Sweetpea and I had the most delightful time this morning. As soon as Arrow went for his first nap, she made a bee line for the living room and requested that I take down the Mega Peg and Play.(an Idem Smile product). Now, first of all, I had a painting activity planned for today, and second, she's not supposed to play with that particular set as it is part of my stock kit...but I decided to flow with her enthusiasm and see where we would end up. Boy, am I glad I did!
We started out in the conventional way, placing the design card over the peg board and matching the giant pegs to the pictures (she's really good at this and knows her shapes very well, so she finished the first card in two ticks). I was reaching for the second card when she very decisively told me that she wanted to thread the pegs instead. We've been threading quite a bit lately, but I was hesitant because the shafts of the Mega Pegs are quite long, making it less easy for little hands to get the threading lace through. Again, I let her take the lead and was delighted when she easily threaded all the blue pegs onto the blue thread (we've been working on that colour lately). She then threaded all the red pegs onto the red lace, and added the green and yellow ones, too. I took this opportunity for an impromptu lesson on 'short' and 'long' and we had fun pulling the peg-'worms' accross the carpet in a race of sorts.
On the spur of the moment I fetched some snack bowls from the kitchen for Sweetpea to sort her pegs according to colour. We used the discs I made for a coloured paper clips activity last week, to label our bowls.
Seeing that she hadn't lost interest yet, I returned to the kitchen for a plastic ladle. Sweetpea scooped the pegs one-by-one into a mixing bowl and got into a fit of giggles stirring her 'Peg Soup!'
I've been eager to try a sensory tub activity since reading about it recently, and the soup idea had me running to the kitchen for a third time. I found half a bag of black beans and some lentils and we had a jolly time mixing the peg soup ingerdients with our hands!
When I produced a small plastic scoop I got from the plastics shop yesterday morning, I struck gold. For the next 45 minutes Sweetpea was engrossed in scooping the bean/lentil mix from the mixing bowl to the snack bowls and back. (The pegs were too big for the scoop and were finally abandoned, but maybe they deserved a break after being so utterly useful all morning long!)
All in all it was a really successful morning: Sweetpea had fun AND practiced a nice variety of skills, and I had a good lesson in the value of letting the student be the teacher!
PS: you can order a Mega Peg & Play from me! They sell at R185, excl postage. Order via e-mail at email@example.com.