Social Engagement starts with observations and copying behaviours.
At feeding times, position your child where they are facing you. Sit at their level. Call attention to what your child is eating, the colours, the texture, the temperature. Count the pieces of food on their plate, remind them to take bites and slowly enjoy the food. Have fun and make mealtimes an important part of your bonding experiences.
Role model healthy eating habits by eating with your child.
Skills to Practice: Show interest and awareness in others, understanding and enjoyment of healthy eating habits.
Extended Learning: Instead of feeding your baby, give your child the utensils. Let them play and explore. Feed them hand over hand.
At 12 months babies’ colour palettes are complete. Learning about shades is the next step. Children who are enriched with colourful experiences will be good at seeing slight difference in hue colours all their life.
Each day of the week have a “Colour Day” Start with Primary colours. Dress them, find toys and materials, eat foods, paint/colour and point out objects in that colour.
Skill to Practice: Learning descriptive language
Cognitive connections – classification by colour.
Extended Learning: When introducing secondary colours, have children discover the wonderment of colour changes by mixing paints together. Put it in a zip lock bag to avoid a mess.
Have children pick out a coloured material out of a pile of multicolour toys.
Language & Literacy
Point of View Parade
As infants crawl, they are seeing things from a different perspective than yours. The items they see from their crawling perspective may often go unnamed because these items are generally not in your view. Naming objects in their view gives the opportunities to expand their vocabulary.
Get down on the floor and follow your infant as they crawl or walk around. Name and point to the things you see on your journey. Create paths with objects and stop to discuss them and play (stuffed animals, blocks, musical instruments.) Hide some objects in unusual places and laugh and be surprised when you find them.
Skill to Practice: Language and Communication – responding through babble, body language and facial expressions, building and extending vocabulary.
Extended Learning: Make an obstacle course. Go over pillows, through tunnels, around chairs. How creative do you think you can get?
What is Needed: A Bar of Soap, Basin/bathtub/sink
Self Help skills are extremely important to be instilled at a young age. The sooner they learn to take responsibility over their health and well being, the better practices they will have into adulthood.
Around one, infants can begin to help with their hand washing routine. They can lather the soap, watch bubbles appear and rinse all them away. It’s also entertaining to watch young children try to maneuver a bar of soap!
Have them pay attention to the temperature of the water and point out how the water runs through their fingers. Have them rub their hands back and forth fast and slow, wiggle the hands around each other, interlock their fingers. Point out all the bubbles they made and how those bubbles trapped the germs, that they now need to rinse away. Don’t forget that drying hands is an important step in healthy hand hygiene.
Skill to Practice: Self Care and Object Manipulation.
Extended Learning: Use Paint soap to help them learn how to properly wash and rinse. Dab spots over their arms and legs. Have your infant rub it around to teach them how to not miss spots. Give them a washcloth to help them scrub it off.
Textured Finger Paint
What is Needed: Paper, Textured Finger Paint (or homemade), Paint Brushes for those infants who don’t like messy fingers.
Texture ideas – oats, flour, sprinkles, salt
Place textured paint directly on paper or tabletop. Invite your infant to explore. Talk about the paint as they work. The temperature, the texture, “The paint is cool and gritty.” “Talk about the colour and draw attention to the design and movements, “The red paint zig zags across the page when you wave your hand back and forth like that.”
Remember: Creative arts is about the process of the experience and less about the final product. And art experiences are often messy. Embrace the chaos and enjoy watching your little one dive into a whole new experience! Worry about the mess later!
Skills to Practice: Creative Expression – Calming, Self Regulating
Using senses to investigate environment to discover new findings
Extended Learning: Use pudding or yogurt for an extended sensory experience.
https://www.almanac.com/kids/at-home – free stories and activities from Animal Heroes to Weather Watchers
https://accessmars.withgoogle.com/ – get a virtual access to mars for those interested in space and the planets in our solar system.