Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Standard

When H was a new baby, I was excited to decorate her room. I wanted a beautiful space that would prove calming for both of us. Coincidentally, the colour scheme we had (soft blue, cream and taupe) also worked for Y (although we did change up the textiles).

One of the elements of her room that brought opportunity for interaction was a series of adhesive mirror wall decals I had purchased from Target (which briefly graced Canadians with its presence when H was a baby).

I chose to add the mirrors to the wall next to her change table so she could amuse at herself after changes. Not only was this pretty and practical, but it offered opportunity for socioemotional development.

image

When Y was born, we moved the change table (which was essentially just a dresser, into the closet). Y enjoyed the mirrors when I carried him but when he started sitting up, I thought about purchasing a new set and sticking them lower to the ground so he could access them independently.

In the fall, we visited the library after quite a hiatus. The space had been renovated and had a new part, perfect for babies. Part of its charm were mirrors at baby’s eye level.

image

This reminded me of my plan so I ordered some new mirrors from Amazon. I have to point out that these were not glass mirrors but acrylic ones, so safer for children.

They sat in my drawer as the months passed.  I was planning on incorporating them into a sensory wall project but it slowly became clear that that was not going to materialize. Waiting for things to become perfect was going to thwart my good intentions so I decided to just go for it.

Since by now, Y is able to pull himself up to standing, I decided to arrange the mirrors vertically, leaving space to add to the top as he grows taller.

image

He was excited and tried to add some himself (and remove them of course!) This is why I chose not to include any that would fit into his mouth so I don’t have to worry about choking hazards if he does manage to remove any.

image

Not only is it fun for him to look at himself…

image

But it also offers interesting new perspectives and quite literally helps me see things in a new way.

As with when this was H’s nursery, the room is a calming place. But this time, I’m paying more attention to texture and practicality. It’s still a work in progress but I love seeing how the same space, colours and furnishings have taken on a different life.

Advertisements

Where in the world…

Standard

Since H turned 4, her awareness about the world and her interest in geography, social studies and maps has steadily been growing.

It ignited with an interactive globe she received from a friend on her birthday. Suddenly she became more familiar with countries like China, Nigeria and Russia . These places became more meaningful to her when (as with anything else) we started making personal connections (“Do you know that’s where our neighbours used to live?”) The globe also features music and languages from different countries and this was a hit with my daughter who, like her momma, loves world music and languages.

image

She played with these beautiful matching cards I had bought at Costco a few years ago that featured people from various countries. She started to become more familiar with various country names: Algeria, Cuba, Finland, Turkey….

Her newfound interest quickly turned into a month-long story session. It was about a family vacation that included my side of the family. Everyday before nap or bed, I told her another part of the story, which featured different countries or places. She was captivated and each day, excitedly asked, “Can you tell the story of Nani, Nana and those guys?” We traveled everywhere: Thailand, Costa Rica, Japan, Sudan, Australia and so on. Sometimes, she asked for a specific country, and sometimes I provided it. When I didn’t know enough about a country to spin a story, I took inspiration from non-fiction books, like this one. H really enjoyed looking at the photos and asking questions.

She also became very preoccupied with understanding why I no longer live with my parents in Toronto. She shared her anxieties around separation with me and took this occasion to remind me she wanted to live with us forever and wanted to stay in our current house forever. As she became more familiar with other places and how we refer to citizens from other countries, I started hearing her use words like “Chinese” and also asking how to correctly refer to various populations…”How do you call United States?” As of late, she considers herself and her brother Canadian, her father, Indian and me, Torontonian.

She worked through a sticker activity book called the World Atlas of Animals (I had previously purchased it for $3 from  dollarama). It included a pull out map and helped her become more familiar with continents. For her, the concept that places have subsets is difficult to grasp. How can we live in Calgary…and  Alberta…and Canada…and North America all at the same time?

image.jpeg

Talk about different places peaked for her when I finally put up this giant map in Y’s room. She immediately began asking about places we had alluded to or talked about and started asking specific questions to help develop her understanding…”What’s this country between China and Russia?”

image.jpeg

It was great for her to be able to see things more concretely. She looked at the map and asked me “Where is Oz?” Above mentioned in past posts, the Wizard of Oz has been a big interest of hers this past year. I told her Oz was not on the map but did show her Kansas. A few weeks later she carefully reviewed the map and asked, “Where is jannah?” This opened the door to a positive discussion about jannah as I know the idea of death typically makes her anxious.

Pondering about place also expanded to history and thinking about time. This book was a favourite of hers as she kept returning to it, eager to learn about and review the lifestyles of children from various time periods and places.

We plan to continue learning about places in different capacities as they tie in to different aspects of our life. I can already see some upcoming tie ins as we prepare for Ramadan.