Friday, 5 November 2010

Pirates lapbook

Our project for September was pirates, as Iona has been very interested in them. I researched them in several library books, as well as checking various lapbooking sites, but mainly this time the ideas were my own.

We read several fiction books on pirates, including "Pirate Patch and the Abominable Pirates" ( and "Class 3 All at Sea" (, as well as a children's fictional version of Captain William Kidd's story.

I particularly enjoyed finding out the history of pirates, using an Usborne book, and the lives of famous pirates. Iona was also quite interested in the different pirates, and we made a concertina book listing some of them:
We watched the Disney "Peter Pan", which Iona really enjoyed, and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest", which she was less interested in. We made another concertina book of things beginning with the letter P, which Iona is getting quite good at identifying:

We talked about pirate treasure, and counted a pirate chest filled with 8 pieces of 8 (Iona now can count objects with some help).

We identified the colours silver (which she knew) and gold (which she didn't), and I made a pirate treasure map. This fitted in well with activities at our local children's centre, which had a table set up for tea bag painting (even suggesting it could be used to make a pirate treasure map!). I painted a sheet of paper with the tea bag, then drew a detailed plan of our living room. I placed an X over a compartment of her table, then placed 5 copper coins in the real one when she was out of the room. When she came into the room I showed her the map and helped her to use it to find the "treasure". This was a great find for her, as she loves putting coins into her piggy bank, and she talked about finding the "treasure" for several days.

As a way to include some spiritual and religious / teaching, I made a very small book with Iona about "Crime and Punishment". We talked about what it felt like if people took your things, and said that this was called stealing, although I glossed over the exact punishments used for it in the 18th century! Since then, I have periodically reminded her what stealing is.

The pirates theme allowed for quite a few craft activities. Iona now has a bag of Mega Bloks, which we received free from the Made for Mums site ( in exchange for writing on their community what we thought of them. We used this to make a pirate ship between us:

I also showed her how to make a pirate sword by cutting out some cardboard and wrapping it in foil. After making 2 of these I showed her how to play sword fighting:

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Uno, dos, tres

Iona surprised me some more this morning - she insisted on having "Diego and the Baby Sea Turtles" read to her over breakfast, and part of it involved counting flags in Spanish. I've always done such counting in Diego and Dora books in Spanish, and Iona is good at counting to 10 in English, but she's never shown any interest in the Spanish equivalents. However, this morning, after saying "uno" I was a bit slow in saying the next number, and suddenly Iona said "dos", followed by "tres" for the next one. She couldn't count any higher, but I was very impressed that at last my Spanish teaching has been having some sort of effect. It's good motivation to keep on with it.

Monday, 6 September 2010

More about owls

We've slowly been working our way through Iona's owl lapbook over the summer, although she's becoming a little less keen to do just what Mummy wants when she wants it! I printed out quite a few minibooks from Lapbook Lessons ( and Homeschool Share ( and made up the book of songs and poems, some of which I've read to Iona a couple of times. I helped Iona to make the jumbled owl puzzle (she still does need help for that) and we made an owl from a couple of paper plates.

Something I've been surprised by the success of is the memory cards from the Lapbook Lessons. I printed them out and tried to teach Iona how to play Snap, although I thought she'd be too young to understand. However, she really enjoyed it, and I had another go with her again today, having laminated the cards. She is well able by now to identify whether the cards are the same or not, although she does insist on shouting "Snap" regardless! I think I vaguely remember my nephews doing the same when they were little, but it certainly seems to be a good start.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Our next lapbook

On finishing our World Cup lapbook I started wondering what to do next with Iona. To begin with, I thought of Bastille Day coming up and planned to do a bit about France. However, nearly everything I found would have been a bit above her level. Then I found 15th July was St. Swithin's Day, so thought of a unit on weather. This was a bit more promising, and I started working on teaching her different types of weather. However, we still weren't inspired. A few days later, though, Iona seemed suddenly very interested in owls, so I asked her if she wanted to do a project on them. She agreed, so I checked up online, and there was much more on owl lapbooks than on either France or weather.

