Hiya everyone. I'm back. Kiddo is now three. She is artistically gifted, very busy, very physical, and hands-on.
I've come up with and found different ideas on how to apply her strengths to her insatiable desire to learn.
So far, I am thinking of doing things like Playdough Fossils, a Dinosaur Dig, Shoelace shapes, and the "Disappearing Chalk Letters" with both letters and numbers.
She wants to "play school" all the time and I want to give her the most positive, as well as rewarding learning experience, but it's quite difficult not quite knowing what limitations she may have along the way. I suppose as we go, we will find out.
I am going for the more manipulative, hands-on ideas because she already knows all her shapes, colors, numbers to 20, upper- and lower-case letters, and has an extensive vocabulary (like she has started conversations about how "felons go to prison," and the "tirade" she witnessed as we were driving down the street), so my goal would be to get her to be able to manipulate objects into shapes, and get the "feel" for numbers and letters. I am confident that once she gets the feel for these things, already having a working knowledge of spelling, counting, and such, she will be able to at least write her name quite quickly.
She loves to read, from memory, many books, like Stinky Face and Good Night Moon and we have moved on to another couple of new favorites that are books about Kindergarten. She does use her finger for the memory-recall reading, but she does not seem to have interest in actually learning to read the words, yet, and I'm not putting any pressure on her for that. She *can*, however, read some sight words and her own name.
Her second biggest strength, as strong, if not stronger than the art, is her memory. I am not talking about repeated things or ideas, nor about something from a few minutes or hours earlier, but things she picks up and remembers months later, whether words, events, or otherwise sometimes come up even randomly without something similar to spark the memory.
The physical stuff I'm not close to worrying about. She's been pumping a swing for a year, now (I helped her learn it from the skills she learned in gymnastics, with pike and tuck and she figured out the rest of the motions on her own). She has great balance and coordination, as well. She is very interested in anything actively playing.
Socially, she attracts other kids and sets examples much of the time. Her instructor in the gym has used her as an example multiple times. The only thing I'm concerned about here, is that she rather frightens other children, at times, by just walking right into their personal space and trying to hug them or just being overly-boisterous. I suppose that's an age thing? She's a performer and loves to get other kids involved in play with her.
What are some other ideas that I can look into to continue to foster her curiosities? I want to make it as fun as I can for her. I try to make all our everyday experiences some form of learning experience and take full advantage of "teachable moments."
Another avenue of artistry my daughter enjoys is dance. She dances 3 hours a week at a local studio. She will start music lessons this year, also.
Follow her lead. Check lots of books out of the library about whatever she is interested in. Join her in conversation & play related to her interests, & stories she has read. Help her wonder "what if" and "why" and come up with experiments or resources to provide the answers. Play outside. Play with water. Provide her with a variety of materials to make art with. Listen, sing, dance, and play instruments to a variety of different types of music. Take her to museums.
Thanks! Most of this stuff we already do...all but the museum, which I plan on doing with her soon. Monetary issues is the only problem. We have some science centers close, as well, which I KNOW she will love.
Her favorite learning activity, so far, is the disappearing chalk numbers. She would have done that all day, if I'd let her...which there's nothing wrong with that, but still need to do something else, too LOL
I did notice she has trouble recognizing 7 and 9, though. She counts fine and recognizes the teens and 20 fine, but just numbers with 7 and 9 in them. Odd.
I'm both excited and a bit nervous to see what happens in the future...even within the next few years. I chilled out a bit, thinking maybe I was just an overzealous parent, but not only did the stuff she picked up on her own amaze me, but so many folks outside of the family kept commenting, as well, like her Guardian Ad Litem, who made the whole, "Yeah, all kids are 'amazing'" type of statement until she met and spoke with Dd. Once she met and spoke with Dd, she admitted Dd was quite intelligent, even with the limited interaction, since it was a first-time meeting with Dd as a verbal child and kiddo was a bit quiet at first.