Animal Memo

I’m short a video camera at the moment, so I can’t even share with y’all the most exciting development round these parts: Sir Wesley Fox is officially a walker, yes sirree. For about a week now, at that, just a few short days after his 14th monthday. I can’t wait to share with you his little old man walking ways. It’s quite a thing.

Summer is descending upon us, and the heat outside is so incredibly overwhelming that we can’t help but to keep ourselves entertained indoors for as long of the day as possible. I took Wes to the park just the other morning, and already at 9 am it seemed it would only take a few short minute to fall victim to heat stroke. Poor child has inherited my propensity for instant flushing, and even though he wore a hat, it just didn’t seem safe to stay out there too long. So inside recreation it is, and I’m scrambling for ideas to entertain a little toddler over the languid summer. (Did I say that I wanted to take Wesley to the beach this summer? Was I crazy? I can’t even begin to think about venturing into an expansive shadeless sand pit until at least October!)

Yesterday, I broke out the funky orange bath mat I’ve intended for use as a Montessori work rug (to define the work/play space) and the Plan Toys Animal Memo game I just purchased. It’s officially for the 3 and up group and meant as a memory game, but I read the reviews and saw that I could otherwise make it work for Wes. I hope with time to adapt the ideas behind the Montessori Color Tablets lesson for use with our animal tiles.

For now, there is the sensorial experience of touching the wooden tiles, taking them out of the canvas bag and putting them back inside:

Using Wesley’s hand for scale, you can see that they are rather large and don’t appear to be a choking hazard.

Then, starting with just three or so, they can be used to match the like tiles to each other:

Wesley is not even remotely interested in that stage yet, by the way.

They’re only representations, of course, but they can work as part of the Montessori Three Period lesson for learning vocabulary, identifying one at a time which animal is represented on the tile, then looking for receptive language (Wesley’s has really exploded lately: he can point to so many things in his books when you ask him to find whatever) and then eventually checking to see if the name of the animal has been remembered (once he’s regularly speaking, that is. Wesley only has about 5 words in his vocabulary right now: “duck” and “dog/doggie,” which appear in question lately since he’s barely using them, “up” and “bubbles,” with which he is obsessed, and finally, we think, “mama”).

And clearly at some point they can be used as they were intended: a memory game. Of course, that is if they last that long, but they appear to be of good quality. They’re really quite darling, and I’m just happy to have one more thing to keep us productive and having fun these summer months – and beyond. Hope you’re staying cool in your neck of the woods.

5 thoughts on “Animal Memo

  1. Yay! Walking! I knew it would happen any minute. Can’t wait to see him do it in person –and to see Wes and Finn to play together soon. We are going to have so much fun — despite the heat.

    • Aw, thanks Cindy. There’s still so much room for improvement! These days I’m shooting with a borrowed camera (my dad’s): the Canon Rebel T1i. The lens used for 99% of my pictures is the 50 mm 1.8.

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