This is my challenge to myself: how do I ensure that 'ma-care' is more than 'baby-sitting'. If I were providing child-care for a just any child, I would want to ensure that there was a learning component. Learning that was balanced between the skills, learning that was cumulative rather than repetitive. Learning that was fun; that was bonding; that was cerebral. Just because the child is the child of my child, should impact diddly-squat on the equation.
I find it easy enough to set a programme that includes the physical, the emotional, as well as pre-reading, pre-number, our culture, music, and dance. The difficulty is making the programme cumulative. To enable the child to develop over time.
BTW, you need to know that in the first photograph, Alannah is saying the word 'two'.
So, what did today involve?
Sandpit: We played 'Patty cake Baker's Man' then smashed the cakes down. In between time, we had to fetch buckets of water to keep the sand sufficiently moist.
Water Table: We have two basins, and numerous colourful pouring containers, as well as two colourful watering cans. Alannah had to help me fill the containers, carry one back to the clamshell. Then pour directly or via a mug. The day reached 26C so there was a lot of water play.
Culture Studies: Alannah is learning to identify by sight and sound, vehicles which pass by: car, truck, bus and motor-cycle. She can correctly identify the sound of the last two. She is learning to say 'big blue bus' especially the 'b' sound.
Pre-reading: We read "The Very Busy Spider', 'Roadworks', 'Tough Trucks' and 'The Fire Engine Book'.
Music and dance: we listened to a CD of Scottish fiddle music called 'The Red House' and Alannah loves to dance, moving easily to this infectious beat.
Pre-number: We had sticks, buttons, stones and crayons and sorted them into plastic mugs. Sometimes she picked up many, but more often she picked them up one at a time. She sorted and put (new word to replace toss) buttons into an egg carton, one per slot. An engrossing and not easy task.
Pre-writing: crayons on large drawing sheets. Free style.
Singing: I sung nursery rhymes to her at sleep-time as she snuggled into my shoulder.
Physical: This is a very physical day, but just to top it off, we played chasies from room to room, changing direction to trick the other. She tried to trick me more than I her!
And then, there are the cats ... they are coping really well. They all stayed around today and somehow realised that her enthusiasm was not going to actually hurt them.