I’ve been frequenting the library with Sophia since she was barely able to gum on a board book; I have so many fond memories of reading from my childhood and although I don’t get as much time to read for myself as I’d like these days I’m still a bookworm for life. Therefore, it’s not really surprising that passing on my love of reading to my children is incredibly important to me. I don’t mind if they want to be musicians, play football or create artistic masterpieces but I would really really love it if they loved books as much as I do.
Unfortunately, living on board means our space for books is limited and although every nook and cranny appears to be filled with books, it never seems enough! So we merrily trot to the library every fortnight to take out a dozen books that we read over and over until we’re all bored of them and ready for the next lot.
I just had to make a brief detour from my post to say that we’ve had 2 of my new favourite books out recently, ‘Bear Snores On’ by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman and ‘The Tiny Seed’ by Eric Carle. Both lovely gentle books in their own way with lovely illustrations. Sophia has been returning to them again and again. Just wanted to share!
Our local library has a section for toys which is a wonderful resource but unfortunately we never seem to have much luck with our finds from that department! I often let Sophia choose a toy from there to bring back, usually something that is too big to be on the boat permanently but that I can cope with for a fortnight. A few times I have picked something that she’s been rattling on about, thinking of her happiness upon getting home and seeing what I’ve picked. However, with only one exception (a very cute little dolls house), the toys always get played with just once or twice and then sit in their plastic bags in the cockpit, getting tripped over until I finally get fed up and return them! It’s a mystery to me why this is seeing as we have picked things that she has requested or even played with somewhere else but c’est la vie! Luckily, this week we discovered the abundance of board games they stock so I hope we’ll have more success with them…
However, this week we also discovered their rail of ‘story bags’. I don’t know how many other library’s have these but they are brilliant! We picked one about games. It had a Charlie and Lola book (a success already, Charlie and Lola rank up with Katie Morag and Alfie and Annie Rose as Sophia’s favourite book characters), a factual book about games from around the world, a pack of alphabet snap cards, a yo yo, a sheet full of poems and an egg and spoon game.
A fun morning was had whilst Isaac slept; reading the books, playing the game (she then moved onto her favourite alphabet puzzle), trying to master the yo-yo (unsuccessfully thus far!) and then attempting to do an egg and spoon race before her little brother woke up and decided to try and join in.
Later while I made lunch she retired to her favourite activity of late, using stencil sheets. We go to a home education group on a Monday that has a box of different stencils and a friend lent us an alphabet one while I look for some more because she really really enjoys them. So if anyone knows of a good place online to get some please let me know!
Although she is only young, I am loving the interest she is taking in letters, writing and reading. I feel really privileged to be able to be at home with her, encouraging her, watching her learn and most importantly, seeing how much pleasure she takes in it!
Finally, as I realise this post is long and picture heavy, I just wanted to briefly mention her growing interest in Hama Beads. I loved Hama Beads as a child so when the lovely Merry from Patch of Puddles (and her lovely businesses BeadMerrily and PlayMerrily) did a giveaway for a Hama Maxi Bead set I eagerly entered and was delighted when I won.
Although Sophia isn’t the recommended 4 years yet, with supervision, she loves ‘doing beads’. Left alone she keeps knocking the board and sending beads flying but as an activity with us she really enjoys the process. The top elephant was made with her Dad today whilst I was having a rest (thought I was getting the lurgy I’ve managed to avoid while they were all struck down with it, turns out I was just tired) and is their freestyle version. The bottom (although a bit battered from play and missing part of it’s tail and trunk) was made with my help – I was always a sucker for sticking to the pattern and making things neat, organised and symmetrical.
I’m interested to see which style she favours as she grows older and starts using the beads entirely by herself – will she be creative and daring enough to make her own designs or will she faithfully stick to the ones in the book and/or download suggested patterns from the internet? There are merits in both approaches and I foresee Hama Beads being a favourite activity so I guess we’ll watch this space and find out!