Reading various posts at N@W on child development led me to have more definite activities to stimulate Little Cat’s learning. Little Cat and I started doing structured learning activities (SLA) around the time he was 14 months old. Clarice was our main source of inspiration and ideas for the activities. But basically our SLA went by with just singing nursery songs, reading books, playing with wooden toy manipulatives (peg puzzles and shape sorters) and finally singing songs again. Occasionally, I make some super easy obstacle or task for Little Cat before he drops the shapes or the pegs to their right place. It was fun alright, but it wasn’t really as fun until we did it with our neighbor Mommy R and her son A who is as old as Little Cat.
Mommy R elevated it to an entirely new level. Now, our SLAs follow more or less this flow:
- Free play for about 30 minutes
- Pack away – We even have a song to go with it – just like at Gymboree 😉
- Circle Time – Little Cat and I learned new songs!
- Story Time – We often turn to Eric Carle books to go along with the Arts and Crafts
- Arts and Crafts – Mommy R is really resourceful and creative to come up with activities for this.
- Snack Time
- Another Activity
- Closing Song
- Play outside the streets
Meeting Mommy R who turned out to be a great hands-on mom and having A as Little Cat’s playmate is great already. Then this kind of playdate? I can’t be thankful and happy enough for Mommy R and Little A. 🙂
Teaching Little Cat the concept of waiting and turn taking has been easier with A. We learned new songs. We had fun activities. We also did really cute projects for the arts and crafts activity to go along the story reading. Here’s the ladybug and rainbow fish we did on separate playdates: