The Boy enjoys the puzzles that Cute Husband has made for him. He now asks me in the morning to show him the day’s puzzle, and if I should forget to pack it in his backpack (because he said he doesn’t have time to do them during lunch; he’s so busy) as I did on Wednesday, he’s quite agitated.
At first I thought I may have waited too long to start doing these daily puzzles, but I think he’s at the right age for it. With this last round of puzzles, I’ve discovered that consonant blends (like “sk” and “tr”) are a bit tough for him, and just because he can identify a picture and knows the letters of the corresponding sounds, it doesn’t necessarily mean he can easily fill in the blank on the word.
And he loves all the pictures Cute Husband has drawn for him. (Cute Husband is a little funny; he was concerned that The Boy wouldn’t recognize what he drew. Well, I don’t think he needed to worry about that.)
The first puzzle I gave him of this set was my favorite of all Cute Husband’s sketches. I’m a little strange in that I love frogs. Not real frogs, mind you; it’s not like I want one for a pet. I just like caricatures of frogs. There’s something kind of funny about these little slimy guys with giant eyes who are always squatting.
Because I had a feeling The Boy was going to go the conventional route, I made sure I packed a green crayon. Sure enough, when he opened the envelope (and after exclaiming, “It’s a frog!”), he said, “Oh, I hope I have a green crayon to color him!”
I think I may need to show him some pictures of blue poison dart frogs.
The next afternoon, I let him show Mrs. C, the teacher at after care at school, his next puzzle. He recognized it right away (“It’s a hand! But it’s too small to be my hand.”), filled in the missing D, and talked to Mrs. C about his puzzle while he colored it.
We skipped the puzzle on Monday because he didn’t have school, but I was sure to resume it on Tuesday. He struggled a bit with the puzzle (consonant blends are a little tough), but he knew what it was right away. While in the car (and with some help), he filled in the missing letter.
“Um, Mom?” he said. “I have green, but I need brown for the trunk.”
Alas, I didn’t have any brown with me, so he colored in the leaves as we drove home and finished coloring his picture after we got home.
I completely spaced on Wednesday and neglected to pack one of his puzzles, and I got an earful about it on the way home! So I pulled out the next puzzle for him (we came home early and Cute Husband’s famous roasted chicken was still in the oven) and let him complete it. He struggled with filling in the missing letter on the puzzle again. He knew exactly what it was, but it’s the whole consonant-blend thing.
Yesterday morning, The Boy asked me to show him his puzzle, and I obliged.
“Ooh, it’s a skull!” he exclaimed. I asked him what the missing letter was, and (again) he struggled with it. “L?” he asked.
“No, the L is already there,” I said. “Let’s sound out the word together.” I waited as he carefully sounded it out then asked, “What sound is missing?”
“The C!” he exclaimed.
“It’s not a C,” I said. “What else makes that sound?”
He thought carefully, and I could almost see him going through the alphabet in his mind. Finally, his face brightened and he replied, “K!”
Well, I didn’t let him work on the puzzle in the morning; I had him wait until after school. We went through the same exercise in the car on our way home, and The Boy couldn’t remember how to make a K. I drew it in the air with my finger, and he laughed.
“Oh, yeah!” he said. “I forgot.”
Last night, after The Boy went to bed, I showed the finished skull to Cute Husband and explained that it was a tough puzzle for The Boy. It’s a familiar picture, sure, and he knows what it is, but very few of his books have the word “skull” among their pages, so it’s not a very familiar word. So Cute Husband obliged and drew more sketches.
This morning, The Boy asked to see his puzzle. I carefully folded 6 sketches and let him choose from among the folded sheets.
“I want the pig,” he declared when I fanned out the folded sheets.
“How did you know there’s a pig?” I asked as he plucked it from the paper I held before him.
“Because I saw its squiggly tail and its face.” He unfolded the sheet and showed it to me. “See? It’s a pig!”
I asked what colors he needed for his pig, and he asked for pink. When I asked if he needed brown, too, he replied, “Oh, yeah! For his feet! Because I’m going to make him walk in the mud.”
After playing at the Fall Festival, I gave The Boy his puzzle to work on in the car while I drove home. He sounded out the word, filled in the missing letter, then said, “Mom, I’m going to tell you the difference between a G and a C. The G has more curves.”