An elder cousin (5) of DS only loves buses, and he has dozens of toy buses. On the other hand, DS loves all kinds of trucks( he can distinguish between truck-mounted crane ["吊雞車"] and hook-lift truck ["勾斗車"]!). He can name (in Chinese) over twenty trucks, but he loves excavators most( he sees them everywhere- it is because there are always major and minor dusty construction works around the city! :-( ).

Some of his daily activities, then, is playing excavator toys/ puzzles, reading books on diggers, asking us to draw them on the paper (and now I encourage him to draw in his own way too) , or watching, listening to and singing along with Youtube videos/songs about the machine (well as I said before I limit this guided screen-watching to at most 30 minutes per day and only on occasional days)....

To make the digger toy more interesting, I have also taught DS how to attach the clamshell of it to other hand-tool toys: the screwdriver, the hammer, the pilers, etc. so that the excavator can now not only dig but also grasp, lift, drill, hit, and cut, like a real transformable hydraulic excavator! (By the way, constructing new, complex and more powerful commands by combining simple but self-sufficient commands is in line with the spirit of Unix, not M$ Windows!) :-) DS likes to stack wooden blocks on his table until the stack is taller than him, then push each block of the "multi-storey building" down one by one with the pilers attached to the excavator - it becomes a demolition game!

Several days ago we also discovered a new fun way to play. We sat in a row (I sat behind him), and I leaned my right arm out of his chair. When DS was moving two plastic tubes ("the control levers") with his hands towards certain directions, my arm and hand ("the boom, the bucket and the shovel") also moved accordingly. "The aim" was to put the "bucket" into a dump-truck toy. DS likes this role play activity very much and has asked me to play with him every night since then! Scoop!

Ha ha... I have become a paper-expert of the excavator because I (have to) know the names of every part of it, how it moves and how to control it except that I never really drive one! ;-P I guess I indulge in excavators too!

"This is the work I really love... because that's what's an excavator does...."

Perhaps later we can integrate the learning of science, music, arts, language, etc. into the theme of excavators for this child! Education and learning can be fun, whole and self-directed!

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