Friday, October 26, 2012

Baby Scavenger Hunt

I had a choice to make today.  I could either face this pile of laundry or take my boys outside and pretend it didn't exist.  I chose the latter.  I have a book for my youngest called First 100 Words and we look at the pictures while he eats.  We got to the page with the theme, "Outside" and I had an idea.  I'm always trying to make the things that we read come alive to them and this was the perfect opportunity.  We wrapped up breakfast, put on our shoes and headed outside.  I told them we were going on a scavenger hunt and they had to find all the things on that page.

My oldest jumped up and said with conviction, "We are going to need dump truck Dan to haul everything!!"  Of course, how could I forget?

I asked him to read to his brother and tell him the things we need to find.  Even though he can't sound out the words yet, he looks at the pictures and "reads" them to my youngest with total authority.  My oldest took charge of the hunt and the teaching and I just sat back to watch them and enjoy their enthusiasm.

The first one they wanted to find was sky (I did mention this was a baby scavenger hunt) and my oldest laid his brother gently on the sidewalk so that they could look at the sky and clouds together.  Next was grass.  My oldest jumped onto the lawn and said, "C'mon, you've got to lay down on the grass.  This is great!"  Let me tell you that we live in Florida and the grass is awful compared to the grass in the Northeast.  It is prickly and tough but it didn't matter to my sweet boy.  It was like a bed of feathers to him.

We headed out to find a butterfly and ended up finding one on a purple flower - two finds in one!  My youngest is trying to talk but everything sounds like "Buh!"  He kept pointing at the butterfly smiling and saying, "BUH!!  BRR!!"  I'd like to think that was butterfly in baby language.

They ended up finding everything but the frog and my oldest said, "I'm not really worried about it, Mommy.  One will sit on our window later and I'll show my brother."  That's when I understood that he had really taken it upon himself to teach his brother all of these things.  It was a fun game but the object was to learn.  He got that.  He will share his love of learning with his brother and they will grow together because of it.  He wants to continue the scavenger hunt tomorrow indoors as we find all the objects in the book and make piles on the pages.  I couldn't have thought of a better idea myself.

What kinds of things do your children teach each other?

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