Thursday, April 14, 2016

What's New at Arta's

Michael likes to come over and discover what is new. Everything is old that I am unpacking. It seems new because it has a different place in the house.

Boris Yeltsin, Mikhail Gorbachev, 
Leonid Brezhnev,
 Nikita Khruschev Josef Stalin, 
Vladimir Lenin
 Czar Nicholas II

He needed a space to play after working with the Matrushkas.

They are on an open low shelf now and for a while he opened and then closed the Russian set of dolls: consecutive political figures starting long ago and almost to the present. 

Next he lined all of the units up and had the African Jungle Matrushka put out a call to all of the others: “Who wants to be next to be taken apart and then put back together.” One of the smaller Russian sets responded after an “enny, meeny, miney mo” was used to help choose who should come forward.

painted to look like a traditional Russian woman
or "babushka," 
This time a set of familiar dolls, the last one so tiny his fingers could barely clasp it. I think there is more play to be had on that shelf – but I have to think up some rules and plant them in his head – next time maybe we will line them up from tallest to smallest and then back up again. Having them on an open shelf is much better than the old way: locked behind a glass door. 

When he was tired of opening and closing he asked if we couldn’t clear off some of the table to give him a larger place to play. 

 “Messy, we have to clean up this mess,” he said.

I consider every piece of paper, every bill, every jar of shelf clips or stapler to be well placed, but I could see his point. A four year old boy has to have a place to play. He wanted to give everything a soft shove.  I wanted to put away every piece where it should go -- but that is why it was out on the table.  I don't have places for everything yet.

He began more play with seeing how many staples would go in a piece of paper. 

We folded paper and made books, sometimes stapling far too many edges. 

Then the 3-hole punch was put to good use – almost enough small rounds of paper to have a bag of confetti.

 ... Blokus for four ...
The piece de resistance was the Blokus game. He has been asking to play that for days and days and I am always too busy. I caught on that play to him only means getting his own hands on those pieces: transparent yellow ones, flaming red, royal blue and his favourite, the greens. “Just like a jig saw puzzle,” I heard him talking to himself. 

Dinner interrupted us -- gourmet whole wheat pasta.  He ate four pieces.  Last night he didn't eat any of the taco pie.

Who can tell when a four year old's appetite is keen?  Sometimes I think his day has been so long and so hard that he is just too tired to eat.

His folks let him come back to close the game off for the evening. A perfect end to a perfect play date. 


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