This is the first post after a two week family holiday and we had a fabulous time! However, like all good things, it had to come to an end sooner or later. The worst bit about coming home for me, is the pile of washing to be done just to feel ‘sorted’ again! The good thing is though, whilst away, J got into the habit of asking if he could help do EVERYTHING; making tea, lunch, tidying up, de-leafing the pool and so on. I didn’t know whether this would last but it seems he’s still up for helping! He loved helping with the mounds of washing we manage to accumulate and therefore, today’s role play was a ‘Wishy Washy role play.’
To make the washing machine, I simply covered the front of an old cardboard box in address labels to make is white, drew around a plate and used a craft knife to cut out the washing machine door, I wrote on some wash cycles (including the numbers for number recognition) and a big START button! Finally, I cut a little flap at the top for the powder and softener to be poured in.
I also included, some pegs we had painted in a previous activity in different colours (colour rehearsal opportunity and fine motor development), a pile of multi-coloured t-shirts that no longer fit J, a basket, a cardboard box labelled ‘Washing Powder’ and an empty shampoo bottle labelled ‘Fabric Softener’ (good to see print WHEREVER possible). Finally, I hung up a radiator dryer and put an empty suitcase to add more open-ended role play opportunities.
J couldn’t wait to get stuck in by simply role playing loading the washing machine. As he did so, he made glugging noises for the fabric softener, ‘shhh’ noises as the powder went in and said, ‘can you see the clothes swishing around Mummy! Look at all the suds and bubbles.’ This goes to show that doing household jobs and talking as you do so is not only a sign you’re going mad, it is the BEST way to introduce language and vocabulary to our children. Then, through role play, they recreate what they have seen and heard and rehearse the vocab themselves. So, be careful what you say!!!!
As J loaded in his t-shirts, he talked about the colours and ‘sorted’ them into piles as Mummy does. Just as Mummy does though, he didn’t do this very well and some of the colours ran into each other!!! He doesn’t miss a trick!
It took a while but J eventually noticed the numbers and words on the washing machine and asked me what they said. Again, this shows that J knows print has a meaning and further cements his interest in reading! He also asked, ‘what does number 11 say?’ Great, natural number recognition rehearsal; FAR more fun than a worksheet, don’t you think?
The fine motor skills involved in this activity were super too. These fine motor skills are important for dressing, feeding and crucial WRITING development. It was really quite tricky for J to peg the clothes out and he had to really concentrate. Unfortunately, I didn’t capture the tongue sticking out the corner of his mouth but it was there and we know that’s SUPER concentration!!
J’s not daft though, he soon cottoned on to the fact that he didn’t actually need the pegs and he just hung it on the rack!! Monkey! He was delighted with himself and turned around, gesturing behind him, ‘Look I don’t need the pegs!!’ I captured this beautifully, even if I do say so myself.
As well as role playing with the washing machine, rehearsing numbers and finding out about the purpose of print, fine motor development and overcoming problems, this activity is FAB for developing ALL important life skills… like dressing and undressing…
… and folding! My boy will make a good husband one day.
Or so I thought… J washed, folded and packed his clothes and rather than the expected, I’m going on holiday Mummy… he said, ‘ I’m leaving Mummy and I’m going forever!’ I knew the day would come but age 3?
I promise from the bottom of my heart the following picture actually happened!! J had been gone all of ten minutes in his new home in ‘England’ when he came back saying, ‘Mummy, will you do my washing, I haven’t got a washing machine in there!’ HAHAHAHAHAHA! So much for making a good husband hey! Are boys just born this way? I actually howled with laughter. J thought I’d gone mad.
Later, I pretended to cry and said that G and I missed him. He came back and gave G his toy mobile and said, ‘we can talk on the phone, don’t worry!’ He is used to his Daddy working away so he knows phones are really important to us to keep in touch. Bless him.
Baby G was delighted with her present from her big bro. I just hope it is a REALLY LONG TIME before this happens for real!!
What did J learn?
- Role play and recreating experiences
- Using imagination
- Rehearsing new language
- Number recognition
- Looking at print
- Fine motor development