The rain is coming down today, but that isn't what this post is about. It's about learning to pour liquids, while cooking, watering flowers, or dousing brothers in the bathtub. Months ago, I watched the fantastic videos put out by the Washington State School for the Blind on various blindness skills, and I was particularly struck by this one:
It seemed odd to me that a teenager would need to be taught to pour. The more I thought about it, though, the more I came to realize that blind kids don't have the experience every day of watching the milk pour from a jug into their cups, or the mesmerizing sight of sand slipping from their bucket on the playground.
For this reason, I jumped upon a teachable moment today to teach Abi what pouring means. We were all at the Science Center, and she was playing with Cody in the dinosaur bone dig, which happens to actually be a big box filled with lentils.
While I sat beside her, she began holding up handfuls of lentils to show me. I held my hand under hers so the shiny brown lentils could slip into my hand from hers. That's when it struck me that pouring could begin right here and now.
For nearly ten minutes, she and I poured lentils into one another's hands, or into our own hands, both enjoying the sensory experience. I told her the English word, "pour" and we felt the lentils pouring into the bin from our open hands.
Bean, ever the little parrot, had to imitate us, and for a while he and Abi practiced pouring into each other's hands, with the result that they forgot to stay over the bin, and the lentils poured onto the floor. Oops.
Still, I felt that we'd laid a good groundwork for the concept of learning to pour, and that with the additional use of cups and bowls in the bathtub, we can have the idea of pouring down long before it's time to learn to do it deliberately when cooking.