Monday, November 21, 2011

No More Gimmicks

When Jack was little, I wanted to know what gimmick would make him enjoy tummy time and start crawling around. He army crawled a bit so then I was looking for the gimmick to get him to walk. I saw other children happily sitting in the little group circle for circle time and I wondered what gimmick would make Jack do the same. As he continued to grow but not talk I wondered what gimmick would make him start talking. Still I read, I ask other parents how on earth they got their kids to do this and that.

When I'm at my best, I realize there are no gimmicks or maybe there are but Jack and I don't need any. God is at work in Jack and through Jack. He has his own timetable. God's vision of Jack is perfect. And Jack is happy. He is happy to be who he is. He's happy to do what he can do. He's happy to test out his rapidly growing list of physical skills.

What Jack needs, what I need is relationship. I need to meet that little boy right where he is and relish and love that stage we're in even as I encourage him to move toward that next step. No gimmick will make life more fulfilling.

sent via the Verizon Network from my Blackberry

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Late Entry into Thirty Days of Play Challenge

We're late joining up but I'm excited to join Hands On: As We Grow and The Imagination Tree in the 30 Days to Hands On Play Challenge. You can read about it here and here. Every day, they take turns providing a play idea for us to try. We are going to put aside 15 minutes a day of dedicated, non-interrupted play.

At our house, we do "special time" at least once or twice a day but those are times when I promise to allow no interruptions and I allow Jack to lead the way in play. This will be a separate time of play where I will attempt to lead the way with a play idea.

I don't want to go all legalistic on us by going back and doing all the play ideas that have already been presented this month so I'm going to do the day 1 challenge of saying what I hope to accomplish in the challenge and tomorrow we'll dive in with the challenge for day 17.


Day 1:

Today's activity

Spend a little bit of time thinking about this challenge. What do you hope to gain?
Think about your child (or children) What do they really love doing? What are they good at? Their special interests? This will be really helpful as the challenge unfolds.

My answer:
I have a very simple short goal: to expand our play. We get stuck in a lot of doing the same things. Jack and I both tend to like things staying the same BUT we need some fresh new things to try to improve Jack's development and mine.

Jack loves to move, move, and move some more--run, jump, bounce, skip, ride anything with wheels. As Jack's speech continues to emerge, he likes to play with sounds, words, and phrases. He is most joy-filled when he has my full attention and we are playing together. He tends to be a "sensory seeker". He enjoys swinging, being squeezed tightly and spinning (himself, balls, pinwheels, wheels, and gears and anything else he can get to spin). He does not do much make believe or fantasy play except playing with Elmo.

I'm excited! Wish us luck and say a prayer as we work on expanding our play repertoire. I probably won't post everyday but will more likely do a recap every now and then of how things are going with the different challenges.

Here's my partners in play:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Do you remember when the world was an amazing place full of delightful surprises every few minutes? It's fun to watch Jack grow and plan and work and work on his own objectives. He makes the most gains when he has his own goal in mind. Spinning a hot air balloon is quite the motivator. Who knew that this colorful little spinning thing would help Jack work on planning, estimating, and evaluating? When is a hot air balloon a speech therapist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a teacher of the visually impaired, and a kindergarten teacher? Take a step back and just watch your kiddo during play. It's amazing!