The first thing we did was make a collage out of dried peas, lentils, etc. This tied in with a craft activity at our local children's centre - they were doing the collage on plain paper, so I drew an owl on it and encouraged Iona to fill that in with the pea and lentil mix:

Another thing we did was to make 3 little pine cone owls, using the method we found here: This was very successful, although Iona still enjoys trying to tear them apart!
We made 3 in a nest to tie in with the book "Owl Babies", by Martin Waddell. We've read it before, a year or more ago, and I thought it would be ideal for this unit. We got hold of a copy, as well as a book about nocturnal animals (a hedgehog visited our garden for a couple of nights last week, so we could tie that in). I was quite impressed, on reading "Owl Babies", that Iona knew what an owl's house was called, and she had some idea, when we made the pine cone owls, what the nest was made from. She has also been saying, over the last few days, that owls and hedgehogs come out at night, so she's certainly learning something.

Today we tried playing the Counting Owls game that I found at Homeschool Share: I thought that, at 27 months, Iona might be a bit young for it, still, but that it was worth a try. However, it went really well. Iona didn't really have the idea of playing a board game, but accepted, without too much complaint, that we had to take turns and that she couldn't have all the owl counters but only as many as were shown on the die. It's a great way of reinforcing the idea of 1:1 correspondence when counting, and with only 9 squares to fill with a die labelled 1-3 (twice) it lasted just long enough to maintain her interest. I look forward to playing it again, if I'm able to round up all the miniature owls (Iona's been enjoying giving them swings on her rocking horse's stirrups!).

Saturday, 17 July 2010

World Cup lapbook

At last, we've finished our World Cup lapbook. I'm not at all interested in football, like the rest of my family, but my husband enjoys it, and it seems that Iona is taking after him. She's always been interested when football comes on the TV, so I decided that a project on it was a good way to introduce her to the idea of other countries. Firstly I got her a World Cup sticker album, and she's really enjoyed helping to put stickers in it, although not as much, unfortunately, as pulling them back out. By now, though, she's much more interested in what the photos represent, and which ones she's got and hasn't got. She's also fascinated with the flags of the countries, often asking for her "football book" and asking whose all the flags on the front are. She particularly likes the England flag, and the way she's been seeing it around the streets and in our neighbour's garden.
Next we made a big map to show where all the countries playing in the World Cup are. I printed off a map from a website (which I've forgotten and can't now find) and when each team played their first game (in theory; in practice it was often later!) I showed Iona where their country was on the map and labelled it:
Unfortunately, she's a bit too keen to add some lines herself, as can be seen, so it can't be kept anywhere she can get hold of it (also because of a regrettable tendency to tear things into shreds if she has them in her room at night).

For the bulk of the lapbook we made minibooks which we found at Teacher's Planet: Iona began to lose interest in them after a while, so Mummy coloured the last few.

We also used Teacher Planet to make a cardboard footballer: Iona enjoyed playing with that, so I don't have a copy of it. I printed the design on card, Iona coloured it, then I cut it out and secured it with split pins.

On the back of the lapbook we put a sort of strip book, but instead of being fastened along one side it is only fastened at the corner by a split pin. It introduces Iona to football vocabulary, as well as reading:
We also found via Teacher Planet a Spanish worksheet for counting footballing objects, and finished it off with a couple of photos of Iona's mock vuvuzela and England hat, with a note about the vuvuzela (which will hopefully be forgotten after this World Cup!).

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Seaside lapbook

At long last (or so it seems) we finished the seaside lapbook this week. Here it is:

We've sung a few of the ocean songs, as well as buying a children's CD of seaside songs, which Iona likes but has already scratched. "Thank you God" was a book of the 6 days of creation, with emphasis on the seas and sea creatures. "My Day at Skegness" was my own invention, designed to encourage Iona's use of the present continuous tense and also to introduce the idea of stories from the (in this case, her very near) past, as a prelude to talking about first her immediate family's history, then going into history further back.
I made a drawing for Iona to colour of the seaside, with plenty of seaside-related words beginning with "s" labelled:
She's getting very good at knowing most of these words now to say, although not to read, and enjoyed colouring the picture in. We also made a seaside painting, using handprints to make a fish and jellyfish, and cut out shapes in yellow card which Iona stuck on the painting to make a "sandcastle". The latter was good practice for her shape recognition, which has taken a bit of a back seat lately to colours, and while doing it she was able to remember her triangles, squares and rectangles.
This picture is now on her wall, while I put a photo of it in her lapbook. Lastly, on the back page I put a starfish picture I had printed for Iona to paint, then sprinkled with sand to make it feel a lot like a real starfish. I also printed out some Disney princesses pictures from a free website ( and found that Iona coloured one of the Ariel ones in such "oceany" colours that it looked perfect in this lapbook.

