I can’t believe it, the weather was absolutely gorgeous today! So gorgeous in fact that we got to play outside! I forgot how wonderful it was to run around in the sun together! And such a perfect way to wear out a toddler 🙂
I brought out the sidewalk chalk this afternoon and J made his usual requests (funny how he always asks Mommy to draw letters or shapes and Daddy gets the more intricate requests like a whale or a ship; do you think he’s already figured out who the skilled artist in the family is?). Then I decided to reinforce a lesson we’ve been learning, the purpose of arrows. He’s taken an interest in arrows and has a few books with arrows in the pictures. He likes to point to them and say “way! way!” (meaning “Go this way!”) I’ve decided to just go ahead and teach him that arrows point in a certain direction that we should follow. He kinda gets it.
So back to my reinforcement lesson… I drew arrows in a block around our driveway, pointing a path that he should follow. I thought actually marching along the arrows would reinforce their purpose AND help him recognize the direction that each arrow is pointing. He loved it. He followed the path over and over and over and wanted Mommy to follow the path over and over and over. He did not, however, get the entire lesson. I realize that I need to spend some time inside teaching him how to recognize the direction an arrow is pointing. There were simply too many distractions outside to keep his attention long enough for this lesson. He was way too interested in following the path (and sometimes backwards since he hasn’t quite grasped the arrow concept yet!). Since our driveway is on hill, we could discuss going up and down the driveway and turning at the corners.
Anyway, it turned out to be a great activity and something that, with time, can be educational! With older toddlers you could make the path they follow more intricate, introducing left and right or even north, south, east and west (for the especially advanced!).
Age attempted: 22 months, needs a little more work before he completely grasps the concept
Teachable moments: purpose of arrows, recognizing the direction an arrow is pointing, following directions, possibly understanding up/down, left/right
Try Again? yes, he loved this