Friday, August 21, 2009

Top Clicks

I wish I could write this in the dockyard-stamp font that is used on notices!

Anyhow, I just wanted to draw attention to the Top Clicks section on the right-hand side of the page, just below Nino's age-tracker, and to the subject, before I change it.

We're massive fans of whales here: I believe Nino picked up his first adjective, gentle, thanks to the great giants of the sea. His first fact for show-off is also associated with them: they're the world largest animals, some as big as two buses parked one after the other.

For me, it has always been like seeing the starry sky on a cloudless night: the sheer size and beauty of it makes you and in a way, your issues, insignificant.

The first link is the incredible story of a man, who has travelled the world and spent his life, seeing, understanding and chronicling these treasures. I always thought I'd have the balls to do something like that: to not worry about money or stability and follow a dream till it soaks into the very bone of my being, and I can exorcise it. That I din't is another story, albeit adventurous in its own way :)

The second link was the result of one day's frantic googling on 'tips to make baby sleep'. Whale sounds can be beautifully soothing and eerie as well: I distinctly remember the hair on my nape standing up when I heard their distress calls to each other. They're a great way to teaching kids how animals converse as well: how they love, and ask for help and show anger or happiness.

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I've loved using the whale to explain to Nino the concept of power, and the choice of how to apply/use it. I don't know if I've gotten through to him, but I work on it regularly: it's a lesson for life.

If you're going to be talking whales with your little one, maybe you can try listening to Baby Beluga by Raffi. It's the easiest song in the world to fall in love with: and so happy.

We don't have any specific whale books: Nino has nature encyclopedias, painstakingly separated into various animal/element kingdoms by Naani, and he just keeps on looking at the whale pages and asking me to 'quantify' their size and power. You can also try Edward Lear's A Was Once An Apple Pie - The whale is the only animal in reference to whom the world 'little' is not used, and surprise, surprise, a couple of repeats later, the young ones will spot that out real quick.

I'd loved reading Moby Dick when I was a kid - I don't remember how old - but you know how Montessori believes education must be muscle memory as well as mental learning? Well, that book made the sheer size of these creatures a muscle memory for me. This way, even old age can't take it away! There are lots of abridged versions available for older kids, although, if you can, you should read it too.

We also loved Free Willy: but I will tell you we'd a few tricky patches with it. You might have to face questions on exactly why Jessie is living with an 'uncle and an aunty' instead of his 'mum and dad', and why Willy is sad in the aquarium, and what Jessie will do without Willie, his 'only friend'. Nino literally sobbed through the movie: and he remembers the oddest thing about it today: that Willy's fin was 'bent' because he was unhappy. It also helped him differentiate between fishes and mammals, and why whales can stay out of water for a bit.

If it's a 'compare' day: just 'how big' Mama - see these pictures.

And here's a free pdf on how to make an Origami whale.

I hope you have fun!

5 comments:

Sands said...

lovely header :) My boy is big into whales as well. Need to check out the origami whale. He will love that!

choxbox said...

yummy pic of mr.nino!

take him to the natural history museum in london next time you go there. in the mammals section there are real size models of various animals. thats when you appreciate how a whale dwarfs giraffes and elephants.

and, the only predator of this massive animals is - sadly - the human species.

choxbox said...

tagged.

Anonymous said...

Love the header! Is that chocolate or cookie? Your little one is really cute! :) God bless...

Anjali

Nino's Mum said...

Sands - thank you and I'm going to complain that I can't access your blog: you've not enabled public access and I'm properly stamping my feet now!

Chox - :) I'd love to take him there, hopefully in a few years.
and taking up your tag soon.

Anjali - That's chocolate cake actually, and he was sitting aside under a tree, having sneaked a fourth or fifth helping, hence the naughty laugh. Thank you and God Bless you too.