Monday, March 25, 2013

Finding Nemo...In a Book

My youngest son vetoed his nap today.  He made his feelings clear by screaming at the top of his lungs.  "MAAAAMAAA!!!  UUUUUPPP!!  NOOOOO!!" he yelled.  This was followed by heart wrenching sobs and requests for "Digger".  Digger is a huge CAT excavator toy that is completely caked with mud and therefore housed in the garage.  The mud was not a concern for my guy.  He wanted Digger and he wasn't giving in until he got him.

While I tried to console him, give him alternatives and, finally, just let him cry, my oldest was woken up.  After only sleeping 20 minutes.  Nap time was officially over at my house.  They rarely watch movies but I had borrowed Finding Nemo from the library and decided we should just snuggle on the couch and have some quiet time together.  

My oldest was fascinated.  "What kind of fish is THAT!?"  he asked at least 300 times.  "Look at him, Mommy!  What is he doing?  Why is he doing that?  What is Nemo saying?"  At first, it was annoying (don't tell on me, ok?).  I just wanted to watch the movie and I honestly couldn't make out a word of dialog between my son's endless stream of questions.  But then I realized it was an opportunity.  Maybe we could actually figure out what the fish were called and learn about them.

My Godmother had bought the boys a book called, Ask Me Anything and it's been a great resource for me when I don't know the answers.  There is a chapter on fish and lo and behold, they had pictures of almost every fish in Finding Nemo.  We learned that Dory is a powder blue sturgeon fish and that the fish with a light is called an anglerfish. We saw all the sharks that were in the movie and read about their differences.  We found out how fish breath and, my sons favorite fact, that fish pee.  

There are so many chances to teach these sweet boys if I pay attention to their questions.  Although there are times that the questions seem to go beyond  my capacity to answer, I know that I am teaching them to look.  If they don't remember what kind of fish Dory is, I hope they will know that the information is there, just waiting for them to find it.

What resources do you use to answer your children's questions?  Do you know of any great resources beyond Google & Wikipedia?

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