Monday, June 9, 2008

Stringing Beads

Today I got out some wooden beads my mom had in the basement and a big, sturdy string and let Hunter go to town.

I thought that this was something that Hunter would be interested in, and I was right. A lot of times I get puzzles and other sit-down activities out that he just doesn't seem very interested in, but this one held his attention. Especially since the end product was to make a pretty necklace for Mommy! Below you can see me wearing it.

He's developed very consistent sidedness (that is, the organization of the brain that makes it so you are either left- or right-handed, footed, and "eyed"). He is right-handed, for sure, using his right hand in the dominant roll and his left hand to assist, as well as kicking with his right foot. Doman recommends activities such as these to develop the manual dexterity controls of the brain. Some activities that use this function (uses a dominant hand and an assisting hand) are:

  • Pouring liquid from a pitcher to a cup (right hand pours, left hand holds cup)
  • Picking up objects and placing them in a container (right hand picks up, left hand holds container)
  • Cutting with scissors (right hand cuts, left hand holds paper)
  • Stringing beads (right hand strings beads, left hand holds string)
  • Playing a violin (right hand holds the bow, left hand holds the violin)
  • And one of the most sophisticated tasks, writing (right hand writes, left hand holds paper)
I'm sure there are a hundred more examples of this brain function, but I think you get the point. Crawling, creeping (crawling on hands and knees), and brachiating (doing monkey bars) really help develop this coordination between brain hemispheres that enables a child to do these things with skill and ease. I am really concentrating on providing him with more opportunities to use his hands on activities such as these, because he often becomes frustrated when he can't draw something like he wants to or can't cut or write something the way he thinks it should be.

Him helping me more in the kitchen is one of the best ways to use his hands in a skilled way, pouring, measuring, sifting, stirring, squishing, cutting, dividing, etc. I'm also going to let him play with a lot of puzzles during J.E.L.I.C time and focus on drawing together more (we haven't done much art lately). Playing with blocks is another thing that is really good that we haven't been doing much. I also really like the cutting strips I made him a long time ago but haven't used. I found this picture (to the right) of Montessori cutting strips that are just different types of lines and designs that can be cut out. Straight lines and triangles are the easiest, circles are the hardest. I made a bunch myself and we're starting with the simplest ones until he becomes more skilled. I'll have them available to download soon. :)

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Ephesians 2:10

Hunter is 3 years, 2 months old

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