“Ma-Doooooor!!” Hama-Guri squealed. “Give me the ball…Quick!”
Ma-Door threw the ball to his best friend. it was always great to spend a Sunday morning with his closest pal in their favourite park. Added, finally the sun had come out today after many foggy winter days.
“Hey you two boys, get over here now. Time for a break.”
“Oh no Mumma!” Hama cried. “We have just started.
“No dearies. You have been at it for two hours.” Replied Ma-Door’s mum. “Run here now.”
Making a face and grumbling they came to where the two adults were sitting.
“Here…your favourite” Mumma said handing the boys a glass of warm hot chocolate. “Why don’t the four of us play something while we drink?”
“Ya!!” Cried Ma-Door.
“How about opposites in the park?” Replied his mother. “We sit here, look around and find opposites.”
“I can see…” Ma-Door said “that mud there is wet and here where we are sitting the ground is dry.”
“Wonderful. Now your turn Hama.”
The lad sipped his warm drink and took a bite into the cheese sandwich. Then looked around for a while and replied, “The sun is hot and here, under the tree it is cold.”
The mothers clapped. Now, at least, the two kids would sit for a while thankfully this game had engaged them.
“Mum…Mum…there…there.” Ma-Door exclaimed pointing to the father and the kids on the other end of the park. “See the kid is running and the father is walking.”
Hama clapped and jumped up. “I have got another one. See.” He said pointing to the kids on the swing. “That one’s thin and that one’s fat. Mumma now it’s your turn.”
The mothers smiled. “Hmm…let me see.” Said Hama’s mother looking around. “There!” She suddenly said. “That tree is tall and this shrub here is short.”
“You now mother.” Said Ma-Door.
“See those two kids there on the see-saw? As one goes high the other goes low.”
“This is fun!” Both children said in chorus. “Look here mumma.” Hama continued as he picked up a leaf. “This leaf’s light and this pebble heavy.”
“And…and this leaf I am holding is fresh and yours is dry Hama.”
Both kids laughed.
“One more..one more…this leaf is smooth and that sand pit we play in…the sand is rough.”
“I have one boys.” Mumma said joining in. “That rose bush, the thorns are sharp and the tip of the bud can be called blunt.”
“Hmm. Can it mumma? We need a better example for blunt.”
“Ya. Let’s keep hunting.” Mumma smiled. “But that rose in open and the bud is shut.”
“Perfect!” Hama said intelligently.
“Hey Hama here’s another one.” Ma-Door spoke up, after a little silence. “The bridge. Those people are over the bridge and the fish in the pond below are under it.”
“That’s wonderful son” Ma-Door’s mum said in an encouraging voice. “And how about these two glasses?”
“This one’s empty’ He replied finishing the last sip of his hot chocolate. “And this one here is still full.”
“And this one’s clean” Hama added pointing to an untouched glass. “And these are dirty.” He continued pointing to the two boys’ empty glasses.
“See that bird perched on the tree!” Mumma exclaimed. “It’s a bluebird!”
“And mumma that’s high up and this sparrow here is low” Hama added pointing to the little brown bird that was hopping around.
“And that sparrow’s so little.” Added Hama. “And look at that crow. That’s big compared to it. Right?”
“Great going boys!” Replied Ma-Door’s mother.
“And now, since we have finished all the food you gave mumma, we are going to go from near to far…Run Ma-Door!”
And before the two adults could say anything, the young lads ran away to resume their play.
Learning: Learn about opposites the fun way – studies can be made interesting too
Things to teach:
• Opposites – this can be learnt in any place. For example over under in the bedroom, hot cold in the shower etc. See how many the kids can find.
• Observations – Ask them to say 10 things they see around them or 5 sentences about the park (or any other place).
• Teach them about people who help us – for example the gardener, the park keeper / guard at the park. And then follow it up with other helpers
• Good habits – don’t litter the park, don’t pluck leaves and flowers etc
• Nature walk – try and identify trees and flowers once the opposite game is over. If you are at the zoo doing opposites then you can have a session on animals, their babies, sounds etc.
• Do a role play with your child where you act out opposite feelings
• Find opposites from his toy cupboard (for example a small and a bog soft toy)
• Dance and teach (high and low, over and under, clap loudly and quietly etc)
• Read to them books like Big Dog Little Dog by P.D. Eastman, The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss and Opposites by Sandra Boynton
• Use old magazines and newspapers to find opposite pictures and stick them in a scrap book or a chart paper
• Create a snowman by sticking cotton (soft) in one and then white sand (rough) in the other.