Monday, 16 July 2012

Two Year Old 'School'

Cast -Me (Mum) & 21mths

In addition to attending Playgroup every week  and going on play-dates, 21mths attends 'Twinkle-tots' at the local District High School (where his 14y.o brother attends), for toddlers turning 2 in 2012.  This session is a 'Mum & Bub' two hour a fortnight session, aimed at socialising the little ones in a rural community.

21mths likes to attend as it is held in the Kindy room and there is a photocopier, kids paintings, paper shelves, glue-pots and loads of other stuff to mess with.  In addition, there is a kitchenette that he loves to investigate as none of the cupboards are child-proof ARGHHHH!  The session kicks off with reading, which of course 21mths isn't interested in (his reading is at 5.30am with me, where he pulls out and looks at every book) - not when there is so much to destroy!  So the other little lovelies are reading with their mummies, 21mths is being discreetly chased away from the photocopier plug, re-directed from the paint-shelf and making muffled shouts as I extract chewed crayon from his mouth behind the easels.

When reading is over, it is singing time.  21mths pretends he has never heard any nursery rhymes and refuses to be a tea pot.  He sits on my knee with a finger in his mouth starring with rapt attention at the assistant pretending to be a tea-pot.

Then it is story-time, but we have already been seated for five minutes and that is enough! Plus the book selected is so small and detailed that soon the teacher has a crowd of small children climbing into her lap and 21mths is back at the damn photocopier!

It is then (dread and shudder) CRAFT time!  All of the other lovelies are seated with their Mummies producing the most magnificent sheep puppets complete with stick-on goggly eyes.  Well, their Mum's are doing an excellent job of cutting, gluing and colouring whilst their kids watch!  21mths snatches the crayons and scribbles on the table.  I manage to distract him with a pig-shaped texta, and slide the paper under his hands.  He happily scribbles for a quarter of a second and then whinges to get out of his seat.  Quickly grabbing scissors, I attempted to show him how to lace his thumb and finger through the holes and 'open/shut'.  21mths enjoys (tolerates) this for exactly 3 seconds and then starts complaining loudly.  We quickly rip the rest of the paper.

Smiling teacher strolls around praising the kids for their Mum's excellent craft skills, and then over-looks our ripped, snagged and torn attempt - but we don't care.  21mths wants the googly eyes, and he isn't quite patient enough to wait until they have glue on them before he pops them into his mouth.  I look around at the other lovelies, and they too are bored but firmly held onto to whilst Mum's frantically finish their art with side-ways glances at their opponents piece.  Fishing the sodden eyes out of his mouth, 21mths breaks down in anguish! How could I take his eyes away?  I quickly show him the glue-stick, which he immediately has to sample.  We wrestle for a second and then the glue is on the paper.  21mths take great interest in putting the cap on and off the glue-stick so I have a small reprieve.

Everyone else has produced an excellent puppet!  By now some kids have left the table and are milling around near the coffee (!!!!) whilst their mothers just put on the finishing touches.  21mths finally loses interest in the glue stick, and attempts to stick soggy eyes to the sheep puppet.  One slides down slightly, but other than that the sheep has two eyes (one located near the middle of his forehead and one on his chest but oh-well!).  We triumphantly hold up the puppet for the teacher who praises 21mths for an excellent job.

Snack-time is more successful as 21mths will sit for food at times.  He is very interested in what everyone has, and would dearly like to sample other drink-bottles but he is firmly wedged between my knees.

Then finally, it is the last activity - bubbles.  The teacher puts on the bubble song and the assistant manically waves around the bubble-machine.  I can at last relax, 21mths is obsessed with bubbles and fully participates in this activity.

 As soon as the song is over I am ready and swoop in with his back-pack. Before he knows what has happened we have said goodbye and we are on the way to the car talking about the great time we had at school!


  1. If the aim is to provide an opportunity for the children to socialise, then why doesn't the teacher let the children do just that? What is wrong with free play/pretend play/gross motor activities? It seems counterproductive to have to coerce the children into completing activities that are beyond their developmental level. It could set the children up to develop negative feelings about school (apart from recess and lunchtime, when you get to eat, being the best times during a school day!).

  2. I agree! I am really struggling with this one. I can either continue to take 21mths, and at least he socialises when eating; talk to the teacher (hmmm...I'm not sure what her reaction would be to offers of 'assistance'), or just not take him as we do more activities at home that are age-appropriate. Tricky... If the intention is to ready them for school and orientate them to the school environment, then to do so successfully would be to offer short, age-appropriate tasks at different tables (i.e. play-doh, cutting/gluing textiles, puzzles, pretend play, dress-ups etc) which would allow social interaction. Maybe I need to talk to the head of department, as many of the mum's have already dropped out! I guess I could only try!

  3. He is so gorgeous, remember when we used to take Shaun and Matt and Barbara was there and hated the glitter lol gosh the years have gone by so quickly, glad you are settling in there, it looks like fun x

  4. ohhh, I remember her getting aggro about the glitter! That was AGES ago. Funny that I was remembering playgroup at the church, and mine would last five minutes before he was tucked under my arm and taken home - a screaming tanty over the ride-on cars! He's a bit too big to tuck under my arm now LOL.