Janneke was home from school for a few days due to being unwell. Yesterday afternoon, she seemed ready to party, so I thought we try some school stuff. With kids who can't verbalize their wants and their interests, it is always a trick to find out what they can see, what they prefer, and what catches their attention. I started with one ball in a bowl. She was curious....
Two balls meant more contemplation, but she wouldn't reach in and touch.
A sparkly ball only meant it was time to feel the bowl with her lips. And that is so Janneke. She loves to run her hands and lips over texture and surfaces. There are times when she wanders to the piano, only to run her fingers over the keys without making a sound. She also loves to grab the bars of Rachel's bed and simply hang on. (Though I have wondered if she's planning to help Rachel escape?)
I was able to see her engage with the ball in the bowl once I used a ball of soft material. Apparently, that was a lot of fun.
Then it was time for some playdough...which has seen better days, thanks to some mixing and matching from her cousins at Christmastime. It's sort of a purple?
She was delighted with playdough. She brought it to her lips, and pulled it close to her. It was amazing to me to see her grasp the stuff and squish it in her hands. This from the kid who has little to no coordination in her hands with such tasks.
The fun really got going when she began to wave it around - and then drop it. Wait for it....
Yes, Luna was a part of the game. The dog would watch for the drop and then sink her teeth into the dough. I would pick it up, acknowledge that dog germs strengthen her immune system and play the game all over again. Touch, squish, hug, wave and drop. Good times.
We also added some screen time to our afternoon - no sisters home yet to fight over the iPad. Janneke isn't as consistently engaged with the screen as Rachel is, but I think it's because we have yet to find the right app. She loves the interactive stories by Sandra Boynton - the ones with music are her favourite.
There are days when I am frustrated that I can't understand my kids and their preferences. And then there are days like that afternoon when Janneke entertained me and taught me. Everybody wins.
And all four kids were able to return to school this morning!
peace for your week,
(all cell phone pics)