Aug 7, 2013

Animal Print Mosaic

Last week, I posted about our Animal Texture Board. After making it, I still had leftovers from the sheets of animal print textures that I purchased at Hobby Lobby. I didn't want to waste them since they are so much fun and so textually pleasing, so I came up with a couple other ideas for them (the other which I will post within the next week or so).

Kingston hasn't done any kind of contact paper project in awhile. We have done a lot of them in the past, and he is always so interested in adhering materials to the sticky paper. I figured, what a perfect way for him to explore the animal prints again.

Repetition is definitely key when trying to teach baby. I am constantly going over and over the same things (usually with different materials though to keep it interesting) to try to teach K about different things. I can really see the benefits of it in action. Kingston knows an exorbitant amount of commands and can recognize and retrieve so many different objects at this point that I am astounded. It is so encouraging to see that he is actually processing, internalizing, and learning the things that I am teaching him!

(Proud Parent Moment) - In fact, I can see this with the cow print that we have been working with. I show him the print and let him feel it while telling him, "This is a cow. The cow says "MOOOOOOO!" (I do some intense animal impressions!) The other day, he crawled over to his farm book and opened it up and started looking through it right after I said that. Then I pointed to the cow in the book and said, "See! There is the cow! The cow says "MOOOO!" and he laughed and patted the cow and then crawled back over to the texture board and patted the cow. I was like "HE GETS IT!!!" Totally a proud parent moment for sure!

Okay, so back to the project. I took the remaining rectangle sections of animal print and cut them in half. I placed the other half in a pile to be used later and cut the remaining into squares. Then I taped the contact paper down to Kingston's highchair and popped him in. He immediately slapped his hands all over the sticky contact paper. I deposited the handful of animal print squares next to the contact paper and let him explore.

As he grabbed a handful, I pointed at the different textures and told him the names of each animal. I tried to make the corresponding animal noise too, though I feel like a lot of jungle animals make the same "roar" or "grr!" and I couldn't figure out what a giraffe would say. Anyone know what a giraffe says?!

K loved feeling the texture on the square and dropping them all over the contact paper. This art project doubles as a fine motor activity too! He utilized his pincer grasp and practiced those skills by picking up each piece. Also, once he had stuck the squares to the contact paper, he exercised those muscles even further by picking and pulling up the pieces again and re-sticking them down. That was his favorite part! Every time he would make a beautiful mosaic, he would painstakingly pull up each one. I had to fight my urge to intervene and not let him destroy his beautiful picture, but he ended up creating it over and over again. The process is what matters most of course!

"All done Mama!"

When he was done with his masterpiece, he signed "all done" to me. I must say, I am loving this new communication thing. It is so great to now know when my child decides that he is done with something. Especially when it comes to eating. Sometimes he eats a lot, sometimes a little, but he knows when he is finished and now knows how to tell me! I love it. He signs "all done" literally any time he is finished with something. If you ignore him (which I may have done once or twice because I am obsessed with his reaction) he will frantically wave both hands in the air like he is flapping his wings! Oh goodness I love this child so.

After I had pulled his project up and put the second piece of contact paper on top, there was still a few pieces of tape stuck to the high chair. I pulled each piece just enough so that the edge was free, and Kingston worked hard to pull each piece of tape up. (Another fine motor skill activity!) Then I put some leftover animal print squares on a piece of tape and let him run his hands over it. He had a great time exploring the project materials in multiple ways.

Here is his masterpiece! (It is so hard to photograph contact paper!) I love how it turned out. 

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  1. Adorable! And sign language is amazing, isn't it? I remember when K signed milk at 5.5 months while nursing. I just about lost my mind! Thankfully I had my iPod nearby to video tape him doing it. I also remember J's first signs too. Very awesome stuff!

    1. Thanks! And yes it is DEFINITELY amazing when they start communicating with you! That is so sweet that K signed milk while nursing! And so early too! Smart babes for sure! :)

  2. What a fun activity! (and such great images of your guy!)