Introducing the Love Child of Picasso, Euclid, and Martha Stewart

Dot-to-Dot: The love child of Picasso, Euclid, and Martha Stewart!

Yes, it’s an old-fashioned connect-the-dots game, brought into the twenty-first century by Husbot with an unmistakeable you-can-do-this-at-home! vibe.

I mentioned to him last night that I’d like to see Mbot trying to focus more on the shapes of numbers and letters, and so this morning he Mbot on his lap and drew some impromptu pictures, just faintly dotted outlines with numbers (in order, of course) at strategic points around the periphery.

And this perhaps is an alphabet-outlined sea-monster (C monster?) that’s been caught on a fishing line. Abdominal spikes added by Mbot.

I thought Husbot, although neither Picasso nor Euclid nor Martha, was pretty ingenius. Husbot asked Mbot to say the numbers or letters aloud as the tip of his colored pencil reached them. And you know, it kind of worked. But the big lesson for me was that customizing a silly connect-the-dots game makes it more interesting for the weebots, which means they actively engage, which means they learn more.

It was perfect for just-turned-four year-old Mbot–not so engaging for Gbot, not yet three. When I drew him a hamster (not shown, in order to retain my dignity), he claimed that hamsters do NOT have whiskers, and when I wrote the number 1 on top of his head, Gbot was so upset that I covered it up with a fire hat. “Let’s pretend he’s a Wonder Pet!” I cried, but it was in vain.

“I do not WANT a hamster in a fire hat!” cried Gbot back.

So, as with everything in parenting, even great ideas, there are potholes, and you will fall into them. But at least we’ll all go down counting.

Buck-toothed shark. Will he get you? It’s a number’s game.

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2 thoughts on “Introducing the Love Child of Picasso, Euclid, and Martha Stewart

  1. Just a few ideas about working with shapes of numerals and letters from an old first grade teacher….
    Cut out a few numerals from sandpaper. Have M. slide his fingers over them and around them. Talk about what the numeral feels like. Then fill a tray with salt or sand. Let him “draw” those numerals in the texture of the sand. Take an old roller-tipped deodorant bottle and slide the roller over and over on his hand while he has his eyes closed. Trace the numeral on his back and let him guess what it is. Then let him “write” the numeral with his finger on your hand or on your back. These tactile experiences will help reinforce the shapes of the numerals. When he wants to draw, provide a big crayon or marker and ask him to fill a whole sheet of paper just with 2’s or whichever numeral you’ve focused on. I even know some little songs that you sing with kids when you are teaching them to write the numerals. However, must sing them to you on the phone…
    Most of all, have fun!
    Love reading your blog, even if I didn’t find you via an esoteric Spanish cartoon.

    • Lee,
      Thank you SO much, this is so helpful. I know they’re using similar techniques at Montessori, but his day there is so full that he doesn’t get much time with numbers. I will use all of these wonderful ideas. And I will call you to hear the songs! We love songs, although Griffin is the only one of us who can hit an accurate note. (Come to think of it, he’s also the only one who can operate his Mickey Mouse microphone.) (But it was Malcolm who, while listening to his college-music-student cousin belt out some songs like a pro at a local coffee house, announced, “That is NOT a Mickey Mouse microphone.” !! (Sorry, just had to share the cuteness.)

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