"Teachable Moment". It makes me cringe. I find it's over used by parents and teachers that want to sound like they know everything about Montessori, preschoolers, and being good at leading by example.
I'm not one of those people.
By golly, I had a Teachable Moment! We were watching an episode of How It's Made, and they were making ice cream filled Popsicles. (By the way, did you know they make the outside shell first? Me neither.) I paused the episode, tossed The Punk in the car, and we headed to the grocery.
We came home, un-paused the show and ate the exact same Popsicles they were making on the TV.
We don't have a dog house. We have a Slide/Playhouse that The Punk has outgrown and The Pup has taken over. It's funny to watch these two together when they think no one is looking. They are like siblings, almost. When The Pup has something The Punk wants, then it can cause a scuffle. They are quite silly, this pair of stinky boys.
Looking at his happy face in the photos you wouldn't guess how horrible and anguishing this experience was for The Punk. When I suggested PlayDoh time, he was thrilled. When I brought out this tray of unusual PlayDoh tools he cried. "We have to use my PlayDoh tools!" he managed to mumble through the snot and the tears. To use anything else was incomprehensible... which is exactly why we needed to try them. The Punk is a creature of habit. Lots of habits. Lots of schedules. Lots of little things can throw him off kilter. He's getting so much better at bouncing back, but we still need to work on these little quirks once in a while. And so, he went to his room to calm down. When he came back out he was ready (but still not convinced it was a good idea) to try the "other things" in the PlayDoh.
With toothpicks, beads, Popsicle sticks, bits of drinking straws, buttons and pipe cleaners we made so many unusual things! Bugs and snakes, birds and pizza! We experienced all the textures that we wouldn't have felt if we had used the ordinary tools.
And we had fun. He began to smile. He began to create. He found new uses for things that only had other purposes in his mind. We rolled, we counted, we smooshed.
We found that everything on the tray could be used to make something different. Something new. And it was cool to see him open up and enjoy another approach to the same old PlayDoh he's so used to playing with. I was proud of him. He opened his mind and used his imagination.
And the moment we were done and all cleaned up he said "I'm glad that's over. Now we never have to do that again. We can just use PlayDoh tools from now on."
We took a little family adventure this weekend on the Forest Park Miniature Train at Trinity Park in Fort Worth. It wasn't The Punk's first time on the train, but it was his first time to ride with Daddy. And his first time since he's been allowed to eat popcorn! Somehow adding the popcorn element to the train made it much more magical. We whizzed through the park - passing the duck pond, and over the bumpy bridges - all while The Punk laughed and giggled and kept repeating "This is Awesome!".
Want to load the dishwasher? Need to change the laundry? How about a few minutes on Facebook? I have the Magic Answer: Rice Bin! All you need is a tub of colored rice, and a handful of objects to toss in. Throw down a little rug to help keep things tidy, and there you have it! Minutes upon minutes of quiet time, a little fine motor skill building, and a whole lot of imagination.
I used my scissors. Mom told me the safety rules a bunch of times. I may or may not have listened. But I did cut a bunch of papers! I connected the dots. Mom dotted some papers and I connected the dots to make shapes.
I wrote letters in my green salt box.
I use flashcards to help me remember what they look like, and then
trace my finger in the box. It's messy, and I love it!
I drew a picture of my Mom and my Dad. Mom is the pink one. Dad has the brown beard.
We went for a walk in the woods today. We listened to the birds, and chased a few squirrels. We found some Geocaches, and some really interesting fungi. We didn't watch any TV. We didn't have the iPad with us. We just hung out, had a picnic lunch and sloshed around in the mud for a bit. And it was perfect.