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.