Parenting

Custom made ACB posters by nixiepix

This week has been about getting back to normality after all the recent festivities, Christmas, New Year, Birthdays. Littlelish started back at preschool and we’ve been enjoying our afternoons together. She has been an incredibly well behaved, angelic child, it’s amazing! At 2 1/2 I’m starting to wonder (could it be true) if we have escaped the terrible two’s? (Do I hear a faint chorus of mummies laughing?) Ok, well you may be right but we are very much enjoying this little phase of angelic-ness.  Singing, rhyming, creating, imagining, melting my heart with “mummy I love you soooo much”. Long may it continue.

But of course, as every mother knows, our little people go through phases. This angelic phase has emerged after a slightly more difficult phase – a growth spurt. Littlelish seems to go through them every 2 months when she is acquiring new skills and learning more about the world.

Recently I see that she has come on leaps and bounds with her ABC’s! This week she has spent the entire week thinking of words and declaring what letter/sound they start with. She has astounded me with some crackers “r r radiator, l l leek, w w water, p p paint”. Throw almost any word at her and she will be able to tell you what letter it begins with. She now knows the sounds for all the letters which means we are well on the way to reading – so exciting!

I thought I’d share with you some of the things we have used to help promote literacy in our house as well as some tips from her Montessori school teacher.

Reading books has always been one of her favourite things to do from an early age and we have built up a super little library. We all know how important it is to expose our children to good books. Not only is it important for their literacy, vocabulary it is great for their imagination! Books don’t have to be expensive though. I bought her a whole set of alphabet books (from the 70’s) which looked at each letter separately and all the words beginning with that letter. I bought the whole set from a charity shop for 1 pound (I know ridiculous, right?). She has loved reading these and requests them over and over again.

– We bought her some beautiful magnetic letters. We played games with them (kept it light and fun and stopped whenever she got fed up) and through this she learned the shapes and the phonetic sounds.

– We made a very simple alphabet wall freeze. All 26 letters drawn on separate piece of card (about 4″ x 4″) and included the capital letter and the small letter. We hung these up in order on the play room wall. Sure you could get a fancy ABC chart but this was simple and easy to make and best of all FREE! We never drilled her to look at these rather just left them hanging there so she could get used to seeing the letters and shape of them.

– Someone told us about Jolly phonics. This has been particularly helpful as littlelish loves music and singing. So we watched this maybe 3 times until we learned them all (well until mummy learned them all) and then we sang them together over and over again. This is never boring for her as she loves singing.

Some tips we got from the Montessori preschool on learning ABC’s.

– School explained that you should never teach the alphabet as we say it or the alphabet song. Apparently this is confusing for them and pretty much  useless when it come it learning to read. Only problem was little D already knew all her alphabet (the letters not the sounds) AND the whole alphabet song. Oops. We rectified this by teaching her the sounds of the letters. E.g. saying A sound like aaah etc and then to only continue with the sounds. She pretty much left the old alphabet letters behind. Phew.

– You should never say a IS FOR apple. The for is confusing for children as they are also busy with learning numbers and confuse for with the number 4. Always say a a apple, b b ball so they get used to listening to the sounds.

Do you have any good tips for teaching little ones their ABC’s or to read? I’d love to hear them!

 

Due to a very blustery storm we’ve been pretty much trapped inside today. Despite this it’s been very enjoyable. We’ve played, we’ve read, we’ve got creative.

For D this involved mostly cutting (which she is really good at despite the fact she is left-handed and has right handed scissors!). Cutting gives her endless pleasure, today she cut string, paper, elastic bands, chalk…you name it! I do have to keep an eye on her as the little monkey will literally cut up anything she can find! She has already given several of her teddies a haircut :/

As for me (among other things) I was inspired by a blog I read called http://www.theimaginationtree.co.uk and made D a little play world for her my little (sea?) ponies. Ok, it isn’t really a scratch on the fab seaside scape from I.tree but with an impatient toddler, it had to be quick. I took a large tray which I covered in tinfoil. I scooped up a handful of shells we collected last week at the beach and added them. I made some very speedy seaweed out of pipecleaners and added some blue “waves”. Last but not least I added some rocks, which turned out to be crucial as D spent a lot of her time acting out a game of hide and seek involving said rocks. She spent at least an hour or two today playing with this “small world” creation and chose to add water and a boat to enhance her game.

