Building a Road
How Friendship Support is so important
So we are into transportation this month. We spent a solid hour building our own roads. The kids were eager to create. I witnessed a few special moments while doing this activity. About half way through my left handed daughter became exhausted with cutting and what she deemed to be cutting failures. She went to a place she rarely goes anymore... she shut down. A year ago this happened more frequently but more recently she seems to have developed the will to engage and lift herself out of the 'depths of despair', as Ann of Green Gables would say. It was during this moment that her best friend decided to support her. I had already said everything I could to make her feel better or offer her help. It took her peer's support with words like 'I have a hard time with that too, Myëlle, You are doing a great job, It's also hard for me!' to cause her to pick up the scissors and try again. These moments can only happen when they are surrounded with other peer learners, something I'm so glad that she has been exposed to.
Fine Motor Frustration
We all know how to use scissors but imagine showing up at a job site where a task that is extremely complex and time consuming to you is shown to you so quickly that you feel as though completing your work load quickly will never happen. Motor skills can feel like this kind of a mountain to children. Adding right hand specific scissors for a very left handed child and the recipe for frustration is palpable.
How MGT helps with this
- Variety of materials. By using a variety of sensory materials in play, crafts and games, kids don't grow bored and are motivated to keep trying. They are too busy having fun to not try.
- Providing daily opportunities. Kids are given opportunities to use glue, scissors, paint; squeezing, cutting, scribbling frequently allows them to build their muscles and endurance, building fine motor skills and readiness for the rigors of school.
- Keeping it fun. Everything we do is play based. Even if the kids make a craft, most of the crafts we make are intended to be a temporary toy for extended learning and play. This makes increases motivation to complete the activity.
- By including fine motor skills in other learning activities. For example, when the kids are sorting seeds they could easily use their fingers to do this but in order to provide an added challenge, tweezers our provided so the kids can hone their pincer grasp and practice a new fine motor skill while completing the activity.
Building it Themselves!
Last June during alphabet house, RV activity, I built roads for the kids to play with. When this particular day called for a similar activity I decided to leave the kids to it. This was a triumph of how much they've changed. Not only can they both use the tape by themselves without any problems but their collaboration, planning and team work in their road was truly the stuff of 4 year olds as apposed to when they were 3. Love these kids!
Every Milestone Matters
These emotional and motor skill milestones REALLY matter. It's helpful for me to reflect on that this week. I've been a little frustrated with myself that the kids done recognize the alphabet yet, my daugther can't write her name. I've had 2 kids start school now, I know that over time they WILL grow and learn and that any missing pieces of printing, literacy, numeracy can quickly fall into place in a classroom but the building blocks of social, emotional developing, use of their muscles in learning is also really important and counting these successes and taking a moment to be proud of them for the wonderful kids they are; the way the love to learn and care for each other, is so special.
Disclosure: I receive Mother Goose Time Curriculum free of charge for educational purposes in return for posting my honest experiences using the curriculum. Photos of children featured on my blog for review of Mother Goose Time are used with signed consent of the child's parents. I welcome any questions or concerns.