Chasing the rainbow

As I'm sure in your house like ours things are getting stale, and I don't just mean the bread. Heels are being dragged and annoyances are turning in to arguments. Tempers are fraying and tethers are ending. So in the trying times , we have to find reserves of energy and fresh new environments to get motivated for us and the kids. I've watched to see what gets my wee one going again, taken a leaf out of Sesame Streets book and this show is brought to you by the colours of the rainbow.

We are all, in these times chasing the rainbow one way of another.... Either to entertain & teach our wee ones, support our key workers and or get hold of that wee feckers at the end of it with a pot of gold that might make some of our troubles go away ! It seems to have become the unofficial official symbol of these times. It’s everywhere we look. And I have found inadvertently that it has become a wonderful learning tool.

With all the emphasis on home schooling these days , my wee one has been getting in on the action and colours are the flavour of the day so the sudden in flux of rainbows every where has been very useful. We spot them on our walks, we have painted them in our art time ( me encouraging her to colouring in so I can have a cuppa ) We have built one in plastic bricks for the window, ( which she is trying to dismantle daily ) We have sung the colours as we ( re ) stack the face wipes and nappies of the umpteenth time. Made towers out of rainbow stacking circles. Thrown rainbow coloured balls around the garden and hidden them in various bushes. I made her find each colour in flower form ( with lots of help ) this morning so we could make a rainbow flower picture to share with friends and family on the internet. I have a toddler we get through a lot in a day , heck an hour ! Unfortunately or fortunately , she is just too young to get in to the rainbow play dough or slime or paint right now ..... Thank goodness for small mercies. But that is not to say that you shouldn't. Everything is a learning moment and teaching experience and a way to help and educate our children by our own means in our own homes. Use and abuse what you've got in and around the house.

I have found as I have no one else to talk to that I have been talking a heck of a lot more to my wee one. I try to talk to her generally , but I'm either going slight mad ( highly likely ) or I've kicked it up a notch ( another possibility ) in the conversation stakes. She has responded and her language is coming on quite nicely. Which justifies my craziness. To the point I have to watch what I say. ( & especially watch her father when the news is on, her cuss word vocab is coming along nicely ! ) But I have found that , combined with myself and some well chosen educational programs featuring animals that sing and dance and teach, she's getting the hang of colours. She's a mimic, so she is so excited to say what she hears and copy the sound to get her message across. And now she can assign these sounds to an object of that colour , there are light bulbs flashing more than paparazzi at the oscars. And I am making full use of this new found fascination. As I said above I've dug out everything colourful and useful and use the technique of repetition to reiterate this learning curve to the fullest. What ever keeps them busy right ?

Another advantage of this lockdown is that we can take time and focus on the world around us. We as early childhood educators can make the most of their world, to help them to achieve their potential. For us , its saying the colours of the cars, which isn't many. We are picking flowers in the rainbow colours. Spotting drawings and stickers and paintings in windows. She is getting dressed by learning the colours of her clothes.

Whatever you child is doing capitalise on it as a learning moment. We went through a water phase a few weeks ago , she was completely tactile in her obsession to collect and pour liquids. The bathroom sink was always full and everything and anything got washed there. Once the weather was nice, the water table came in to play and anything and everything was dunked outside instead ! Before that all she wanted to do was go for walks, or go on the back of our bikes for a ride or kick a ball, she could not and would not sit still. Ive noticed ( especially in my nannying years ) that kids get obsessed and fixated with something , even though they have no attention span as such. And will just want to return to it over and over till they are satisfied that they are got it , what ever it is for them. If you haven't already , you will find they will want to watch the same program or even same part of a program again and again. The amount of times I've seem Jungle Book or insert current movie, night after night for a period ,I could sing the them tune in my sleep. I even had one wee one so obsessed with Wizard of Oz, he changed his name to Dorothy and would come unless called like Aunty Em does it in the movie. Maybe explains my emphasis on rainbows ... But I digress, what I mean to say is use this to your advantage. Kids learn when they are having fun and are interested. Wee ones learn when they can use their senses, so touch , taste, hear, see and smell something. Let them teach you how to teach them ?

Next month , I'll do numbers or letters as that is the next building block cognitively for her. We will still be in lockdown ( probably ) and like Dorothy said " I don't think we are in Kansas any more " she meant we aren't where we thought we were, I can relate ! We will make the best of it and keep positive, keep teaching, keep learning and just keep humming Somewhere over the rainbow ....

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