Shadows: Child-led lessons in light

When V was an infant, one of her favourite games was to try to catch a ray of sunlight or shadows through an open window. This was a great exercise for her to manipulate her own hands and legs. Once she started walking, she started noticing the dark figure that follows her around, her shadow.

“What exactly is a shadow, amma?”

We noticed that the shadow cast is always the same shape as the object. But not always, the same size. Her shadow would always look like her. Mine would always look like me. It would do whatever we did too.

Shadow Matching

We did a series of shadow match activities. While going out for walks, we tried to figure out which shadow belonged to exactly which tree and leaf. It was wonderful watching the shadows dance in tune to the trees. We also did a lot of matching activities using DIY flash cards.This develops visual discrimination and is an important pre-requisite to both, math and reading.… Click to read the rest

Rainbows: lessons in colours

Even before V could identify colours ( she took a really long time to learn them) , she was fascinated by rainbows. It was possibly because of the burst of colours, or the fact that she had only seen one once. Either ways it was a fabulous opportunity to learn about natural phenomena and colours.

“What is a rainbow?”

V knows that it is something that happens in the sky. She also observed ‘rainbows’ in puddles and figured it has something to with water, too. We have not given her the answer yet.
However, we have done a lot of play using this theme. Outlining some of our play ideas below.

Rainbow stackers

Rainbow stackers are one of our favourite open-ended toys that can be introduced at 12 months onwards. Apart from being great for free play, they also ultimately teach the colours of the rainbow, in order. Chitrani’s stackers are our favourite, simply because of their finishing and natural wood.… Click to read the rest

Questions toddlers ask: why and how to encourage

On average, a toddler asks close to 300 questions a day. Compare it to an adult who asks about 20 questions a day. Why is it that we have lost the ability to think and ask? Is it because we know everything, or that we do not care to know? Thinking about was was what prompted me to choose this particular theme on child-led learning for this year’s Blogchatter challenge.

Why should toddlers ask questions? How can we encourage this valuable skill?

What are the questions toddlers ask?

At about 12-15 months, once basic cognition and communication sets in, the frequency of “What if this?” increases. This is a simple vocabulary building exercise. This is followed by who, where and when. And at about 30-36 months, the wonderful world of why begins. This is wonderful because unlike the previous stage, these are open ended questions, and higher level reasoning is required.… Click to read the rest