I had the huge pleasure of attending a session by Guy Parker-Rees at the uFlourish Sussex Pregnancy and Family Fair.
I’m not sure if I’m admitting something pretty blasphemas but saying that I hadn’t heard of Giraffes can’t dance before the fair! But there it is, it’s out there… I didn’t.
Safe to say I’m fully aware and I think Sprog is going to be hooked in too!
Guy led a session with some of the kids who attended where they got to learn how to draw animals for picture books. Even I picked up some good tips!
He talked through how he designs his characters and gave us some sneaky glimpses of yet to be published characters!
So then the kids settled down to help Guy design a new character. After much deliberation (you can only imagine) they settled on a tiger, who was angry. It took a little longer to decide why he was angry…. Turns out someone ran away with his food!
Guy was getting then to build a whole story around their character and letting their imaginations run wild which was so lovely to watch. They all then drew their own characters and formed stories around them. Guy has tweeted a few of them over on his account.
My fav bit of the session was the reading of Giraffes can’t dance, which included jungle dancing from all of the characters.
It was AMAZING! Kids, Guy and a few of the parents snapping, tangoing and twirling their feet. I won’t mention another blogger who nearly fell other whilst dancing like a giraffe (cough, cough, Claire from Brighton Mum’s).
I must say that I then treated Sprog to his own copy! We shall be jungle dancing our way through the summer months with this awesome book!
Reading at 20 months old
Since my trip to the Baby Show in London, we have been using one of my purchases fairly religiously. The Infant Learning Company’s set of books and dvds has really helped me out with Sprog’s communication.
We had a break through in the last week which caused hubby and I to whoop, cheer and squeal like crazy freaking nutters!
Sprog, at nearly 20 months, still has very few words and whilst I’m never going to be pushy I wanted ways to help him. He still doesn’t have many words but… The child is a genius! (There is, or course, an awful amount of bias in that statement)
What I have been loving about the books that go with the dvd’s is that they promote reading before interpretation of the pictures, as do the word cards. Lots of big lift up flaps which is exactly what Sprog loves, mean that he is engaged with the books. As you turn the page to see each new word, we pause to give Sprog a chance to read the word first and then we say the word as we underline it with a finger, lift the flap and see the word.
Sprog has been reacting with accurate noises and actions for a while. But there’s been a development.
See that word on that page there…the one that says ‘cat’…don’t get me wrong, he still can’t say it. What he can do however, is read it on his own and ‘miaow’ at the right time! He’s also done it with ‘dog’ and his name too!
Told you… the boy is a genius!!
The perfect date with my little man
Before I went back to work, sprog and I went to rhyme time every Thursday at the library. Before I went back to work, sprog and I had quality one-to-one time together without any stresses.
Now I’m back at work, we don’t often get that and I really miss going to our groups and seeing our mummy friends. I really miss the ease of our days without having to worry about whether my lessons are planned, whether my marking is done, whether Joe Bloggs is going to make expected progress and if not, what am I going to do about it.
But the library seems to have a magical hold other both sprog and I. We went this morning, just the two of us. We strolled up to the library in the sunshine after his morning nap. When we got there, we headed straight to the children’s section, we unbunkled the pram and he was off. As time has gone on, we’ve left various levels of chaos behind us. Today, he sat on the little soft cushions and ate his grapes so very sensibly. Then came the rice cakes, this particular kind is not to be purchased again as they have a particularly bright orange on one side which when sucked a little by a small person is easily smeared all over everything.. Including me! The library is the only place we go when I make sure that I have a muslin in the bag as I’m paranoid about him spreading his snacks all over the books!
But when we are at the library there’s a beautiful peace. The ladies there are always happy to see such a little person at the library. When we go we have time to sit together, to read, to walk around and to simply ‘exist’ together in a very simple and special way.
When we leave I feel refreshed and rejuvenated. I feel reconnected with my lovely little man. I feel that we have shared something wonderful together. The library is our little safe haven and our special place.