This has been the first lapbook that I've properly finished with Iona, and that she's really got interested in doing with me. We've also got lots of library books out about the ocean and the seaside, and Iona's still keen on reading more, so I feel it's been a real success. My only disappointment is that I can't leave the lapbook where Iona can read it on her own, as she's in a real "tearing things up" phase, so we'll have to wait 'til she's more grown-up before we can get the full benefit of re-reading it regularly.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Rhyme time

How old are children when they start to make up rhymes? For the last couple of weeks Iona has started coming out with silly little rhymes, such as "belly, jelly, delly", "sorry Lori" (which we do actually say), and ""Andy, mandy, bandy". They're definitely phrases she's inventing herself, but we've always tended to say silly rhymes to her, such as "smelly nelly", so I guess that's set up the right environment for her to get the idea of rhyming. I'll be interested to see whether it leads to her starting writing poetry earlier than usual, especially as her dad's a keen writer.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Summer days

Iona is loving these warm, summery days, when she can go and play outside. One of her favourite phrases now is "Play in gardy", and she gets really upset if she can't. Yesterday and today were unusual, at least this week, in that we didn't have any groups or events to go to, so she was able to spend some time in the garden with Mummy. I slathered her in sun cream and gave her a chance to wear her new Disney Princess pants with no nappy (although she still won't do anything on the toilet or potty and that part of both days wasn't very successful).

We started off yesterday with painting, as she still prefers to paint herself and her surroundings rather than the paper so it's a lot less destructive in the garden! She did a little painting with the brush, then figured out a way round the lids on her new paint pots that stop her dipping her fingers in - she painted her fingers and hands with the brush then made partial finger- and hand-prints that way. She then moved on to painting her legs, and on noticing later that the dog had obviously been sniffing the picture and got a yellow nose, she painted her nose blue, too! Luckily, it all came off in the wash!

Next, Iona decided to investigate the local fauna. She loves ladybirds, and I managed to find 2 yellow ones on our raspberry bush. Unfortunately, they were on top of each other at the time, so I told her they were playing piggy back and we ought to leave them alone. Undaunted, she insisted on picking them up, which I don't think amused them too much. She also had a good look at a couple of snails I found and gave her. They were both very brave and didn't pull into their shells very much, so she was able to really see their heads well, as well as the large foot. She enjoyed touching their feelers, and I also offered to put them on her hand. Although she agreed to this, when the slime started touching her she did pull back.

The other main thing we did in the garden was gardening. Several months ago Iona helped me plant some Brussels sprouts seeds as part of a study on Brussels (sprouts and the place), and she's been really proud of them ever since, despite trying to pull them up a lot at the start. They now needed more space again, so David prepared a bed for them earlier and I planted 4 of them out yesterday, as well as planting out some other veg. Iona is fascinated by gardening and was quite keen to "help" by pulling more seedlings out for me, but I managed to rein in her enthusiasm and protect our plants. She also kept grabbing the watering can and trying to water the potatoes, but her favourite "gardening" activity is playing with the "Slug Stop" pellets, which aren't poisonous but just provide a physical barrier to slugs. She loves playing with pebbles generally, but these little white pebbles fascinate her and she will insist on taking them one at a time from around the plants and putting them elsewhere.

Going back to our seaside lapbook, we're getting on with it slowly but surely. I have added a booklet of my own design, with photos from our seaside trip labelled in the present continuous tense, to reinforce her mastery of that. I also found some Disney Princess colouring pages online and printed several out for her, including a couple of Ariel, who is one she's very keen on. She coloured the one of Ariel with a couple of fishy friends in blue and green, so well (for her!) that I trimmed it and added it to the back of the lapbook.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

As David assumed he hadn't got the job he had an interview for last week (they told him they'd let him know on Monday but we heard nothing), and the weather's been so nice, we decided to have a day at the beach on Wednesday to get away from it all. I decided that Skegness was the easiest to drive to, so after a 2 1/2-hour drive we arrived. Iona was a bit grizzly by the end of the journey, wanting to go to a playground, and after so long sitting in one place she was not in the mood to sit still one moment longer, so we decided on fish and chips the best way - sat on the beach!

