We did a lot of fun Mm things last week! I think Mm has been one of Elias’ favorite letters so far. All week he said, “M says mmmmmmmmmmm,” and he tried to form the sign with his fingers. He knows what he is supposed to do, but isn’t coordinated enough to actually do it himself. Here is what we did:
M is for Matisse
Since Elias loves art so much I thought it would be fun to introduce him to some fine art. I showed him The Snail by Henry Matisse:
Elias doesn’t have the fine motor skills yet for using scissors. So I pre-cut some colorful shapes, and some border pieces. Then, I laid them all out on the table and gave Elias some glue and a white piece of paper. I helped him place the border, and then let him have at it. He knew right what to do. He was, of course, very excited about the gluing. It turned out very cute!
I had planned to do M is for monkey. We read 5 Silly Monkeys and then I was going to have him do a monkey face craft with a paper plate and some brown paint. As soon as he saw the tempera paint and the paper plate he insisted he wanted yellow. I tried to explain to him that monkeys are not yellow and that we could do another project later with yellow. He wasn’t having that. So I changed to M is for mask. I cut two eye holes in the paper plate, and let him paint with any colors he wanted. He had a lot of fun making the mask, but after the initial few seconds of wearing the mask he had no interest in keeping it on for good.
I really want Elias to be raised with a more global perspective, so as one part of that, we are starting some geography lessons early! I realize he is a bit young to really grasp these sorts of concepts, but its never too early to start talking about the world, the country, the city, or the neighborhood. We looked a lot at our world map on the wall, and when we were at the store, I took him to the atlas section where we looked at a bunch of different maps, and he chose one of Portland for us to take him. Then, I started travel journals for both boys. I printed out a U.S. map for each of them, and colored in the states they’ve been to. We did the same with Canada and the world. Elias also got to color his own world map. I pointed out where all of our sponsored children are from compared to where we live. I envision the boys adding to the journal as we go places, possibly coloring in more states or countries, and adding postcards from places we’ve been.
M is for Money
Money is another thing we’d like Elias to have an awareness of from a young age. In order to teach him the beginning concepts of money, we’ve decided to give him an allowance. Here’s how it will work:
Each week, Elias will have a helping chart. Right now, every day he must brush his teeth, help clean up toys, and feed the kitties. He gets to put a sticker on his chart every day he completes these. If his sticker chart is full, he will get his allowance. We’ve decided to give him 4 quarters.
His quarters will be stored in three jars. One quarter will go in the “Save” jar. One quarter will go in the “Spend” jar. One quarter will go in the “Give” jar. The last quarter will be his choice. He can put it in any of the three jars. It will be totally up to him what he spends his “spend” money on, and where he gives his “give” money.
We started him out with four quarters in each jar. We had him count it out. He really enjoyed the counting, and the sound of the quarters clinking in the jars. He has also really enjoyed the sticker charts…which has been helpful especially for cleaning up toys! He probably won’t really understand what is going on until he actually gets to buy something at the store with his money. We’re going to try it out this way for awhile and see what happens. There may be changes in the future…or maybe it will work great!
Elias is excited about helping to feed the kitties as well. I tried to take a picture of him in the act of feeding the cats, but he made a bit of a mess while trying to pour food in the bowl, and immediately said, “Uh Oh! I better sweep!”
I made Elias a memory game. I used this online template. Elias has been super excited about it, and wants to play every day. However, he really doesn’t understand how to play “real” memory. Mostly he just wants to pick up one card, and keep picking up cards until he finds the match. Then it is the next person’s turn. I let him play that way for now.
M is for Mail
I got an old cardboard box and let Elias paint away. Then I turned it into a family mailbox. We can send each other letters or draw each other pictures. The painting was a big hit, but I think the concept of the family mailbox would be better for a slightly older child. Maybe we’ll try it again in a few years.
M is for Moses
Our Bible lesson for this week was Moses. Nathan read to Elias. Elias also contributed to me this morning that “M says mmmmmmm. Like Mary.” Good for him!