How do we challenge babies’ physical development?
All children develop at individual rates- some babies sit up at four months others sit up at seven months. We have had children walking at 10 months but also children who start walking at 16 months, the age at which a child reaches milestones is individual to each child, how we support them is the most important thing. Tailoring experiences to support each child’s development.
Our first example is of a child who is beginning to move and pull themselves up in preparation for walking. Here in 0-2’s we would ensure that we are offering strong sturdy surfaces which offer an array of height differences to support each level of pulling up. We offer activities on these surfaces to encourage the babies to pull themselves up and to maintain attention to help strengthen legs.
Our second example is of a baby whom is confidently walking and moving around the setting using their whole bodies, in this instance we would continue to offer furniture at different heights to encourage them to explore seeing how their body moves and how they can manipulate their bodies around the furniture, lifting their arms to pull up their bodies or raising their knees to get up and over objects. We offer a range of furniture such as tyres and chairs which enable the babies to crawl through and under as well as going around and over objects.
Throughout all stages we continually help babies to develop their fine motor development, from holding a spoon to engaging in messy play, we role model and example how we “squash” an “squeeze” and “splat” using the whole of our hands, big movements and small finger motions.
How we challenge children’s communication and language in the toddler room.
Rebecca got Sid the snail out today for the children to explore. She had two different conversations with two different children about Sid the snail which shows how we challenge children’s communication and language differently.
The first conversation she had- a child come over to look at Sid. Rebecca said “Sid is sleeping”. The child repeated “sleeping”. Rebecca said “Sid is sleeping”. The child copied “Sid sleeping”. Practitioner said “well done.” Rebecca said “shall we say wakey wakey Sid”. The child copied “wake”. Rebecca said “wake up Sid”. The child copied “wake up Sid”.
The second conversation Rebecca had was when a child approached and said “oh look Sid is hiding”. Rebecca said “Sid is hiding, I think he is sleeping”. The child suggested “shall we wake him?”. Rebecca asked “how shall we wake him?” The child suggested “we can use our gentle hands and rub his shell”. Rebecca said “that sounds good shall we try?” The child replied “yes I can try”. The child used their hand to rub the shell. The child said “it’s not working”. Rebecca asked “what shall we try now?” The child replied “we can try saying wakey wakey”. The child said “wakey wakey” while rubbing the snails shell. The child said “look it worked he is awake”.
Communication and language is one of the main areas of your child’s development. We challenge your child’s communication and language skills on an individual basis. We can challenge by making sounds, using singular words, using short sentences and asking your child questions and extending their vocabulary.
How do we challenge personal, social and emotional development in preschool children?
Preschool were engaged in a learning workshop which was based around emotions and feelings. Georgia had set up mirrors, feelings stones and different emotion cards for preschool to explore. Georgia interacted with 2 different children who are on different stages of their personal, social and emotional development journey.
The first child who is able to talk confidently about their emotions, picked up a mirror straight away and looked at their reflection. “Look I’ve got a happy face today, I’m feeling happy because I’m going on holiday at the weekend” they said. Practitioner pointed to a picture of a sad face and asked the child what was happening in the picture. “He looks sad because he’s crying, maybe he misses his mommy?” They replied. “Sometimes I’m sad but then I ask for a cuddle because that makes me feel happy”.
The second child walked over to the activity and picked up one of the picture cards. “Aw he looks sad” practitioner says pointing to the picture card. “He’s sad” child replies. Practitioner asks the child why they think he’s feeling sad. “He’s sad” they say again. “Maybe he’s sad because he hurt himself?” Practitioner suggests. “Yeah he might have a poorly” they reply. Practitioner then encourages the child to look in the mirror. “How are you feeling?” They ask. “Happy” child replies. Practitioner asks the child why they are feeling happy. “Happy” they repeat.
Throughout all ages and stages of their development, we help progress personal, social and emotional development. This is key as in preschool we are getting school ready and helping with the transition to school. So having a good understanding of their own emotions and their peers/practitioners emotions is key in their development. As well as this, it helps children to feel confident and comfortable to express their own emotions.
We can support children and challenge them further with their personal, social and emotional development by consistently talking about different feelings with the children, reading stories around emotions, using Makaton signs for different feelings and also setting up exciting activities around emotions such as using mirrors.