Monday, October 3, 2011

Professor Papa - Part 2

Science has brought us so many new technologies and discoveries.  Most of the research, I imagine, is initially directed toward developing things that are beneficial to mankind.  Unfortunately, when a new invention comes out, there are always people looking to use it for other purposes.

The same can be said of stuff we teach our children.  Not that they are intentionally seeking devilish uses for their new found abilities, but it happens. 

No matter how good our intentions are, our children can easily use our lessons for evil instead of good. 

Here is one instance of that.

The good:  throwing a ball

From the first second the girls picked up a ball I was showing them how to throw it to me.  They didn't have the skill set yet to actually do that, but they tried.

Their earliest attempts to throw were just droppnig the ball.  If it landed on their toes and rolled to me I considered that a success.

Next, came the ability to drop a ball directionally.  All this means is they were dropping it, but moving one hand slightly to propel the ball one way or another.  Neither of us knew which direction that was, but it was done on purpose.

We then proceeded to do the two handed shove, which moved the ball with more velocity.

Finally, they were able to toss the ball.  Sometimes it went where they wanted and sometimes it went behind them - but they were throwing it. 

As we've continued to work on this they have increased the consistency with which they can get the ball to me.

If you're trying this at home, be sure to keep them at a safe distance.  Too often I have "caught" their throws (from two inches away) directly on the nose.  More often than not, when they do this they are running at me with their arm cocked back and don't decide to throw it until they are at a range where they can't possibly miss from.

Using a soft or inflatable ball helps avoid permanenet damage and/or scarring.

We've also made a game out of playing catch.  Sometimes they play catch with me.  Sometimes they play catch with nobody.  They just throw the ball and then scamper after it, giggling all the while.

How can playing catch be evil?  Keep reading.

The bad - throwing everything else

I didn't specifically teach them to grab a wooden block or a toy and chuck it.

I didn't throw the blocks and have them learn from my example.

Nevertheless, they have taken their ball throwing lesson and expanded upon it. 

They've also learned from their experimentation.  Here are some of their findings:

1 - small items fly farther than large ones

2 - small objects fly faster than larger ones

3 - large objects make more noise when they hit the wood floor

4 - large objects make sister cry louder and longer than small ones

5 - throwing an object can get it to places where toddlers can't fit, or aren't supposed to be

6 - Mama and Papa get confused looks on their faces when they find objects in locations they shouldn't be in

7 - Some objects are too heavy to be thrown

Throwing is not the only thing they've learned.  If you look back, one of the steps in learning to throw was the shove.  For those objects too heavy to throw, namely sister, they can be shoved in the direction you want them to move.

I have no plans to avoid teaching them basic survival skills - such as how NOT to throw like a girl.

I do plan to try and figure out what some evil uses might be, and then instruct them accordingly during the teaching phase. 

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