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  • Melanie Patric

Tinkering, Bopping Balls, and Lights in the Darkness...

The waning light of November brought the children and I to a more introspective place, and through the month we worked on cultivating the little "lights" inside our heart as we practiced good manners, kind words, and gentle hands.

We started our month with some fine motor skill activities, most notably playing with Tinkertoys. The children created their own structures with the sticks, wheels, tubes, and a variety of parts, then we worked together to make cars and a variety of angular shapes like diamonds, squares, and triangles.

The children were fascinated by the flexibility of the Tinkertoys and the enjoyment of making kept them focused for hours over the course of a week.

We did our best to take advantage of the light we had and played with a collection of large balls when the weather allowed.

Some of the balls were for tossing; others were for hopping.

Sitting on the balls required good balance to remain stable and helped strengthen the childrens' core muscles.

Most of all, playing with the balls was just fun!

We celebrated diwali, a festival that honors the victory of light over darkness by making our own small lanterns to light our way in the darkness. The children were challenged to gently and precisely place tissue squares onto a glass jelly jar. Their little lanterns turned out to be just beautiful as they shone with many colors.

In anticipation of the other big November holiday, the children and I have been reading several Thanksgiving-themed books including Ten Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston, This is the Turkey by Abby Levine, and The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing. There are great opportunities to practice counting and identifying common Thanksgiving themes in these books, and the children love to talk about all the different kinds of foods they see families preparing in the books. Before you know it the children will be preparing a mini-Thanksgiving dinner of their own!

See you soon!

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