This Saturday was "Kid's Day" at our local Farmer's Market. There were lots of fun activities in the park, complete with bees and a mini model cow that could be "milked." The highlight, however, were the emergency vehicles; parked and open for the kiddos to explore. Silas favored the police car over all others, which I believe was directly related to the number of buttons that were available to be pushed.
In our goody bag was a pencil and a pencil sharpener from the fire department. Silas loved flipping the sharpener open and closed and I took this interest as a sign that it was high time he learned how to sharpen his own pencil.
This is pretty standard work for Montessori practical life. On the tray was just the pencil in a holder and the pencil sharpener. Our sharpener kept the pencil shavings contained. With an open sharpener I would have also included a small bowl for the shavings.
I demonstrated the process for him and then passed him the tray. In all honesty, I wasn't sure if he would understand how to rotate his wrist to make it work. He immediately got it, though.
He was very interested in seeing the shavings and paused every few seconds to open up the sharpener and check on his progress.
He was able to sharpen the pencil about halfway before he asked me to finish it for him, which I did. While doing so I drew his attention to the scraping sound the wood made against the blade and we explored the pile of shavings when we were done, rubbing them between our fingers until they were dust.
Of course, this was followed immediately by some pretty intense drawing. I must admit that up until this point, Silas has not really had free access to any writing material. There are crayons that we keep in a drawer that he can access, but he almost never thinks to do so. Out of sight, out of mind. Because of this, I haven't been giving him the opportunities to draw and to make marks that I should. Well, no more. We moved his desk to the living room where I can keep an eye on him and this is where his pencil and a stack of papers will now always be available to him. I'm really interested to see how often he thinks to use them.
Silas is 2.5 years old.