Its hard being miles away from family. I'm the only child West of the Mississippi and the closest extension is 2,000 miles away. For my building project I hope to connect with my family by helping my 3 year old cousin learn to read. Yes, I'm not around enough for him to know my name. Yes, my aunt will not stop giving my grief for missing his "becoming a boy" days. But, for Indians, family is everything and if I can contribute to helping my baby cousin read than I feel like I'm doing my part.
Attached Below are pictures of toys that help children learn to read and spell. Most of them are connection bricks or writing tools, but my aunt has been frustrated in trying to find the perfect toolset for my cousin, Sahil's, tactile imagination. He likes hands on, he likes building, and he's phenomenal at word association with visual recognition. My hope is to mix together all of these facets of his personality to blend previous frameworks with some personalization.
My initial conversations with my aunt have brought me to these initial sketches and designs. I want the sand and light system to be playful as he learns to draw, the blocks to be useful in car rides and to keep him busy, and the pictures to contribute to his evolving recognition of pictures, sounds, and spellings. To be honest I'm not extremely happy with just throwing all of these aspects and I'm still looking for that one thing to tie everything together.
In all it will be difficult to balance all of the expectations of a mom. Integrating in all of the systems that she suggested could be done, but with an enormous amount of time and materials that are simply not at my disposal. I'm going to have to be very selective with my approach, but the again goal is something that I am dedicated towards. Analyzing and researching deeper into the methods used to teach kids how to read, I do see a great gap in tools. There are spelling games and toys out on the market, but not many play to this specific point in the learning process: where child has name recognition and needs help sounding out the letters for the name. We'll see what this next week of work turns out and I'm excited to see where my creativity takes me.
All for the cutest kid in the world...