Bundle up! Hot and cold and learning Opposites

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Bundle up! Hot and cold and learning Opposites

Opposites are a great tool for learning as kids are learning about the world and the language to express their growing body of knowledge. This can be true for adults too, like when you look up a word in the dictionary or thesaurus, and not only are definitions and synonyms listed, but also antonyms. Understanding the opposite of something helps you understand the meaning as well.

Also, as children are developing schema, or a general rule of thumb for what something is (e.g. dogs are furry animals with four legs), they tend to start out with a narrow view until they’ve seen enough examples to include a broader understanding of a concept. So, giving examples that are more on each end, or opposite, can give a larger picture for understanding a concept.  However, kids also tend to do something called “overextension” when first producing words, using a specific term for a broader concept, such as calling any animal a dog or calling anything with wheels “vroom vroom.” When Pen Elaine was first learning about food being “hot” and needing to blow on it or let it cool down, she used the word “hot” if something was very hot or very cold, which I thought was interesting considering they were opposites but both had to do with the temperature of her food or drink.

Anyhow, the weather around here has been up and down, so now is a fun time to think about opposite temperatures, as well as learning all types of articles of clothing as they go on and come off. (Plus, I wanted an excuse to use this sweet pic of Pen Elaine.) For learning clothing names (mainly just for girls), I also recommend the book by Clare Beaton called Daisy Gets Dressed. The illustrations are fascinating and so sweet because they are like photographs of fabric and stitched scraps; Daisy’s necklace looks like a piece of yarn with little beads on it. Reading it makes me want to sew something, like my own book even. Plus, there’s lots of new words to learn and find.

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