Monday, January 21, 2013

Skills Update

*DISCLAIMER* This post is not exactly entertaining, but I find it helpful to document skills every once in a while so I can look back and remember when the kids started certain things.

Here are a few new/improving skills that I've noticed in Ryan lately:

  • Potty training has been going great for several months and we now trust him enough to not even have to wear a Pull-Up at night. He knows when he has to go, will get up from bed to go, and can complete the entire task through washing hands by himself, except for wiping which he's decided is easiest if he gets off the potty and bends at the waist with his head on the floor, rump in the air. Sometimes we'll find him patiently waiting in this position until we get there to help. Quite a sight.
  • He can dress and undress himself unless there are buttons/coat zippers involved and even though I know he can do it, he will ask for help putting shirts over his head. He sometimes puts shoes on the wrong feet, but this doesn't seem to bother him at all!
  • He's gotten into the habit of putting his hat and mittens in his sleeve and hanging up his coat in the closet. We installed a 3M hook low in the closet for just this purpose and it's worked well.
  • When coloring, he still just scribbles in the general area of the picture outline. We've tried tracing the inside of a stencil, but he won't hold the pencil close enough to the bottom to be very effective. He'll draw a closed shape if you ask him to draw a circle, but can't really draw other shapes on command. However, today I asked if he wanted to draw a snowman and he drew this one all by himself, explaining as he went that it needed a circle, two eyes, a nose, a mouth, two arms, two legs, and buttons. This is the first recognizable picture I've seen him draw.

  • I bought an  age-appropriate scissors and we worked on cutting today, putting his fingers in the right place and holding his hand the right way. He was a bit resistant to my instructions at first, but then was really excited and cut a sheet of paper into tiny pieces.  I also showed him how we can make snowflakes, but he just left that to me and informed me that most of them did NOT look like snowflakes at all. Obviously, this picture is what I entertained myself with while I supervised, not his project. I could have taken a picture of his, but it was basically a giant pile of tiny triangles.

  • Ryan likes playing with Play-doh, but, as predicted, the first thing he did with his new colors was just mix them all together into one lump. He's rolled out snakes before, but last night was the first time he used multiple colors to create a new object. All on his own, he decided that if he had red, green, and black, he should make strawberries! Here's a picture of his best one along with the tray of all his creations.

  • We've tried to encourage Ryan to play independently, since this is a necessity sometimes now that Cohen is around.  He can get out his Hot Wheels and racetrack and play by himself for a while and today he went downstairs and built an entire Lego town/tower using all the blocks and people. He'll also build with wooden blocks and with his magnetic foam shapes and we love seeing his imagination! He needs help designing a train track that will connect in a complete loop, but runs the trains himself.
  • Ryan loves helping in the kitchen and we often talk through recipes with him helping to measure, pour, and stir.  Our biggest challenge is keeping his hands out of the batter!

  • If you ask Ryan what his favorite thing to do is, he'll say "Play Angry Birds on Mommy's ipad."  He knows how to get to the various free versions we have (but will often bonz for other versions that require payment), with Rio and Star Wars being his favorite. He can pass several levels and knows to tap the birds in flight to make them perform various "extras," although I'm not sure he actually knows how to aim very well. I've been informed that he's not the only 3-year-old around who loves playing this game. Although we try to limit his time, we've found the best method is to tell him he can play after supper for a few minutes while we finish cleaning up. This has almost completely solved the slow-poke way he used to eat. He'll now buzz through dinner with minimal negotiation, then will clear his plate and cup to the counter and run to the bathroom to wash his hands.  It also gives us some time to either finish eating ourselves with an un-interupted conversation or wash pots/pans/load the dishwasher without him begging us to play with him. Sometimes he's great at turning it off when instructed and other times, it ends in tears, so we have some work to do in that department.
  • We try to play games at night as a family and, with practice, Ryan's become a better sport.  He is good at Candyland and Hi-Ho Cherry-O, can play Ants in your Pants, and just needs some help recognizing the number on the spinner and going the right direction on Chutes and Ladders. We've yet to finish a "Sorry!" game, even with simplified rules.  Another favorite is a "dragon game" we cut out of the HighLights magazine where you pick a card and advance that color dragon one space forward.
  • Books in bed are another favorite activity and I'll often change words or pause and let him fill in the correct word on books that he is familiar with. I've found this is a great way to learn vocabulary and he'll ask what a word means sometimes. His current favorite story is "How Zebras got their Stripes" and he's learned new words including: extremely, annoyed, fled, enraging, galumphing, amiable, and greedy.  
  • He still loves to look at books by himself, but we've had to limit this so he doesn't stay up too late and if we let him do it at naptime, he won't go to sleep at all. His favorites right now, besides the Zebra one, is his Usbourne "Farmyard Tales", My Fire Engine, Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox, and a funny book called "Psst!" by Adam Rex.

No comments: