Let’s get messy!

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Finger painting!! I wasn’t too sure how this would go down with my 14 month old or should I say, I wasn’t too sure if he was going to try and eat it or not! Sigh of relief…he didn’t! He quite enjoyed it actually. 

This is such a fun activity to do with children of any age. It is multi-sensory and would be great for children with dyslexia and dyspraxia.

Think:

* Teaching primary colours

* Practising letters and sounds…E.g. teaching the ‘y’ sound…use yellow finger paint to make a picture with this sound and all things that are yellow!

* Helping with fine motor control. 

* A fun outlet for children with a creative streak. 

Not to mention a great activity to occupy the kids and keep them out of trouble when you need to do some housework, make the tea or simply have a cup of tea yourself! 

Just make sure you stick the finished product up onto the fridge to celebrate their successes! 

Finger paints can be picked up from supermarkets. 

Happy painting everyone!

 

 

Even more MEGA!

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In my previous post I talked about how ‘Mega Bloks’ can be used to aid  babies and toddlers’ learning. Now I wanted to touch upon how they can be used to help children with dyspraxia. Children with dyspraxia may often have difficulties with fine motor control, be unable to remember and/or follow instructions and have difficulty in developing their social skills when it comes to play.

A toy like ‘Mega Bloks’ can help with all of these things. They:

* Improve fine motor skills…once their confidence has grown with the Mega Bloks you can then progress to Duplo and then Lego.

* Instructions- explain step by step (one instruction at a time) how to build an aeroplane or a car.

E.g. Instruction 1. “Take the yellow block.”

Instruction 2. “Put it onto the blue block.” and so forth.

To the non-dyspraxic person, we might put those two instructions together to become one but it is much better to start small and progress to two instructions together once the child’s confidence has grown.

* Social skills.. create a game with the blocks, perhaps supervised at first so that you can set examples of how to play together.

Just because a child with dyspraxia dismisses playing with the lego that their peers are using, doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t have a desire to play with it.  It may be because they have been unable to play with it successfully before and so have a low self-esteem and confidence.

Think building blocks, you can’t build a house without the foundations.

Little steps = big results.

Mega loads of fun!

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Mega Bloks are a great tool for both parents and teachers. When we first got these my little one got stuck in and spent most of his time knocking over what Mummy and Daddy had been building for him, cheeky monkey. But this is ok. Knocking over the blocks is something that he is able to do at 12 months and he’ll progress to building things as he gets older and continues to watch what Mummy and Daddy do.

It is very easy to think to ourselves “what is the point of me spending time building things when all he does is knock them over” but all is not lost at this stage…

This in itself is a great learning opportunity for his language development:

1. When the tower falls use words like “CRASH”, “BANG”, “TIMBER” and then put them into a sentence. E.g. “The tower fell down with a BANG!”

2. Build the tower with him/her using alternate colours..only have the blue and red blocks out for example and make a pattern…he may not fully understand what you are doing right now but still a great opportunity to show them sequencing, patterns and colours! He will soon cotton on!

Super resource and decoration!

Super resource and decoration!

I just came across this lovely wall hanging! Another brilliant and interactive way to get children learning. Great to have on the wall in your little ones room….help them recognise sounds by playing fun games like ‘choose a letter’ and try to think of as many words as possible starting with that letter! I little game to play whilst getting dressed! One word for one item of clothing that gets put on! Prize…lots of mummy cuddles!

 

 

Bath time fun!

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I love these foam alphabet letters by ‘Bathtime Buddies’! I picked mine up from Tesco for £3! These are a great, interactive, multi-sensory way to get children of all ages thinking about sounds, letters and spelling! My son is 1 and at the moment they are simply a fun bath time toy! He splashes around with them, sometimes chews them (as they all do!) and loves sticking them onto the side of the bath. I am not in any way trying to force my son to learn these things before he is ready, I simply want to make learning like this fun so that when he is ready to spell his name for example, he thinks it is just playtime as opposed to learning time! These are also a great resource for teachers to use when helping children learn sounds or learning to spell words. Simply get a bucket or basin of water and throw the letters in!

1. When learning to spell words with the ‘a’ sound, only have the letters that you want the children to use in the water. E.g. if CVC words are a focus with the ‘a’ sound only have the letters for ‘cat’, ‘pat’, ‘sat’ and so forth in the water! The children will also love splashing around in the water!