She managed to sit for a little food and drink, but decided that it would be best liberally doused with sand! Apart from a flying visit to the beach at Port Talbot last December it was her first visit to the seaside, and she loved the sand, particularly "swimming" in it.

After lunch I took Iona for a paddle. As when we went to Port Talbot she had no fear of the waves, loved splashing in them and was reluctant to leave.

On the way down to the sea I saw a real, wild starfish (unfortunately dead) for the first time, and showed it to Iona. She was quite interested, especially as we've seen them in books, and was happy to hold it.

After we'd finished paddling we returned to Daddy, who'd built a sandcastle and was starting on a moat.

Although she quickly knocked the castle down that was the extent of her destructiveness, and she spent some time exploring her ability to make handprints in the sand. She seemed to find it really fascinating. It's been something she's been doing at every opportunity since she did some painting last week and I tried to show her how to make fingerprints.

After a while she noticed a bigger girl making a castle nearby and went to have a look. I was wary that she'd damage it, and warned her to be careful, but although the girl said she could knock it down (I think she was just leaving) Iona was very good and just decorated it very carefully with shells and pebbles. That's a real step forward, as she's normally very destructive.

In the mid-afternoon we went for an ice-cream, which Iona also loved.

We then had to go, as we had a long drive ahead of us, although Iona was very upset and didn't want to go. However, overall she had a lovely day and I decided to begin a unit study with her on the seaside to capitalise on this. I've used the "Hello Ocean" lapbook as a basis for this:

Their tactile starfish was a particularly good idea, as it can act as a permanent reminder of the starfish we saw. Although we couldn't afford to buy "Hello Ocean" I decided to buy "What Lives in a Shell?" and am just waiting now to see what it's like when it arrives.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Continuous Present

Iona has suddenly got the hang of the present continuous tense. A couple of weeks ago she started saying "What are you doing today?" and answering herself with phrases such as "I am piano". I would correct her "Yes, you're playing the piano". Then, yesterday I think, she started saying, for her teddy, "I am cuddling Iona", and today she kept trying out the sentence with different verbs. She also tried different persons - at lunchtime she said "I am eating peas. We are eating peas." It was fascinating to see her figuring out how language works, and amazing, too, as she's still so young.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

May update.

So much has changed since the last entry I wrote. Iona has now turned 2, and had a lovely day, with a cake and presents at Mummy and Daddy's, then more cake, more presents, and her slightly younger cousin at Grandma and Grandad's. We started to prepare her for her birthday about a week before it, and she was soon able to say that her birthday was "Saturday" and that she'd be "2". She'd been singing "Happy birthday" already for a couple of weeks, and even now she keeps singing it to herself, which is OK apart from when it was one of her friend's birthdays this week!

Anyway, I tried doing some more baking with Iona this morning. I haven't tried for a while, as she always gets upset when she can't eat it rather than stir it! Well, we watched "I Can Cook" this morning, where Katie made honey tea loaf, so I promised Iona she could help me make a banana cake if she wanted. She was quite happy with this, and seemed to be looking forward to it, but lo and behold, by the time I'd got things sorted out to do it she was bored with it! Still, I managed to get her to stir it once, and she was very happy with the result, calling it "honey tea loaf"!

After our abortive attempt at cooking I gave in to Iona's requests to go into the garden. Nowadays when I tell her she needs to put her shoes on before she goes in the garden she goes straight to where her shoes are kept, which was quite a shock the first time she did it. I still haven't really got over how much she understands now. We put our shoes on and went into the garden. While I tidied it up a bit she disappeared back into the house and shortly after reappeared with one of her paints and a receipt she'd found - she was trying to get together the things she needed to do painting! I grabbed a paintbrush and a newspaper (figuring a receipt was a bit small for a toddler's painting!) and took them to her, and we had a really fun session with Iona painting the newspaper (and herself, of course!). I even managed to persuade her back inside without too many complaints by telling her the cake would be nearly ready and she'd be able to eat it. All in all, a very productive morning.

