Friday, 15 February 2013

Let's Dance

Felix at dance class wearing his Valentines Day sticker
Yesterday we took Felix back to his dance class for the first time this year. The last couple of times he went, he really struggled in the class. He didn't cope well with being in such a small space with so many children. Coupled with the loud music, and the kids singing and dancing, and it was Felix's worst nightmare. For the third activity this week, however, Felix showed us how much he has relaxed being around other children. He coped so much better with dancing, than he did last year.

When we first arrived at the dance class, Felix's automatic reaction was to grab onto me (including my hair, which I wish I'd put into a ponytail). He looked really nervous as he saw all the other excited, little people filling the room. He tried, with all his might, to climb into my lap; and I tried, with all mine, to distract him. Thankfully, the dance teacher already had some shakers (pom-poms) out for the kids to play with, while we waited for the class to start. I tickled Felix's toes with one of them, and then shook it on top of his head. Before long, he was giggling and laughing.

His new dinosaur puzzle
When the singing and dancing started I stood Felix up, held his arms, and moved them to the music. Every now and again, Felix would try to sit back in my lap but I would just stand him back up and keep singing and  moving him around. For some of the dances, I picked Felix up and danced around with him, which he thought was really funny, especially when we had to reach up high and then drop to the ground. He was laughing the whole time. I'm so thankful that most of the songs were Felix's favourites, which kept his attention and distracted him from being anxious. We're still a long way from him dancing by himself, but we've also come such a long way from the panic of his very first lesson. It's the little things....

I really despise buying toys, just for the sake of buying toys. I try hard to find toys for Felix which have some sort of educational element to them and will challenge him in some way. I'm a fan of wooden toys. I love how sturdy and well made they are and, call me old fashioned, but I think they look beautiful too. Recently I came across a website selling wooden toys, so cheaply, in a short sale. I bought a couple of things and they arrived today. Now I wish I'd bought more because the quality is amazing! Felix is a real whiz at puzzles. He has a few favourite wooden puzzles which he will sit and do over and over again. The one that arrived today is a dinosaur puzzle with beautiful, bright colours. The dinosaur pieces are all flat on the bottom (and quite thick), so if Felix isn't using them in the puzzle, he can stand them up and play imaginary games with them too!

Never say I won't know how to do
it yet!
The other toy that arrived today was a box of wooden, threading beads. I figured it was probably a bit advanced for Felix yet (the age on the box said 3+), but the price was so good that I grabbed one to keep for when he's older. When I opened the package today, I thought I'd let Felix have a look at the beads and show him how to put them onto the string which came with them. He was really interested so, while I did some cleaning up in the kitchen, Felix sat on the floor with the beads. He is so incredibly patient! I watched as he concentrated on putting the string through the hole in the bead. Did he give up when he couldn't do it the first, or the second time? No, he kept trying until he managed to thread one of the beads onto the string. When he did, he looked up at me with a big smile and clapped for himself. Felix  constantly reminds me, never to underestimate his ability. We will continue to challenge him. Sometimes he'll be able to do things straight away, and other times it will take him a long time but, what matters most, is that he tries his hardest and we celebrate every little success!

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