Recently, the UK gained a new princess in a fairy tale Royal Wedding watched the world around. Botswana holds a special place for the couple as it was the location of their engagement so we didn’t escape the wedding fever. Everyone loves to feel special which is why stories about princes and princesses have always held a prominent place in children’s literature.
As we start a new term at SensoBaby, we want to recognise how special your little ones are. They may not be royalty, but they all wear a crown that makes them unique and wonderful. Our theme this term is about Building Connections: connections with caregivers, nature, friends and community. We will build brain connections, emotional connections and celebrate the wonders that are our SensoBabies.
Last week we were inspired by the book by Nancy Tillman, ‘The Crown on Your Head’, as we made crowns and began to explore what makes us unique.
“With your crown made of glittering, high flying things, you’ve got wind in your pocket, your wishes have wings”
We have so many wishes for our children, we’d love to find out your aspirations for your little ones. During classes this term, we’ll explore your child’s favourite activities and build upon the interests and behaviour we observe. We’ll also look at what makes us equal because every one of us wears a remarkable crown.
“No one’s is brighter, no one’s is duller. It’s only a crown of a different colour”
Take it Home
We asked for your feedback last term and you said you wanted more ‘take home’ play ideas. Each week, we’ll make suggestions on how you can extend our activities and ideas at home. You can play the SensoBaby way! Here are a couple of suggestions for you to try:
- Making faces: We are born with an innate ability to recognise faces and they hold our attention which means making faces is a great play idea to try at home. We used a Mr Potato Head in some of our sessions but you can make faces at home using household objects and recyclables like bottle tops and coffee pods. Older children can go on a hunt to find eyes, noses, mouths and hair whilst younger children can play with the parts and be guided to create a face. By labeling the body parts, you are also facilitating language development and you can ask questions that explore similarities and differences ‘I have a nose, do you have a nose? Where is your nose?’, ‘Does the dog have a nose? What colour is his nose?’.
- Mirror Play: Babies and young children are fascinated with mirrors. They don’t recognise their own reflection until around 18 months of age so before then they will look behind it or be entertained by their own expressions and features. Doing ‘tummy time’ over a mirror can hold a little one’s attention for longer and assist with developing their neck and core muscles. Older children can practice faces in the mirror which is a great way to start talking about emotions “Show me your happy/sad/angry face”. If you have a portable mirror, think about the ways you can introduce it into play time.
- Celebrate: Lots of little ones have a favourite toy, doll or stuffed animal. We take these for granted but because it is so special to your little one, why not celebrate it? Making the toy ‘feel special’ is a lovely way to begin introducing concepts of empathy. Hold a birthday or tea party or make a crown for the toy. Celebrating their connection to their favourite things can be very meaningful for a child and a lovely way to promote bonding with your toddler.
Our top tips this week are all about observing your children play:
- Look for a verb, not an adjective. What does your child like doing? They may like cars but is it mainly the movement that attracts them? Is it dolls they like playing with or do they enjoy practicing caring? Once you have worked out what they like doing, you can build on their interests with new and stimulating activities. Need some help thinking of ideas? Get in touch with us!
- Spend some uninterrupted time with your child and take their lead in play. See what they focus on, what they guide you to and how they want to interact with your and their toys. Put the phone away, don’t worry about how toys ‘should’ be played with, just engage, observe and enjoy.
- Build your own Discover Table. Place different toys and household objects on a tray or table and see how your child engages with them. Make sure they are safe for exploration depending on age and ability but see what they are attracted to and how they use the objects for play. Comment on what you see, talk about your shared experiences and enjoy the discovery together.
We are loving seeing so many friends old and new this term!
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