Friday, 23 April 2010

A short history lesson

Today our Mums' Bible study met up in the town to choose our next study book. As we arrived a little early, Iona and I took our time walking up past the cathedral. On our way we passed the statue of Bonnie Prince Charlie on his horse, so I explained to Iona who he was, and that he wanted to make everyone Catholics. We then had a quick look inside the cathedral, where Iona had never been before, then went to meet the others at the bookshop. Much later, after we'd been home for a long time, I asked Iona who we'd seen a statue of, on his horse, behind the church. To my surprise, she replied "Charlie". I asked her what he wanted to make everyone, and she replied with a word very like "Catholic". I was amazed, as I'd never discussed this story with her before, but she'd obviously taken it in. She just absorbs words and facts at the moment!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


Today was a day of firsts for Iona. First of all, we walked all the way to the Children's Centre and back, which was the first time she has done an entire walk on her own. Usually it takes me 10 minutes to walk, but this morning we got there in 20 minutes, while it took 40 to get home, mainly due to Iona wanting to pick up just about every pebble she saw and put them on people's walls! Amazingly, she spent most of the time in between walks running around at the Centre, and didn't even seem tired when we got home - it was me that was exhausted!

Today's session at the Children's Centre was Messy Play, but, as usual, Iona wasn't interested in the painting and other crafts indoors, preferring to run around outside. Towards the end of the session she was playing around by the plastic play house, when one of the other, slightly younger, children went inside. He looked out of the window, which had plastic shutters, and Iona closed them again. He reopened them and said "Peepo", so Iona replied by shutting them again, with a smile on her face. They carried on doing this for a while. It's the first time Iona has really played as an equal with another child, and was lovely to watch.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

The "One" Show

For quite a few months now, Iona has been able to recognise supermarket names when she sees them, even in a different colour to their usual, e.g. "ASDA" in black on a yoghurt pot. However, this is always in its usual font, and within some sort of expected context, so I regard it more as logo recognition than actual reading. Tonight, though, she found a wildlife book on my shelf which said "do one thing". The font and design looked similar to that of the logo of "The One Show", but the context was completely different. However, she immediately said "one two" (what she calls "The One Show"), and when I asked her where she immediately pointed to the word "one"! To me, that is much closer to the skill of reading by the look-say approach, so I think I can finally say, with pride, that Iona has now read her first word!!!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Let it snow part 3

I think I've finally finished the snow unit with Iona, as the past 2 days' rain has washed the last snow away. On Thursday I made the most of it before the cold ended and the rain began, and took Iona out to play in the snow.

We went into the front garden first, where it was still pristine, and I showed her how when we walked in the snow it left footprints. I photographed mine, Daddy's and hers, and showed her a nice trail of cat footprints.

I also let Lori out into the garden and tried to photograph her prints but she ran around like a mad thing and so didn't leave any good enough ones! Unfortunately, Iona most wanted to go for a walk down the road, preferably in the middle of the road, and preferably on her own, so it all ended it tears when this wasn't allowed!
Next I took her into the back garden (from where she wouldn't be tempted to escape!), so she could play a bit more. Once she'd got hold of Lori's frameball she was happy to run around there, chasing after Lori, but she didn't seem very interested in my attempts to make a snowman. I showed her how to make a snowball, though. After we'd done playing outside we went back in, where Iona found that there was still a piece of snow stuck to her mitten. I rescued it from her and kept showing it to her as it got smaller, explaining that the snow was melting and turning back to water.
I explained more to Iona about snow melting yesterday, when we walked to the car to go to the Children's Centre. It was fairly slushy by then, and she very much enjoyed splashing in the resulting puddles.
Then, today, as I said, I finished making Iona's lapbook on snow. I printed out the photos of the footprints, and made a flip book of them. In addition, I found a website from which I could print out a world map ( and printed out an outline map of the world. I coloured in blue (and Iona helped) the "areas where there is a lot of snow", and marked on it the names of the people who lived in the American and European Arctics (I had read to Iona during the week from a book about Arctic peoples), as well as a pointer showing where we lived. During the evenings this week I have also read "The Snow Queen" to her.
Overall, this has been my most successful unit study, possibly because I had a deadline of trying to get it finished before the snow went. I've tried to do a bit of work on it every day with her, and feel that it's really focussed my mind and given me ideas to cover things (such as forgiveness) that I probably wouldn't have tried yet. It's also the first lapbook that I've finished making.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Let it snow some more.

