Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A weighty matter

Don't you just
those moments when all of a sudden, right in the middle of an ordinary day, a teachable moment just sneaks up on you and
you with the joy and satisfaction that comes from learning?

Sweetpea and I were having our eleven o'clock cuppa tea at the kitchen counter and paging through a beautiful picture book with bright, cheery photographs of children going about their day. We chatted about a picture of children in chefs hats and aprons in a play kitchen, and Sweetpea named all the familiar kitchen objects. Then she pointed to a picture of a kitchen scale and I could see her little brain searching frantically for the word for that thing...but it hadn't been 'filed' yet, and I helped her out. "That's a scale," I said. "We use it to see how heavy things are." I realized this was a little abstract for her, so I fetched the kitchen scale to show her. It stands on the counter right next to the stove where she helps me cook everyday, but has obviously never made an impression before now.

We investigated the needle, and how it moves when we pressed the bowl down gently. Even though I haven't introduced her to number symbols yet, I spoke about the zero and the one and used terminology like grams and kilograms. She echoed everything I said and was truly absorbed in the whole thing. So I fetched a few things that were within arm's reach and we started weighing them. She was thrilled at how we could make the needle move a little further - or not so far - depending on the weight of the object.


That's heavy!!

There was a moment there when I considered fetching pen and paper and showing her how to jot down the weight, but then I felt that I should just flow with the wonder she was feeling at this new discovery. I remembered about another scale that was a wedding gift, and we discovered that this one could hold much heavier objects! Sweetpea was happily moving things from scale to scale and checking the needle as she did so. And as I stepped back a bit and watched my daughter happily exploring in that wonderful, glowing land of childhood discovery, I realised for the umpteenth time how blessed I am to spend my days with her and my baby boy. And how profound learning - the kind that makes you feel warm and giddy - can happen even in the simplest of surroundings, with the most mundane objects, turning 'ordinary' moments at home, into gloriously brilliant ones!

PS. It just occured to me that there's a lovely little balance scale in the Nucleus Toys range. Three actually! I like the middle one...think it should find a home here with us! Remember, you can order these from me via e-mail. Click here!

The deluxe model - R420 (scale only. Weights: R 185)

The one I want! R120

Geometric balance. R100. Definitely getting this one once she's older!


  1. Yes, those moments are when true learning takes place.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Warm wishes, Tonya

  2. Oh No Grietjie! I have just added that middle scale to my toy wish list too...the one that grows longer and longer by the day! hee hee...


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