Sunday, August 24, 2014


For the past few week the hubby and I have been involved in the house buying process, which has kept us busy to say the least. We are waiting to see what the appraiser says and then we will being going to closing! Because of this and a few other things going on, I feel a little behind as far as what I had planned to do this week. Despite these distractions, S made AMAZING progress this week! She has picked up how to use "out," "up," and almost "in." To be honest, all of these words mostly sound like grunts with a consonant stuck on there some where. But, in the broader sense, she is learning to use words to express what she wants instead of screams and cries. I still have to prompt her to use the words and that's ok because we are taking baby steps here (pun indented).

** I found that even though I was focusing on a specific concept that day, other concepts could be reinforced throughout each day. As a matter of fact, the best way to teach these concepts is to continually use them on a daily basis.

Monday: Use a large box for in/out, up/down, light/dark, open/close, over/under. Sort toys into two piles of opposites (hard/soft, big/small, noisy/ quiet).

We were lucky to have a very large box leftover from our party last week. We had lots of fun with Uncle Z getting in and out, and being pushed around the living room.
Tuesday: light switch on/off

S learned a month or so ago about the power (and fun) of a light switch. Every time we walk by one she insists on turning it on and off a few times. It has been kinda handy when I'm carrying her and neither of my hands are free to turn off a light. Since we had the light switch thing down, I focused on other things that could be "on or off." We played with the lid to her snack up by putting it on and off, and we put a beaded necklace on and off.
Wednesday: Hello/ Goodbye with front door.

It's such a bitter sweet learning experience to practice hello and goodbye. I chose to use the door to her little play house instead of the front door to the house. She got pretty good at waving goodbye (and blowing kisses) but not so much at hello. To reinforce the idea of hello means "I'm here!" and goodbye means "I'm gone" I played peek-a-boo but used hello and goodbye instead of "where is S" and "peek-a-boo."

Thursday: Up/Down, High/Low

By far, my favorite thing S has learned with week was "up." No more screaming and pulling at my leg, mostly. And it was a lot of fun to learn this concept. At first, when she said up I would throw her in the air, then each time she wanted me to pick her up I would ask her if she wanted up. She doesn't remember to use the word all the time but she is willing to say it when prompted. This is progress, people!
Friday: Stop/Go, Over/Under

These two concepts are a little advanced for S (seeing how she just had her first birthday last week), but it was fun to practice anyway. My SIL has an awesome little red wagon that S loves to get in every time we are out back. So we played "stop and go." I would say GO and proceed to move the wagon, then I would yell STOP and stop the wagon abruptly (but gently enough to not to make her fly out of the vehicle) to demonstrate stopping. We also played stop and go during our morning walks and while pushing the walker.

I hadn't really considered doing Over/Under until I talked to my mom earlier in the week. She has been a teacher in the public school district for about sixteen years, working with students ranging from kindergarten to high school. She said that one of the hardest learning concepts kindergarten teachers have is teaching Over/Under. Which, if you think of it, is kind of hard to teach without getting physically moving. I didn't do too much with this concept, but we did go to the play area at the mall and crawled under a few things. I don't think it would be too hard to set up a little tunnel with pillows or cardboard, or even to use a table to practice going over and under things. This is not a fully thought-out concept (I guess most of my ideas aren't either), but I felt that it was worth mentioning.

More concepts to work on:

Songs: Open/Shut them, If You Chance to Meet a Frown
Books: Opposites by Sandra Boynton


I am realizing that my original idea to do a new activity each day with a new focus is a little too much at this stage in Summer's life. Next week we are going to try a few different approaches. Stay tuned!


  1. Oh Dang. You are an AMAZING MOM!!!! This is great that you are being so deliberate about teaching her these things. I need to get moving on this stuff. Nora just signs please for everything and then I have to guess what she wants. SUMMER IS GETTING SO BIG. We are in Ft. Worth.. Can't wait to see you soon.

  2. Thanks! Some days it doesn't feel like it! Hope we can get together soon!