Tinker Bear’s a messy eater. But he sure likes to eat. Mama Bear wants to make mealtime a bit less messy so today she’s preparing a Tinker Bear tub especially for him to work those fine muscles in his little paws. He’s going to explore scooping, pouring and pounding with spoons, cups, and cereal. Mama’s hoping this will make mealtime a bit easier.
Mama Bear goes through her house, especially her kitchen, to find things for her little Tinker Bear. She finds cereal, spoons, scoops from her laundry soap, tongs, ladles, measuring spoons, cups, toy trucks, pitchers, a few jars and bowls, funnels, and some crackers to pound or crush with his little paws or even to stomp on. Now, he would enjoy doing that for sure. To contain what could become a messy activity, Mama Bear has repurposed an under-the-bed storage container for Tinker Bear. She intends to use this for this and other invitations to explore, discover and experience in the weeks ahead. Because Tinker Bear still puts everything in his mouth, she is careful to find things in the kitchen that will not hurt him if he swallows them–Cheerios, rice, cornmeal, marshmallows, pasta, (colored) water and crushed ice.
Mama Bear knows that scooping and pouring will help little Tinker Bear coordinate what he is seeing with what his hands are doing. With lotsof practice, she knows that Tinker Bear will be able to get that spoon to his mouth a whole lot easier.
Mama Bear is working on developing Tinker Bear’s attention because she read from Charlotte Mason, a turn of the 20th Century British educator who dedicated her life to improving the quality of children’s education, that
Attention is simply the act by which the whole mental force is applied to the subject at hand. It is of supreme importance for it is only so far as the habit of attention is cultivated in [a child] that he is able to make use of it.
Mama Bear has decided that when Tinker Bear’s attention drifts from the scooping and pouring activity, she will direct his attention back to the activity, if even for just a few more seconds.
Let us know what worked and didn’t work for your young child in the comments below.