still very bothered that Mexico is not a puzzle piece! Annexation anyone?)
DJ knows that we live in "Washington" but he has no concept of what that word means. When I saw the state flag I took the opportunity to tell him about George Washington, that this is a picture of him and our state is named after him. Of course, he doesn't really know what a "president" is but we're planting seeds. Lots and lots of seeds!