Sunday, September 4, 2011

Summer 2011, aka "The Summer of Libraries"

This was definitely the summer of libraries for us! We went to our neighborhood library at least once or twice a week to escape the heat, see some other kiddos, and read lots of books. This is at the NYC Main Branch (the one with the statues of lions that you see in lots of movies). Have you ever seen so many picture books in one place in your life?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Scribbling: Circular Stage

Little L. said: "Circles!"

Little L. said: "This is rain. This is Pooh Bear. This Mommy. Daddy... Mimi... Grandpa..."

Yes, there are stages to scribbling! Little L. is in the late Circular stage, early Naming stage!

Try these handy tips:
1. Compliment your child's work by naming what you see, reinforcing her newfound skills as well as vocabulary. If you can name it, she can learn what it is called. Try saying things like,"I see straight/curvy/zig zag lines!" or "I see circles/dots/curves!" or "I see lots of blue on your page, and even a little bit of yellow!" After a short amount of time, you'll hear her naming her own work!

2. Keep materials easily accessible. If you have to dig out the paper and crayons from the bottom of a closet or a drawer, you and your child will be less likely to spend 5-10 minutes drawing. Try an easel or large notebook set up with not-too-messy materials. Tape the paper down so she's less likely to rip it apart. A few washable crayons are pretty easy to manage and pose little danger to your furniture and walls--they really are washable--trust me! (Hint: The fatter the marker or crayon, the harder it can be for your child to use a three-finger grip. Really fat crayons and markers force your child to fist it rather than pinch it. Try having a variety of art materials, both fat and skinny, for fine motor skills, and also just for fun!)

3. Make time every day. While I'm making my coffee in the morning is one of Little L.'s favorite easel times. She hunkers down with markers and crayons for just the right amount of time for me to pour it, add milk and sugar, down half of it while I still have a chance!