Learned an interesting lesson this last week. My instructor was my five-year-old grandson, J. (Children are often the best teachers!) As I attended the vendor fair for our state convention, I found myself in the Story Time Felts booth…again. They are a company which makes and sells felt activities for children. Some kits are literature-based. Some are for preschoolers; some for older children. All of them are brightly colored, soft, and have multiple uses. (I love their product, but have always wished it were cheaper, and that I could justify the expense and the work to assemble everything.)
I have purchased from Joy, the consultant at the convention, in years past. We have fun as she shows me what is new, and asks thoughtful questions. Last year I purchased a few different kits, uncut, and set off to put things together. Some got finished; some did not. As we visited, I confessed that there were things still waiting to be done at my house. So she told me to bring them the following day, and she would finish them for me. YEAH! Now everything is usable. (You can find them at storytimefeltsandmore.com.)
Now, what was the lesson I learned that relates to this wonderful company? I went home that evening and asked my grandsons for their thoughts on the felt activities we had used. M, the seven-year-old, was chatty but not overly helpful. T, who is three, had lots to say- some of it even applied to the question at hand. Then J, who has Sensory Processing Disorder which causes him to under-react and miss much of what is happening around him physically, quietly said, “Felt is soft.” He later confided to me that he was fond of the pictures with bright colors that were fun to look at as he worked with the activities. That’s all it took.
I made a fairly significant purchase from Joy this year, fully cut and ready-to-go. I went to the local second-hand store and bought a number of 3 inch 3-ring binders in which to store the lesson plans and pieces. All the grandchildren love them. And J is grinning. As a twice-exceptional child, he has a new medium with which to explore. The felt acts as great therapy as he fingers it. And I feel like the hero of the hour. I am so glad I took the time to talk to the boys before assuming that I needn’t bother this year.
We can learn so much if we simply ask questions and then pay attention to the answers.