Tuesday, September 8, 2009

1, 2, 3, 4: Mobile Project and Counting Books

The little guy and I attended our first art class today (a 6 week, $30 program held at a community center), and he couldn't have enjoyed it more.  He made this snazzy mobile:  

First, he colored a sheet of card stock (yellow, of course), as well as some blue scraps.  Then we took a pair of kids scissors and cut some shapes out, together.  I should practice letting him cut with scissors more often - for now, I tend to hold the scissors and he presses them down to cut.  He helped me to decide what shapes to cut out. Once we had our four shapes (square, circle, triangle, and heart), we got a tray of beads, some pipe cleaners, and foam shapes in varying sizes.  He alternated between selecting foam shapes, which he'd then glue down onto the appropriate larger shape with a dollop of glue; and stringing beads onto the pipe cleaners.  He really loved the stringing, and we played with some rice pasta and pipe cleaners again later at home.  Once we had enough (really, once class was about to end), we selected a branch together, and I helped to hang the shapes on the ends up the pipe cleaners and twist the pipe cleaners onto the branch.  He had such a great time and would have stayed doing it another hour.  His head probably would have ended up in a tray of beads, though, because he was closing in on nap time by that point.  When I saw that he had happened to place his shapes in groups of 1, 2, 2, and 4, we added another shape to make "1, 2, 3, 4," and I wrote in numbers on the shapes for him.  He loves counting lately, so I know he'll have fun pointing to it and calling out the numbers later.

Later this afternoon, we headed to the library, and we picked up a few new counting books.  I had made a list of books at home that I wanted to search for, but once there, I gave up on my list and just asked for assistance from the kind librarian, because chasing a toddler (and the additional young child that temporarily adopted us and kept giving me books to read her) was wearing me out.  These were his picks:

Duckie's Ducklings: A One-to-Ten Counting Book (Hardcover), by Frances Barry. (From back) "Duckie is ready to take the family for a swim. But where are her ducklings? Turned the shaped pages to find out!" This cute book uses bright, simple illustrations to tell the story of a duck looking for her 10 ducklings. She's looking to the right, and the ducklings are slowly, page by graduated page, lining up behind her on the left. It is not a board book, but the text is simple enough for very young readers.


"She looked below the apple tree, but she saw only apples."

Bookworm's interest at 21 months: This was his favorite of the five books we took out of the library today, and we've read it many times. He points to the ducklings and counts them as they appear.

Mouse Count (Hardcover), by Ellen Stoll Walsh. Ten mice fall asleep. A hungry snake comes along and finds them. He takes a glass jar and drops them in, and counts them while he does. As he gets ready to eat them, the mice trick him into thinking he can fit one more in the jar, distracting him for a moment. He is duped, and they escape.


"While they slept, a hungry snake went looking for dinner. On his way he found a nice big jar. / 'I will fill this jar with dinner,' he said."

Bookworm's interest at 21 months: He didn't make it quite through the whole thing. I admit that I didn't try very hard to keep him engaged. See "Parent's Peeve."

Parent's Peeve: Ick.

And this next one was recommended on a post at No Time For Flashcards (thanks, Allie!):

Anno's Counting Book (Library Binding), by Mitsumasa Anno. This is a neat book. I'm not sure yet how much I like it. I want to love it. But I need more time. The book contains no text -- just a number per page. The numbers correspond to the number of objects in an increasingly busy scene. As the numbers increase, the houses multiply, as do the trees, animals, people, etc. The jacket boasts: "But the seemingly simple plan of the book is deceptive: look more carefully and you will see one-to-one correspondences; groups and sets; scales and tabulations; changes over time periods; and many other mathematical relationships as they occur in natural, everyday living." My inner geek is coming out, but doesn't that sound cool? I think this would be a fun book to own. I'm not sure it is right for every child, but I'm pretty sure ours would get a lot of use out of it.

Bookworm's interest at 21 months: I knew as I thumbed through this at the library that he would enjoy it, and he did. He really likes looking at scenes together, identifying objects, discussing colors, counting, etc. I'm looking forward to reading it more with him this week and seeing if I notice the subtler points of the book.

Parent's Peeve: The bridge is perplexing me a bit. As other objects multiply, it seems there is still only one bridge. Until the number 8, when there are then two bridges. I feel like there's something I'm missing, like the number of connecting roads and waterways maybe. If the number of bridges doesn't have to do with anything, I don't like that. If I figure out that it has something to do with multiples, factors, primes, or something like that, then I'll love the book. I like a book with hidden layers.

Click here to read our previous reviews of counting books.  What are the favorite counting books in your house?


Christy said...

You are so funny. I HATE mice and snakes but I love Ellen Stoll Walsh.

Infant Bibliophile said...

Thank you for letting me know; I'll have to give the author another chance, then!

Britt said...

Oh, how fun! I wish they'd hurry up and finish building the community rec center by us! (Keep dreaming... they just broke ground this summer!)

Mine is really really into counting right now too. We don't really have any books that are specifically counting (just a Clifford one), but he loves to count fingers and toes and pictures in books!

Infant Bibliophile said...

We should get them together sometime, and they can just count each other's digits while we relax!

Raising a Happy Child said...

Anna liked counting books at your son's age. I keep wanting to take Walsh's books from the library, but they are always checked out.

By the way - I made a new weekly linky on my blog. It's called "What My Child Is Reading" http://learningwithmouse.blogspot.com/2009/09/what-my-child-is-reading-september-10.html. This post would fit right in :) Feel free to link up if you are interested :)

Britt said...

LOL. We totally should.

Today we were counting grapes. It went something like this- "One, one, one..."

Clearly we need to work on this skill.

Infant Bibliophile said...

Ha, he's really good at "1,2,3,4,5" but can't say 6, so he stops there. BUT, this week he learned to say eighteen and nineteen, so now his counting goes, "1, 2, 3, 18! Hahaha!" Feel free to insert 18 or 19 randomly in any collection of numbers and you get the idea.

whisperingwhispers said...

Selena use to love counting books as much as she loved ABC books. I can't remember all the different counting books she had.

MaryAnne said...

Your new art class sounds really fun!

I had the same "ick" reaction to that Mouse Count book.

Britt said...

18 and 19-- lol. Mine can say more of the numbers, he just really likes everything to be "one" apparently.

My preschooler can't remember 16 to save her life...

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

We were just at the library yesterday and I picked up Mouse Count, thumbed through it, and promptly returned it to the shelf with the same reaction you had. :) Also, I used to bring a booklist to the library with me, but it is *so* hard to find books and keep an eye on an energetic toddler; lately I just put them on hold through our library's website. That way the librarians do all the work looking for them, and we just go pick them up. :) It makes everything so much easier. Thanks for the book recommendations, I'm interested in Anno's Counting Book especially - sounds good!