Anyways, for this project I just kept thinking that soft doesn't really make sense unless it is compared to hard. And since my son is 2 and a handful of months, I had a pretty good idea that this might not be easy to get across.
So I came up with a game where I gathered soft and hard objects and put them on the table.
Being science-minded, I also had a positive and negative control. A cotton pad was the soft control and a rock was the hard control. I kept repeating soft and hard to him with these objects.
"hard" rock - negative control
After we went over the soft and hard controls, I gave him a variety of objects and made him choose. Here is Baby Bird investigating a key in his ear for some reason only known to him.
He also got to decide if his favorite thing of all time was soft or hard: duck holding rabbit stuffed animal. His motto is "Don't go to bed without it!"
I even gave him food to explore. He loved the banana.
However, this game was not working. Baby Bird was saying soft and hard with no rhyme or reason. And he kept on insisting on eating the banana the whole time without seeming to care whether or not it was hard or soft!!!!
Feeling like I wasn't able to make up any more games and grumbling to myself as I put his shoes on, I left the house and went out...but WAIT...evidently, the game wasn't over...
Fast forward to the night. Our friends came over and I started to make dinner. Meanwhile, Baby Bird had grabbed the hand of one of our guests and proceeded to bring her to the same table and point out the objects and accurately state if they were hard or soft!!!!! (my friend commented how lucky it was that there was a bunch of "random" hard and soft objects on the table-yea, Lucky my A--)
It is simply amazing at first pass, it seems he is not getting it and was mostly worried about the banana. But really, he was taking it all in! It just took a few hours to get those neurons firing.
We have asked him numerous times since then and almost every time, he has answered correctly so this was not some kind of fluke.
Before I knew he had figured it out, I decided to do another project where he would continue to explore soft but at his level. Inspired by the random sheep we had seen a few days before, I bought some cotton balls and we made some sheep. (German cotton balls are some of the softest things I have ever felt-are they made from cashmere or something???)
I then helped him glue the cotton balls to the sheep. (I swear to you if anyone makes fun of my sheep drawing, I will send Schneke in the airmail to your address!!!)
I had some other plans to glue stuff on for the eyes and color some more but as we all know-2 year old have a short attention span and he announced he was done. So I snapped one last pic of the finished project!
My son - the enthusiastic banana eater, short attention span and occasional hard/soft differentiator. You gotta love 'em...