July saw a big leap forward in B’s cognitive, and in particular, speech development. Words started to “click” and it was great to be there with him along the way.
Theme: Animals! It started with us doing an extended craft activity around Margaret Wise Brown’s “Big Red Barn” when we were stuck indoors during the worst of the haze. The rest of the month was spent on tonnes of books, songs, art and craft, puzzles and outings. We even managed to make this bilingual as B’s new Chinese term was all around the 农场 (Farm)
ABC or Art, Books and Craft: Maybe it was a matter of time but I felt like we found a key to unlock his brain by engaging in more kinesthetic learning this month. We expanded upon a few fave books with a big red barn diorama, a zoo numbers and colouring activity based on Eric Carle’s “123 To The Zoo,” and built our own family tree after reading “Who’s Like Me.” Some highlights below:
Music and Movement: I finally brought all 6 kids CDs into the car to play on repeat whenever it’s just B and me. From the classic Old MacDonald (he loves the E-I-E-I-O!) and Incy Wincy Spider actions to his Chinese Playclub’s ditties like “我爱我的” and “母鸭带小鸭” as well as Kindermusik’s Morning Song (with different greetings for animals/people). It was nice to see him not only sing to the words and rhythm but overcome his shyness to move and dance along.
Outings: No surprise, we went back to the zoo to check out the Breakfast With Orang Utans with friends (overpriced, not worth it!) and the new Frozen Tundra polar bear exhibit (cool!). Next time, we’ll visit in the afternoon as B is up longer and can catch more live shows. We also went to the Maritime Experiential Museum and Aquarium (nice, esp. the spider crabs, jellyfish and dolphins). Here’s other animal adventure places we hoped to/will visit as there wasn’t enough time to see them all!
– Hearing B say “I love you” (sounds more like “I low you”) melts my heart 🙂
– I know I’ve said it earlier, but the Big Red Barn opened up a world of language, esp. speech for him. He comes up with 3-word descriptors like “big purple ball” (i.e. my yogilates ball) and “dark blue sky” (the view from his window when he wakes). Loves to make animal and vehicle sounds, say opposites thanks to Dr Seuss (big/small, in/out, up/down, high/low), colours (primary+secondary+some tertiary), numbers (1-10) and family names. His thirst for books seemed to have grown exponentially too. He demands to read “more, more books” every time and delights in finishing up familiar sentences or words. Of course, he repeats interesting new words in English, Malay, Chinese and especially, my in-car swearing :0
– Self feeds when hungry and when he likes his food. Otherwise, he’ll eat with distractions and/or help. Developed a temporary bad habit of throwing down his spoon/fork/food when done or cranky, but that’s stopped now since I told him off with frequent reminders to put it down on the table (practicing les gros yeux!)
– Naps are still too short but nights are great so we’re rolling with it. I get my downtime or work done at night, spend quality time with him in the mornings, try to take him out each day with a special/ family outing once a week
– Potty training still ongoing, slow and easy. Undies at home, diapers when out
– All in, it’s been a pretty awesome though tiring month. Gratifying to see the effort pay off, as I wonder what’s become of me and where I’m headed this year….