Playing the cloud game with props
Cloud-watching season may be over where you live, but we're having an unusual spate of sunny weather here in Portland. Duane recently shared this cloud-watching experience with his daughter:
Everybody knows the cloud game, where you try to spot animals and other shapes in the clouds. How young do you start your kids? How good are they at it?
I was walking with my 3yr old the other day and I saw a perfect depiction of Belle (the Disney Princess) in the clouds. Sure, it looked like any random girl in a ball gown, but coincidentally my 3yr old carries around a little 3-inch tall Belle statue. "I see Belle!" I told her, and then got down so my face was next to hers, guided her gaze up to the cloud with me, and then held up her Belle statue so that she could see it right next to the clouds. It was an astonishingly lucky match. Sure, that chance may come around again once in a million years, but it did give me the idea that helping your kids see the cloud pictures using whatever props you've got is much better than saying "See it? Right there, next to the big one?" Draw it with a stick in the dirt. Or a piece of sidewalk chalk. Whatever you can. Gives them a boost, and cuts back on the frustration when Mommy and Daddy can see a picture that they clearly can't.
This, to me, is the perfect opener for the philosophical topic of how everyone sees/perceives things differently. "I see Belle! What do you see?" Kids can be surprisingly receptive to these sorts of discussions, even if the response is a blank stare.