Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Cause and Effect

One of 'M's favourite toys at the moment is this pop-up toy. With 4 different actions resulting in an animal appearing 'M' will sit for quite some time practicing the movements required.

She goes straight to the two push actions knowing which they are and that she can do them easily. She pushes the two buttons, then closes the tops, over and over. Making vocalisations and smiles as her action causes the same effect solidifying her knowledge of this toy.

After a little while she looks to me and i take it as a cue to join in, showing her slowly how to operate the remaining slide and twist actions. These two are quite tricky for little fingers and although she has tried she can't quite manage these two yet.

The next area that catches 'M's attention is the large building blocks. She roles/shuffles over and begins pulling them off the stand and watching as some role away, and others stay where they fell.
I come to join her building a short tower inviting her to help. This often results in the tower falling rather than any blocks being added to the top but she has understood my invitation to play

Another tower of blocks and what better way to further solidify her knowledge of cause and effect by knocking them down!! I demonstrate a couple of times and then she's got it and I can hardly get a tower built before she arrived to push it over watching the blocks scatter and babbling or giggling to show her enjoyment!

Characteristics of Effective Learning
At just 10 months 'M's knowledge of cause and effect is being tested and explored in any way possible. She is exploring objects around her to see what they do or what she can do with them. She is attempting to copy my actions to create the same effect but in some areas she doesn't quite have the motor control or strength yet.

Next Steps
- Continue to offer the pop-up toy as a regular resource for 'M' to explore and practice with
- Build on fine motor control and strength using smaller blocks to make towers
- Introduce some sensory bottles (perhaps with sound) to explore further how her actions have an effect on objects around her

Friday, 11 April 2014

Easter Biscuits and Selfies!!

Baking is always a popular choice at mine! Any celebration we'll find some yummy treat to cook, or even if there is no reason at all we're never far from bringing out the scales! So many skills can be learnt and practiced when making things in the kitchen. We build muscle by scooping and pouring. We develop fine motor control from decorating and pinching ingredients. We talk about our own families, what we cook at home and special people we like to bake with. We share stories. We engage all the senses smelling and feeling ingredients as we go. We learn to share and take turns. We develop preferences of flavours we like and those we don't. We make decisions and discuss our point of view. We listen and follow instructions and we experience pride in what we make!! So many learning opportunities in an everyday activity!

Today we are making some Easter Biscuits! I have missed out a few steps here as I needed to step in and help and other areas I got wrapped up with the children I forgot to take pictures!

'W' started out scooping the butter, we looked at the numbers on the scales and watched the arm move closer to the number we needed.
 Lots of stirring for those strong arms!
 'E' having a turn too!

 Once it was all mixed up we split up the dough and got rolling! Taking turns with the rolling pin. We have some shapes that I had picked out and we spoke about what they were and how they were linked to Easter and Spring.
 'W' knew what he was doing straight away, although I helped occasionally where the dough was getting a little too thin in places so we squished it together and started again!
Make sure those shapes are pushed down well!
 'W' and 'E' then told me what colours they would like for their icing. 'W' chose yellow and 'E' chose blue!
 A little bit into the decorating 'W' asked 'E' if he could have a bit of her blue and she could have some of his yellow! Great swapping and sharing

 Don't forget some sprinkles to finish them off
 And don't forget the best bit; tasting them!!

A lovely morning spent together chatting and creating yummy treats.

Later on that afternoon we were messing around with my phone taking some selfies!

 'E' was very interested in what was going on
 I turned my camera around so she could see on the screen what the camera was looking at.
'W' was trying to watch a film and have some chill out time so we were just bugging him really! We let him get back to his film while 'E' and I played!
 She sat for some time pulling faces at herself
 Watching the image on the screen changing as she moved.
 She has demonstrated that she is familiar with static photographs already. Both on my phone and printed out.
 Going a bit shy, trying to figure out why the 'picture' was copying what she was doing!
 Pretty girl!

This was an interesting introduction to this aspect of technology, 'E' wasn't quite sure what to make of her 'photo' moving as she did. I will look at how to introduce some more technology to my setting, in suitable ways, so we can develop her knowledge further. I will also make some time for mirror play as this is an important aspect of her self awareness

Thursday, 10 April 2014

A Fun Morning at the Park!

Well it's the school holidays!!! And such lovely weather so what better way to spend the morning than just hanging out at the local park?!!

Pip brought along a couple of games and toys which were a big hit. A lot of time was spent with a stomp rocket, the children squealing as it shot into the air!
 She also brought along this cool new ball game which you needed to snap it closed as the ball came towards you, and then open it up again to throw the ball back. Much timing and co-ordination needed to get this right but some of the older ones managed it a few times!
 Lots of time on the swings!!
 With lots of silly faces!!!

 Siblings playing on the slide together
 And recently 'E' has taken to 'sliding' down this park of the park?! She bumps her bum on each of the steps for climbing up but she finds it hilarious and will go round to do it over and over!


 No one is safe!

Usually there is nothing better for kids than just being outside!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Baby 'M' Getting on the Move!

It's coming to the time when I usually send children's development folders home to share with their families. I try to do this each quarter, as although I try to make myself available for parents to speak to it is sometimes hard to find an opportunity when they don't need to rush off to work in the mornings, or just want to get home after a long day at work to spend some time as a family.
So I have found that sending the folders home each quarter gives parents the opportunity to have a good look through my observations, in their own time, and share anything they have noticed at home.

The biggest development for baby 'M' at the moment is her mobility!

When she joined my setting mid January 'M' was not yet secure sat on the floor. She would regularly topple over and became quite cross when she could not get up again.

Over our first few weeks together I made an effort each day for her to spend some time on the floor. I would lay down with her so we were face to face, we looked at books and I sang her songs. She was uncertain at first but as I smiled and used touch to reassure her we gradually increased the time she spent rolling and reaching.

I made an observation 25-02-14:
" 'M' was rolling on the floor today exploring toys. Rolling to her left side she got to her elbow, then pushed up to her hand and then sat up independently. I spoke to mum about it in the evening; this may have been the first time she sat herself up"

A following observation made 04-03-14
" 'M' is noticeably more confident on the floor today. She sat herself up a number of times - from her left side only. She spun herself around, whilst sitting, to face me. She is happier sat, reaching, occasionally rolling etc"

By 17-03-14 we visited our local Playbus and 'M' was stable to sit independently to play. I was able to move away from her to deal with another child when necessary, safe in the knowledge she would be sat safely and if she did topple over she would be able to get herself up again

Now here we are 08-04-14 and 'M's mobility is continuing to develop. From beginning spinning around to reach different objects to explore, she is now leaning and reaching on the spot. She rolls, stretches, shuffles and almost commando crawls, using one leg to push herself along. Mostly through sheer determination she can now get all around my living room!

I can't wait to see how her movement develops over the coming weeks!

Next Steps
- Place objects for 'M' to explore all around the room, some at slight heights, just peeking over maybe. An invitation to reach up high perhaps even pull herself up to a kneel or stand.
- Play some chasing games; gain her attention with a particular object and encourage her to move forwards to reach it.
- Expand her gross motor skill into other areas, introduce more self-feeding with tools; dip her spoon into yogurt. Provide and encourage objects which bang together, promote her hands meeting in the middle in a clapping motion.
- Introduce some challenges; uneven floors, obstacles for her to overcome, different environments and flooring