Saturday, December 11, 2010

Let them eat the sand

Last week at Portman Children Centre.

One of the staff was recording the children on her camcoder. Mia was walking around, playing. She's in her comfort zone in this place. The staff spotted Mia and started recording her. Soon, she has neglected the other kids and continued following Mia and recording her every move. She's tiny but very bold and quick on her feet - determined to climb everything, try out everything. Adam was playing in the sandbox. She came over to the sandbox, grabbed a handful of sand and put it in her mouth. I rushed over, took the sand out and started cleaning her mouth and hand.

The staff: You know she's going in there? (the sandbox). Then there is no point in cleaning her hands. The sand will just come out in her poop. She is using her mouth to explore.

Interesting, I thought. I am usually relaxed in letting my kids put things in their mouths, because I believe it is necessary for their learning and exploration. But I do draw the line on things they can choke on, things that are dirty, and..well...sand. However, stopping babies from eating sand when you're in a sandbox can prove to be very frustrating for both the baby and yourself. So I thought, ok, let's give this a try. Let's let them eat sand.

The staff is still recording. Mia grabbed some sand in her hand. She put it in her mouth. I fought the urge to clean her up. She tasted the sand, slowly. Her face crinkled up. She spit the sand out.

The staff: You see? She doesn't even like the taste. She is spitting it out.

Mia repeated this cycle a few times - grab, taste, spit. Then she started feeling the sand with her fingers. Her face still crinkled from the taste of the sand.

The staff: Now you show her what else you can do with the sand.

I took some sand toys - sand wheels, shovel. I started pouring the sand, turning the wheels. She observed, interested. Then she tried the toys. No longer putting the sand in the mouth. She poured the sand, picked up the shovel, felt the sand with her hands and feet. She climbed in and out of the sand. Tumbling into the softness. A whole lot of learning (and fun!) that she would've missed had I kept saying NO to her eating the sand.

She did try putting the sand in her mouth a couple times after that, but she didn't enjoy it. I think she discovered that playing with the sand is more fun than eating it.


Fathinz the wedding planner said...

wow. this is something new. (and interesting). i remembered kena marah teruk sebab letak rayyan kat pantai masa baby dulu. ok now boleh try let jannah explore. thnks for this sharing!

n33za said...

hi aida,i recently found a small piece of paper in my 7 months baby's stool..since then,whenever i see him holding a piece of paper,terus kalut nk tarik sbb takut dia makan lg.sbb i think dia suka kot rasa kertas tuh?what do you think?should i just let him play with the paper until he discover yg benda tuh tak boleh makan or jd his safety patrol?

tuty said...

thanks for sharing. i remembered myself eating sand at 5 year old. hahaha tp tu buat blkg parents lah! lepas tu balik nangis :P

aidafiqs adamia said...

kak fathin,
cop, nape kak fathin kene marah pulak letak rayyan kat pantai?

I wouldn't know what to tell you. Mia pun suka mkn kertas jugak. But normally she chews until it becomes a small ball. then spit it out. as for your baby, if you found it in his poo, doesn't that mean it has passed through his system safely? (but i'm no doctor)

wah you have good memory.

Shaza Shamsuddin said...

Oh sangat interesting dan an eye opening. Thank you for sharing this Aida! ;)

Tips Untuk Anak-Anak Berjaya Dengan Cara Paling Mudah

Anonymous said...

Uuu, this is interesting!!!

Before, I 'forbid' Maryam from eating sand. Rasanya, I'm gonna let her have a taste on our next tip to the beach. :D should be funny.

Tapi, kalau crayon/colour pencils haruslah tak boleh masuk mulut kan Kak Aida? Takpe if kita larang kan?

Tiffany Jewelry said...

Christmas time is coming. I hope you have a wonderful New Year. May every day hold happy hours for you. said...

Grab taste spit -- that was hilarious!

miszaugust said...

Haikal pun suka masuk benda dalam mulut and me keep on stopping him to do that by not giving him any other unfair kan??


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