And if that wasn’t enough fun for one day. D decided she wanted her face painted as a ladybird (which she of course very quickly smudged hence no picture!). I discovered something though, having your face painted by mummy is fun BUT painting your mummy’s face is SO much more fun! She spent ages painting my face and laughing as she did it.  I did have to swallow the urge to say “right that’s enough” as I got a huge splash of wet red paint on my eyelid but oh she was having so much fun and well it washed off (in the end). Not for everyone but if you are stuck for something to do and want to give your child something that they will find really funny. Let them paint your face, it doesn’t hurt. Much!

 

This Christmas was one of firsts. The first in our new house, the first as aunty and uncle, the first we didn’t eat at my mums. It was also our first Christmas as parents of a child.

D is no longer a baby and at 2 years 4 months old she is growing up. This year she learnt about Santa, the nativity (her baby JoJo was rechristened, Jesus) and what Christmas is all about. Christmas as a mummy then took on a whole new perspective. My number one job was to make sure the magic of Christmas, the magic I have always felt at Christmas time was passed on to her. This was a tall order.

Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year. For me it was never about the presents but the warmth, the family time, the cosiness, the lights and the pretty decorations (I have always been a sucker for anything sparkly). All these things come free don’t they? (well minus the pretty decorations, especially if you love the Gisela Graham ones as much as I do!) It can’t be hard to recreate, can it?

Within a week of moving house, we had decorated the tree together. I say together, little D decorated the bottom layer and I the rest. In among the moving boxes stood a perfect little tree, glistening. We lit the open fire and hung the stockings strategically over the fireplace. That was as far as our decorating would stretch this year. But it felt just a little bit magical. Ok the decoration bit came easy, now for the rest.

And here was where I began to struggle. Santa. How to present the magical man? Tricky stuff. It all started when we saw 2 santas at the bus stop. Try explaining to a curious 2 year old why Santa is taking the bus instead of his magical sleigh and why there are 2 of them. Ugh. I did my best uttering something about some people dressing up as Santa. Was that the right thing to say? God this was hard!

Her first face to face encounter with Santa was eagerly anticipated (I’d obviously done a good job of painting him in a favourable light.) We went to the village party where surely enough Santa appeared through the chimney to deliver presents to the good girls and boys. Little D spent the entire time saying “Santa is it my turn? I’ve been such a good girl” and I spent the entire time worrying they hadn’t added her name to the list as we had just moved in to the village and her dream of Santa would be shattered when he didn’t have a present for her. Luckily he did. Phew. She was thrilled and a huge smile of joy spread all over her little face.

It went a little pear shaped when Santa had finished his work and she wanted to ask him a question. He didn’t hear her and walked away. Disappointed she turned back to me “Mummy, he didn’t hear me”. I could tell she was thinking, hmmm this Santa doesn’t seem so magical after all. Deaf bastard (that was me thinking that!) Note to self: Do not swear in your blog or insult deaf people (I really didn’t mean it like that, mum) or your hard of hearing mother will complain. When I suggested we could see Santa again the following week she declined the offer, she wasn’t that bothered.

And then there was the presents and my well meaning family asking what we wanted for Christmas, what I was getting for so and so for Christmas, every day in December. Honestly by the 25th I got so sick of my own voice saying “shhhhhhhh you mean SANTA”, “what is SANTA bringing?”, “thank you S.A.N.T.A.” If my parents were as crap at keeping this Santa malarky under wraps as they are now we must have been really, really stupid as kids.

Anyway I think I might have tried too hard. She wasn’t that bothered about Santa. He wasn’t much to write home about. She wasn’t even that bothered that he had bought her lots of presents. It was pretty much a day like every other. As long as she had her family around her, playing with her, chatting with her, cuddling with her and she had something to eat, she was happy. Just like every other day. So I guess the lesson is love, family time and magic is for life, not just for Christmas :)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

1 19 20 21 22