We live in New England so we are fortunate to inevitably experience all four seasons.
It’s winter! Every day I take Kai and our dog Stanley for morning stroll.
Yesterday, I thought about a cute idea to teach Kai about the weather! On my way to my tennis match, I picked up a few pieces of felt from a local craft store. I also got some felt letter and number stickers.
Here’s the final product!It’s “Weather by Kai”. My plan is that every morning, after our walk, I will ask Kai to tell me what the weather was like outside. He can use his words, but I also want to add another element so he can be his own show and tell meteorologist.
I drew and cut out a yellow sun, rain, snow, and white and gray clouds. I also put together the words: cold, hot, warm, and windy. I ran out of letters to spell humid, but I will get to it once summer rolls around:) Kai is supposed to select and display what he thought the weather was like on our walk.
Once I try this brain-building interactive activity for a week, I’ll share my thoughts on the whole process.
Do you think there are ways I can improve what I’m trying to have my toddler convey and communicate and learn?
Update – 2/8/18
It’s officially been a week since I introduced this activity to Kai.
Words, Words, Words…
A few days into learning about how to describe the weather, Kai really liked to use his words to say: cloudy, sunny, bright, cold, windy, snowing, and raining.
His favorite word to use has been cloudy! When I ask him what the weather is outside, his go-to word is cloudy. Although we were visiting Grammy the other day, and we asked him what the weather was like that morning, and he accurately described it as sunny and cold! I was so pleasantly shocked it wasn’t even funny.
When I was walking Stanley and Kai in the afternoon one day this week, we noticed a beautiful orange sunset! Now, every time Kai walks past the pond where we saw the sunset, he recalls the “橙色 clouds”. I’m happy to hear him using his words.
Incorporating Books, Media, & Resources
We were watching Curious George, which is one of daddy’s favorite shows to watch with Kai and the weather episode just so happened to be on! It was nice for him to see that George enjoys trying to predict the weather.
I was talking with a friend of mine, and she gave me an idea. One of the local libraries has a weather board for the kids where they also added a thermometer! I didn’t ask if it was a real digital thermometer or if it was a makeshift one where kids can just add numbers themselves.
Regardless, I think this is a wonderful idea to incorporate into this mini learning project. I think I’ll add both! A real mini outdoor thermometer to our house and create a felt thermometer and add it to our felt board:)
After our cruise, I’m hoping to find some books about the weather too!
Improvements and Challenges
Overall, I have noticed an improvement in his language usage and association with the weather outside. What I haven’t yet had him actually do is stay focused long enough after our walks to put the descriptive felt figurines and words on his weather board.
I might need to figure out a way to display all of the pieces out in front of him without Stanley causing a ruckus and stealing the sun or clouds and running away with them.
Don’t be Afraid of Being Creative
The day I was preparing this activity, my parents were visiting. I was asking Kai to help me stick the letter stickers on the felt. He, of course, was just sticking them wherever and then pulling them off because he was simply having fun. My father was telling me that Kai is too young to understand these concepts and that he’s just a baby. I got very frustrated at him. Thoughts running through my head at the time: Frustration, Negativity, Anger, It doesn’t hurt to try. Kai is a pretty smart kid overall. Why not just give it a whirl?
My mom had to intervene and explained to how Chinese parents are not creative, etc. While I understand where she is coming from, I don’t think this generalization is accurate because I’ve seen many creative and non-creative parents in general, Chinese or not.
While I got frustrated at my dad, I know his intentions were good. He doesn’t want me to put in the extra effort if it’s a nuisance or a chore for me since he thinks Kai has no idea what is going on. I mean we are all learning together, one day at a time.
It’s okay to have different parenting styles. Everyone is unique, with varying levels of education, backgrounds, cultures, foods, languages, etc.
Don’t be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone and sometimes go against cultural norms to be creative and your own person and parent.
Don’t let your parents define what kind of parent you are. Although sometimes it’s hard to not get influenced a little. I know it sounds weird but, sometimes I look back and try to think about what my parents did and try and do the exact opposite with my child.
Ahhh, that means they’re still influencing my parenting style.
When I was growing up I don’t recall having lots of toys or an over abundance or learning resources available to me. I went into elementary school very unprepared and was very behind in reading and writing. I recall being put in a smaller group with other struggling kids to work on language skills, etc.
I’m hoping to be an active and involved mom to Kai. I want to encourage him and facilitate a safe and open learning environment for him to be able to flourish. And if he doesn’t want to blossom, that’s okay too. At least I know I tried.
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. It’s what we decide to do with them that makes the difference.
Thanks for reading this update!