Monday, March 10, 2014

Book Review: Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature

There are all sorts of reasons my 4.5 year old can't write his name. First off, his fine motor skills are WAY behind where they should be. With time and practice, his fingers will catch up with the rest of him and he will be more comfortable holding and manipulating a marker/crayon/pencil. Secondly, he has never seen the VALUE in being able to write his name. He isn't nearly as much into drawing and planning as he is into experimenting, doing and observing. The only reason he can write the first letter, "M," is probably because it is a valuable letter due to its reversibility as a "W." Enter the spiral.

Spirals are mechanically interesting. An end view of a roll of toilet paper, a rug, and my yoga mat all look like spirals and, indeed, it is interesting to unroll those things. So when I saw "Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature" on the shelf at the library I knew it had to come home with us. Mikey LOVED it. There were funky illustrations of waves, shells, galaxies, and uncurling fronds. Spirals were everywhere in this book! The writing didn't leave much of an impression but the images stick with me...and my preschool engineer. In fact, this book was my inspiration to get him to write another letter of his name.

After reading "Swirl by Swirl" I set down the book and looked at Mikey. With just the right amount of enthusiasm I said, "Did you know that you have a spiral in your name?!" His eyes grew wide and I could see him thinking, "really?!" He asked, "where? show me!" So I grabbed a piece of paper and a pencil and showed him the little e. "There it is," I said, "spiral 'e.'" My son grabbed the pencil and paper and started writing over and over the lower case e.

We are one letter closer to him writing his name and I'm on the look out for a mechanically interesting analogy for other letters. Can you see the spiral e?

[Disclosure Statement: This post contains affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I receive a small referral fee at no cost to you. To see how I spend the money see my "Philanthropy" page. ]

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