Tulip is 2 years old now and every day she amazes me with the things she is capable of. One thing I’ve noticed recently is her ability to recognise what something is meant to be even when it is quite abstract. I first noticed this when she knew that this sticky note was meant to be an elephant.
I would have thought this shape wasn’t enough for her to recognise it as an elephant but when she saw it she immediately knew! I was again amazed a couple of days later when she knew this toy was meant to be a giraffe just from the head. I would have thought it would need the long neck at least for her to recognise it as a giraffe.
I am fascinated about how our brains learn to categorise things automatically. I obviously knew straight away what these things were meant to be so I suppose why wouldn’t she? We get this skill at some point in our lives, why not at 2 years old? Expectations of children is a complicated matter. On the one hand when they aren’t properly speaking in full fluent sentences, you think there is a lot they aren’t capable of which they are. And on the other hand because they do seem to understand a lot it’s hard when they won’t listen to what you are asking them to do. I have been trying to find the balance between the two!
Another thing that got me thinking this week is how to redirect interests instead of getting annoyed and frustrated. Yesterday, Tulip was walking around with two bouncy balls and I accidentally dropped one and it rolled under the kitchen counter. I rinsed it off in the sink, dried it off and gave it back to her. What she took from that was that it looked really fun to wash a ball off in the sink so she communicated to me that she wanted to wash the other ball in the sink. I try to follow her interests as much as possible and see where it takes her and what she can learn so I put her in her fun pod and put her up to the sink and let her wash the ball. However, she then didn’t want to get down and didn’t want to stop playing in the water. I didn’t know how long this was going to go on for and didn’t really want to just leave the water running for her to play with. I could have turned the water off, made her get down and ended up with one upset 2 year old who didn’t understand why I took her away from the fun. Instead I got a bowl, filled it with water, turned the tap off and left the bowl in the sink with her in the fun pod. She still had her two balls and I also gave her two cups and a little jug. She spent half an hour happily engaged in this water activity. She watched the balls float in the water, poured water from the jug into the cups and moved the balls between the cups. She was very excited when she noticed that when she put the purple ball in the yellow cup the ball looked red! She was happy and having fun with her chosen activity and I was happy that the tap wasn’t running for half an hour! I’m going to try to follow her lead more like this, whilst setting necessary boundaries. This is how I want to carry on with our home education journey and planning things for her based on what she enjoys. Colour mixing/changing activity next!