Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Evelyn's Shapes and Colors Grocery Store

I tried to teach my child with books;
He gave me only puzzled looks.
I tried to teach my child with words;
They passed him by, often unheard.
Desparingly, I turned aside; 
"How Shall I teach this Child," I cried?
Into my hand he put the key,
"Come," he said. "Play with me."
-author unknown

Welcome to Evelyn's shapes and colors grocery store, where instead of bread and milk, you can buy boxes of blue square and red heart!

If there is one thing I know for sure it's that kids learn best when they're having fun. Plain and simple. If you want little Johnny to understand what a "verb" is, make a game out of it, and you're golden. Now that I'm a stay at home mom I realize that it rests on my shoulders to make sure that my kiddos learn all of life's fundamentals, which when you think about it, is an incredibly daunting task! Evelyn is getting to that special age where memory retention is on hyperdrive, and I woke up a few days ago realizing that the time is now. So...we're gaming it up around here.

Our little activity is simple, really. I show Ev a color/shape flashcard, and she goes shopping! When she brings back the right item, we'll sing her praises and do a little happy dance. "Hooray, Evie! You found the purple oval!" And when she gets it wrong, we'll sing her praises and do a little happy dance, anyway. "Hooray, Evie! That's the yellow star!" And then we'll send her back to "purchase" the right item. A game of shopping? Yes, please.

It doesn't really matter if the answer is wrong or right. What does matter is that we keep it fun! There will always be time for correction, but for now, I know a little girl who loves a good standing ovation any time, any day. So this little bit of make-believe, why, it's right up her alley.

The only thing missing is some store-aisle strolling smooth jazz music playing in the background. You know what I'm talking about. I need to get a little Kenny G. queued up so that when I send Evelyn for a new shape she can shop just like us big kids in the produce section. Oh dear me, even I'm giggling at that one. Could you seriously imagine? (I lose it at about 25 seconds in....)

Of course this is all a dream at the moment, because Evelyn is more interested in trying to open mommy's makeshift empty cereal boxes grocery items than actually sticking to her list. Just like every woman, right? Going to the store for just one thing and getting totally side-tracked along the way. :) But eventually I know that there will come a day when I'll ask Evie to fetch me that oval and she'll actually do it. And there will be tears and laughter and commemorative pictures and a shiny brass plaque...okay, maybe not. But it will be a big deal.

I hope my memories will never be as blurry as my pictures. 

Unfortunately, the shapes and colors market does not come fully stocked. Evelyn is going to go to school and have no clue what a triangle is. Haha.... It's the only shape that isn't on any of my Cricut cartridges. Can you believe that? I'm sure we'll be slipping that in somewhere, somehow. :) (By the way, the Cricut machine is a lifesaver for the stay at home mom! When you can't run out to the teacher store or have access to fancy die cuts like daycares and schools, this is your way of customizing lots of fun for your littles. Love. It.)

I'm not going to lie, I've had this idea cooking up for quite some time now. It was one of the main reasons I wanted Evelyn to get a grocery cart for Christmas. (Nerd alert!) Once I get an idea in my jumbled up head I just have to try it out or I'll go fruity falooty. Do you think Evelyn will grow up thinking her mom is a nut job? Haha. Oh, well! My children are just going to be my little social experiments, I guess. It's all in the name of fun and learning. (And humoring mom and her crazy ideas.)

And now, if you'll excuse me, I seem to be getting low on yellow star.... Let's play. 


Sara said...

I love this!!! I am not so creative myself, but I am storing your ideas in my head for not so far in the future!

Adrien said...

Yes, please, steal it. :) I love getting ideas from blogs that I read!


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