Thursday, August 16, 2012

Playing to Learn

Several different factors have influenced me to focus a little more on making sure Erik is surrounded by opportunities to learn and grow. This has prompted me to make some changes in our daily life, which will also be reflected in my blog.
The aftermath of edible finger painting in the bathtub.
     I recently started babysitting a young infant for a friend who has to go back to her full time job. This means that from the time Erik wakes up in the morning until the middle of the afternoon, he has to share me with our new little friend, PJ. He's not used to not being the center of my attention, and it has been a bit of an adjustment for everyone. I try really hard to make sure that he gets plenty of attention during the day, but I also decided that I was going to make the few hours we have alone in the afternoon into something special. I've been trying really hard to make sure we have good quality one on one time every afternoon. Some days this means doing something new that we've never tried before, and other days it means I just make sure that we spend a few extra minutes playing with his cars, or blocks, or whatever he's interested in.
    Like many of us, I like to look around on pinterest, and often come across cute little ideas for teaching kids their letters, or numbers, or reading, or whatever. I was thinking to myself the other day that I was so excited for some day when Erik's big enough to do those things, and then it hit me; I have a college degree in early childhood education. I went to school to learn how to teach infants and toddlers. Why do I have to wait until he's big enough to learn his ABC's, I know there is so much more that has to come before he can do that, so why am I not doing it! Maybe I could actually apply all that I learned, and make a difference in my child's life. DUH! Wow, I'm really bright, huh? So, I decided then and there to put my college degree to use. I've been reading my old textbooks again, and scouring the internet and the library for ideas, and have a good little list of things I want to try with Erik. I'm also going to be working on new activities for PJ, but for now she's pretty small, and her activities include things like tracking an object back and forth as it moves, not exactly something that needs a whole blog post to itself. As she gets bigger and I come up with things for her that some one else might enjoying reading about, those may get posted on here too.
    I'm going to start doing regular posts about the things I do with Erik and PJ, hopefully once a week, but we'll see. I will post links to these activities on my new Playing to Learn page, so you they can always be found easily. I also plan to have a list of links to different websites that I have found useful in planning things to do with little kids, so anyone who's interested can look for more ideas to try. Hope you enjoy our learning activities play time. The first Playing to Learn activity is scheduled to be posted tomorrow morning, so come back and check it out!


  1. You are too awesome!!! Can't wait to see all your playtime ideas!

  2. This idea could actually be a whole separate blog that you could run and I bet you could get a decent following on it. And then you wouldn't have people coming to look at your play to learn ideas and getting all your personal story/info too. Just a thought.