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.