Category Archives: imagination

Much Silliness

I came across these old pics from last year while browsing through our images archive…

These are some snack boxes I got back for Apu while travelling. He loved the animal theme boxes in different sizes, but as you can see from the condition of the print on the lids, his preference tends towards the largest. (It doesnt matter that the snacks rattle around in the box since I dont like him to get too full before lunch)

Here’s what Apu did one morning when he got too full to finish his toast, but didnt want me to throw it out…

More silliness… Some lovely playdoh snakes Apu made one evening…

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Reading with Apu

I’m so kicked and impressed – My lovely baby is all mesmerized hearing me read my ‘Wizard of Oz’ book to him. Well what I’m so impressed about is that this is the texty unabridged version – with a few black and white illustrations and lots of text – something I got from a pen pal when I was maybe 10 or 11… And yet he could keep listening for hours if only I would keep reading…
To quote the opening lines of Alice (in Wonderland) – ‘Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book’ though Alice, ‘without pictures or conversation?’
I had to explain the concept of ‘book chapters’ to him – since I want to read only a few chapters every day, and he can’t understand why the book doesn’t end!

Here he is looking at the drawings in the book while I get dinner ready. (Break between two chapters)

One of the sections we like best is:
‘So the Wicked Witch took the Golden Cap from her cupboard and placed it upon her head. Then she stood upon her left foot and said slowly, “Ep-pe, pep-pe, kak-ke!”
Next she stood upon her right foot and said, “Hil-lo, hol-lo, hel-lo!”
After this she stood upon both feet and cried in a loud voice… “Ziz-zy, zuz-zy, zik!”

(We demonstrated this chant with actions a couple of times to ourselves before Apu went to sleep)

So well, he isn’t always so grown up and all… He misinterprets things all the time – but his logic makes sense too!
Another favorite bed time read is ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’
And there’s one page that reads – ‘Weeks passed, and the little rabbit grew very old and shabby. He even began to lose his shape, and he scarcely looked like a rabbit anymore, except to the Boy.’
At this point, Apu always shouts out – “Yes! He looked like a bear!”
Here’s the picture that corresponds to that page :-)

Fun with Lego

Although we got the large size Lego blocks around Apu’s 2nd birthday, it’s only around the time he turned 3 that he REALLY started exploring them.

Earlier, he would insist on creating (only) Lego planes – Exactly the way they were shown on the box. Any small difference would be noticed and pointed out and made to be fixed immediately.  Of course the assembled planes provided at least 1/2 an hour of solitary play… and ‘baw’s’ if the blocks came apart from too vigorous play.

No amount of persuasion that the whole idea of Lego blocks is to ‘create whatever you want with them’ and the nature of blocks is to come apart easily would convince him otherwise.

Till the day he started making these really cool Lego sculptures all by himself.
Here’s one of his cool sculptures – I never cease to be amazed by how intent he is on making symmetric figures. He toils untiringly till he achieves perfection!

In this sculpture, he started off creating a car being serviced in a garage and ended up with a robot looking figure. I love the way he has used the wheels to make eyes.

Seeing his creativity, of course we HAD to rush off and buy more blocks… This time we bought much smaller blocks that he is still trying to get the hang of.

The current theme seems to be for me / Shibani to create elaborate Lego objects – working late into the night – So Apu can wake up and find them all assembled to play. A few minutes of extra sleep!

Here’s Apu working on his own – Trying to combine the old and new blocks… (Don’t miss the pirate bandanna and eye patch)

Multi level car park

Delivery of Bowbes (aka Barney/ baba / Brownie) new ‘skeleton’ hardware(?)  elicited an urge to make a dolls house. However, since the intended recipient is a rowdy boy with no interest in dolls or cooking (apart from Barbies {which he doesnt have} and concocting disgusting dishes and going into paroxysms of laughter at the reaction of the receiver) – I compromised and made a multi level car park instead.

Here’s A painting the roof red… He sure isnt as angelic as he looks in the picture…

The related game involves cars hurtling down the black slide, only to topple over (kalti – palti) and sustain extensive damage – to be fixed by the resident mechanic in waiting – Eager to fix with giant plastic tools.

BTW, the red cover that looks like an inverted cloth bag – is in fact that. The idea is courtesy my friend Sivan who made several of these out of plastic for her son’s birthday party.
I made mine out of disposable woven material (I don’t think it’s cloth – and it’s not paper), and use it on A whenever he is doing anything messy. A couple of washes later it is still going strong.

Carnivores and Herbivores

I’m very kicked with our new ‘learning game’…

Here’s what we did – We set up the Thomas the Train set, and then got out all the plastic animals we had… I then handed out the animals one-at-a-time, and asked Apu to place them into three different spaces created by the train tracks – sorting them into ‘Farm Animals’, ‘Birds’ and ‘Jungle Animals’

The next step was to separate the ‘Carnivores’ from the ‘Herbivores’ – We put all the Carnivores outside (to prowl) while the Herbivores stayed inside the enclosure safely…

Then the game can go in any number of different ways… Here are a couple of variations we have tried out so far:
– Jungle Safari – The train stops at the various animal groups, and we look at and talk about each animal and it’s characteristics. (The giraffe has such a loooong neck – Do you know why?)
– Animal Songs – Recollect and sing all the animal songs we can think of, related to the animals in the game…
– The hunting game – The carnivores prey on the herbivores (This is a favorite)
– Story Time – Pick a book we have about any of the animals in the game and do a short (restful) story time 

So you get the drift – this game can go in any way – depending on the mood…

paper fish and shadows

Just two unconnected pictures in this short post:

A gift from a dear friend - Apu spent a lovely afternoon playing with this model kit, pretending Nemo was getting stuck in the boat propeller and rescuing him. I initially tried to fix the fishes and other stuff on as instructed in the book - but figured he was having more fun having them unfixed and easy to move, so he could make up his own stories.
Thank you V.a - We are so happy we got to know you better.

Apu jumped out of bed to show us the 'hand' on his bedroom door - A reminder to remember the parallel reality our kids live in and the importance of that extra tight hug at bedtime and anytime else they wake up and cry at night...

Sweet dreams - I'm off to enjoy an evening of 'The Grandmothers' - My latest Doris Lessing purchase.