Did your weekend feel a little chaotic? Ours too… adjusting to new routines is hard on all of us, but it’s Monday so let’s take a deep breath and see what we can do together to make working from home incrementally more sane this week. To help you, our Head of School, Lynne has put together some thoughts on schedules, signaling parent work time, free play and even some virtual trips you can take with your children! Check it out, and as always reach out to us for additional support.
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Sensory work is so important for babies. It is how they learn. Discovering the properties of objects with an open end activity is ideal for this kind of work. Coined “Heuristic Play” by child psychologist Elinor Goldschmeid, with this play approach infants will always feel successful since there is no wrong way to use the materials. What follows is an exploratory activity you can create by using everyday objects for engagement and learning.
Activity - Thematic Browser Box
This is an activity that you can create pretty quickly and change regularly for continued interest and enjoyment with a container and interesting objects. You may discover that the container that you put the objects in may be more interesting than the objects themselves!
What you will need
A container to put objects. Some ideas include: a basket, a backpack, a cardboard box, a pot, etc.
Materials in various diameters and textures
What to do:
Pick a theme for your objects and put them in a basket and have your child explore.
Some ideas for your thematic box include:
Circular objects such as large jar lids, plastic bangle bracelets, toilet paper rolls, pots and pan covers
Square or rectangle objects such as empty tissue boxes, empty wipes box, square pieces of cardboard, fabric, felt, ice cube tray, a book
Single color objects
Scarfs of different textures or colors
You should regularly freshen up your browser box with a new container and new objects. This activity can also have play value for toddlers and preschoolers by taking it to the next level. They can help with the selection of objects as you talk about their shapes, sizes and properties.
Toddlers and Preschoolers
Activity - Colored Rice Sensory Bin
Sensory experiences are so important for a young child’s development. This week we will be focusing on building a strong pincer grip using materials from your pantry. The pincer grip coordination of the index finger and thumb give children the ability to grasp. Each time you hold a pen or button your shirt, you're using the pincer grip. While it may seem like second nature to an adult, to a young child this is an important milestone in fine motor development. Rice is an ideal material for practicing this skill. And is a quick and easy sensory bin filler.
What you will need:
Under the bed storage bin
Measuring cups, plastic cups, funnel and wooden spoons
What to do:
Fill baggies or small bowls that have lids with 1 cup of rice and 1 teaspoon of vinegar in each each receptacle
Add 1/8 teaspoon food coloring in each one to start and for more vibrant colors add more food coloring
Zip the bag shut or cover the bowl tightly
Squeeze the bags or shake the bowls mixing the rice all around until the food coloring is well distributed
Put all the different colored rice in your bin and see what happens!
For those children interested in the alphabet or numbers they can trace letters and numbers in the rice
To extend this activity even further, for those children who are ready for it, take a piece of paper or cardboard and write your child’s name on it in large letters. With your child make a nameplate with one kernel of rice at a time and glue.
As you can see, the amount of play you can generate from rice is astounding. At the beginning you might need to remind your child that “rice stays in the box not on the floor” but in no time they should get the hang of it.