Category Archives: learning through play

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)

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…