Monday, September 29, 2008

An eebee Adventure of the PD Kind

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Today was a bit of controlled chaos and occasionally out-of-control. It was also a little messy but also a whole lot of FUN! You've had a chance to look at the photos. Can you guess what we did today? Oh, perhaps the title of this post gave it away ... we played! More specifically, I hosted a playdate - with 6 other moms and babies (ages 10-14 months). But not just any old PD (as we call them here in the SAHM world) with the babies corralled in the middle of the room with a bunch of toys and mamas catching up on a little adult conversation ... no, none of that ... which I definitely missed, by the way!

This was a PD with a "higher purpose."
This was a PD inspired by eebee's Adventures and focused on developmental play. I think the comment of one of the mom's pretty much sums it up, "Dana, you are such a teacher!" And a bit of a nerd, but I'm totally okay with that :)

So here's what I did ...
I set up three separate stations - one in the living room, one in the family room, and one in our little play niche - each one a different learning adventure.
  1. Pouring and Scooping - two big bins filled with uncooked rice, all kinds of scoops and cups, and a big blanket to cover the floor
  2. Building and Stacking - a big bin filled with all the blocks and cups I could find and a collection of empty boxes (cereal, shipping, diapers, ...)
  3. Rolling and Sliding - a board made into an inclined plane by propping it against the ottoman, balls of all shapes and sizes, and a set of random objects for sliding
When the mamas first arrived, I gave them a handout for each station - information I obtained from the eebee.com website under Parent Info. Each handout defined the concepts this type of play teaches, explained the importance of learning the concept, and suggested ways for parents to be involved in the play (things to say and ask). I asked the mamas to take a minute to preview each activity while the babies played and "got to know each other." And I gave a little "talk" about my passion for teaching/learning and why I think eebee Adventures is such a good tool for moms and babies.

From there, we split into groups - two mamas and two babies - to rotate through the stations. Each station visit lasted about 10 minutes and then groups moved on to the next. The rice station was a big hit amongst the babies, but some moms seemed a little skeptical about making such a big mess. It did take me about 20 minutes to clean it all up after the PD, but I think it was totally worth it!

After 30 minutes of rotating, I brought everyone back together for snacks and conversation about what happened at each station, what observations the moms made, what ideas they would take back home with them ... that sort of thing. Oh, and while the adults talked, I popped in our eebee DVD and the babies got to watch other babies playing just the way they did at the stations!

Play can be fun and meaningful, and I am so glad eebee has taught me that lesson, and I enjoyed sharing it with other moms, too!

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