Iona and I have been continuing our unit study on snow. I found some resources on the net yesterday, such as video of polar bears and photos of arctic animals. Some very helpful sites were: and The second of these reminded me of a technique I learned at Sunshine Club last year - mixing shaving foam and PVA glue (with paint, too, if wished) produces home-made puffy paint. I printed a photo of Daddy outside our house, then helped Iona paint on the white puffy paint to make a snowscene. To be honest, it didn't much resemble a snowscene when she'd finished with it, as she preferred rubbing the paint off the picture and around her hands, but she enjoyed it!

Next, I decided to do some combined craft and numeracy work. I gave Iona a roll of cotton wool, and put glue in 1-5 snowman shapes on 5 sheets of paper. I then encouraged her to stick bits of cotton wool on them, all the while reinforcing the words "snowman" and "1" to "5". I drew faces on all of them and labelled them, then at bedtime stuck them up on her wall. Later, this afternoon, we went to story time at the library. In the children's area the wall is painted with a mural of a snowscene with a snowman, and during the session Iona suddenly pointed at it and said "snowman"!

While Iona was asleep this afternoon I made a flip book on "Animals that live in the snow", with photos from the computer and names written by me, which I showed her when she woke up. I also gave her a printed snowflake with the words "If we say "I'm sorry" to God he will make us as clean as snow", for her to colour. Finally, I printed out a photo of a 4-inch snowflake and wrote on it "A snowflake has 6 points". I labelled the points 1-6, reading the numbers out loud as I did so. Iona stunned me by saying each number, right up to 6 before I did each time, proving that she now knows the order of numbers 1-6!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Talking of dogs

I think Iona has finally started stringing words together, albeit with pauses between them for Mummy to acknowledge each. Yesterday, she said "Lori" (our dog's name), then, after a pause, "gone", then, after another pause "kitchen". Another milestone passed!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

The snow this year has been as thick as I've ever known it (I think it was this deep down south in '81). Consequently, I decided to concentrate less for the moment on the "Where do I live?" unit and improvise one on "Snow" (although I've not really planned it).

To begin with, I helped Iona make snowflakes out of pipe cleaners and wool, as we did last year at Sunshine Club. I twisted 3 pipe cleaners into a 6-pointed star, tied some white wool at the centre, then got Iona to help me wind it round and round them, tying it off at the top. After that, I squeezed PVA glue over it, and Iona shook blue glitter over it (while it was inside a box to reduce mess). She loved the shaking, and got upset when it was time to stop! The end result now hangs up in her bedroom, helping to make up for having to take the Christmas decorations down.

We have walked in the snow, with me explaining how the snow sounds and feels crunchy, and Iona has played a little in it, although at its thickest she didn't like falling on her hands and knees in the cold!

One of our most successful activities was making meringue snowflakes. I got the idea from the Disney FamilyFun website (, and while the mix was a bit too liquid to do more than simple 6-pointed star shapes, they were fairly easy to make, and very nice for us all to eat. Iona helped me to beat the egg whites (we don't possess a mixer, so it all had to be done by hand), and loved saying she was "mix"ing and also learning the word "whisk".

While doing this unit, I've taken the opportunity to expand Iona's counting from "one, two" to up to 6. She can't go beyond 3 yet, but it's been a good numeracy opportunity.

The unit has also gone well with the book I've started reading Iona at bedtime, which is a much simplified version of one of my all-time favourite books: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The start of it features a lot of snow, so I'm able to refer her back to what we've seen and played in during the day.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

When did my baby grow up?!

I know I've probably been saying this for months, but when did my little baby become a fully-fledged, walking, talking, on-the-cusp-of-reading toddler?!! I can't believe how she's suddenly copying nearly every word we say, and remembering them later. On top of that, she's understanding far more than I thought any 20-month-old could. Since Christmas I've started a project with her on houses, and am working in an exercise book with her entitled "Where do I live?". I've put in photos of her house, her uncle's house that we visited in December, and her grandparents' house that we visited just after Christmas, and she loves looking through it, talking about it. I also put a small map of the country in, with an arrow pointing to the area where we live, saying "I live in [town]". Today she handed me the book to read to her again, so I started by reading the title "Where do I live?". She immediately answered with a word that sounded very like the name of our town! I thought I must be imagining the similarity, so I checked by reading her the page that said "I live in [town]", and she again repeated the name of the town, exactly like before. So suddenly, she doesn't just understand the question "Where do you live?", but even knows the right answer - amazing!