June 30, 2008

Print Awareness

We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

tender 4

Punkin, my three year old, has a passionate attachment to this train. He loves his Gordon and Gordon's coal tender. His brother Buddy has the Edward engine (in the background of this picture; number 2 tender). They are competitive and loyal to their favorites. I could not tell them apart until I realized how important the distinction was to Punkin.

The Brio trains are hand-me-downs from my oldest son. We have a huge collection of tracks. Buddy is asking for an electric train for his birthday and I am thinking of getting these "smart tracks". I discovered you can build your own tracks online here.

Punkin gets engrossed in putting the track together and setting his train up on the dining room floor. He has an intense concentration and emerging understanding of how to lay out the track. I think he is better at it than the other two boys were at this age.

The other day we were in the kitchen and Punkin noticed the numbers on the microwave panel. "Hey! That's my Gordon!" he exclaimed, pointing to the number "4". I congratulated him for recognizing the number and gave him the correct name for it.

When he got chicken nuggets yesterday he saw the 4 on the box of nuggets. He said, "Hey! that's four! I have four on my Gordon!"

He knows the first letter of his name and his brother's names and often pulls them out of the print environment. He can "read" the names of our favorite stores and calls my attention to them on signs. I think there is a connection between the train play and the language development.

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