Baby sensory classes are big business. As a home based childcarer I aim to provide lots of different things to stimulate all 5 of babies and toddlers senses (hearing, sight, touch, smell and taste) outside of expensive classes.
Babies love to put things in their mouths and I don’t discourage this as this is how they learn. All my toys are regularly inspected for cleanliness and safety.
I am to provide resources that offer a range of different textures, types, colours and shapes which will provide a lot of sensory stimulation for all the children.
These are just some of the sensory activities and resources I provide here at Aston Childcare (the safety and ages of each child is always considered before using any of the items listed) –
Playdough – adding things such as glitter or lavender
Small bean bags
Treasure baskets – filled with metal items, wood items, plastic items, ribbons
Touch and Feel sensory books
Cooking and baking sessions to explore taste and smell.
Outside basket – filled with fir cones, interesting leaves, twigs etc
Arts and crafts items such as pom poms and wool.
Paper and cardboard sensory bag with different types of card eg shiny, ridged, coloured
Today we had some sensory fun with some coloured spaghetti. We added some pink and green food colouring to cooked spaghetti and popped it in our messy tray and then my mindee got stuck in feeling the contents of the tray.
“It’s sticky”, “It’s wet” “it’s yummy” and “it’s like wiggly worms” he said.
He loved squeezing it in his hands, wrapping it around his hands and fingers and holding it up high and letting it drop again.
This was a very simple, open-ended, sensory activity which appeals to children because of the bright colours and the satisfying texture.
I can’t believe it’s nearly a year since we grew our first sunflowers last year!
I had kept the leftover seeds carefully from last year and, after last year’s success, couldn’t wait to plant them again this year with a new mindee. My 4 year old mindee loved planting the seeds and covering them over with the soil.
Although cold outside today, the sun was out which made the whole experience very enjoyable!
Areas of Learning covered: Physical Development, Understanding The World, Maths, Communication & Language
A recent article in the telegraph said that “Children today are part of a digital generation that has grown up in a world surrounded by technology and the internet, and they are using mobile phones, tablets, e-readers and computers on a daily basis,”
It went on to say “The temptation for many parents is to view technology as ruining the ‘essence of childhood’ and added “Research by web security firm AVG claims that more small children can play a computer game or use a smartphone application than ride a bike, tie their own shoelaces or swim unaided”.
However, Technology in the early years is not about using a tablet, computer or mobile phone all day but can be explored in a number of ways.
Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) says that for babies from birth-20 months “The beginnings of understanding technology lie in babies exploring and making sense of objects and how they behave”
It suggests that –
A child aged 16-20 months
Anticipates repeated sounds, sights and actions, e.g. when an adult demonstrates an action toy several times.
Shows interest in toys with buttons, flaps and simple mechanisms and beginning to learn to operate them.
A child of 22-36 months child –
Seeks to acquire basic skills in turning on and operating some ICT equipment.
Operates mechanical toys, e.g. turns the knob on a wind-up toy or pulls back on a friction car.
A child 30-50 months –
Knows how to operate simple equipment, e.g. turns on CD player and uses remote control.
Shows an interest in technological toys with knobs or pulleys, or real objects such as cameras or mobile phones.
Shows skill in making toys work by pressing parts or lifting flaps to achieve effects such as sound, movements or new images.
Knows that information can be retrieved from computers
A child 40-60 months+ –
Completes a simple program on a computer.
Uses ICT hardware to interact with age-appropriate computer software.
Here at Aston Childcare these are just some of the ICT resources I have available to children –
Push the button books
Lift the flap books
Books with shutters and rotating parts
Remote control cars/tractors
Push button toys (such as Happyland)
Light dimmer switch
Kitchen tools such as egg whisk, electric mixer
In the community: pelican crossings, using shop self-service checkouts
On my wishlist is a karaoke machine, an electric keyboard, a wind up torch and some pulleys!
This afternoon my mindee and I created this fab ‘under the sea’ themed picture.
We started off by looking at some shells and a starfish. This was a lovely sensory activity as my mindee put his ear to the shells to listen to them and explored the shapes and textures and feel of each shell and the starfish.
We used real play sand to represent the bottom of the sea before adding our sea creatures.
My mindee decorated the fish. “These are the gills” he told me. He carefully coloured in the sea horse, dolphin and shark in the colours of his choice.
I asked him what we might find in the sea and he told me “sharks, sea horse, boats and submarines”!
I love activities like this where the subject matter really captures the interest of the child.
“Can I take it home” he asked me at the end.
We were really pleased with the end result!
Areas of Learning covered: Communication and Language, Expressive Arts and Design, Physical Development (fine motor skills) and Understanding the World.