Calming Strategy – Balloons
The calming strategy for this week is called the Balloon. It is a favourite with the children.
Place hands on head and lock fingers together. Breathe in deeply and raise your hands over your head like your air is filling up a balloon. Sniff in more air. Sniff in one more time. Then let the air out as you drop your hands back down to your head. Make a “pppbbbbbbb” sound as the air empties from the pretend balloon. Repeat 3 times. On the last time you might want to pop the balloon with a clap of your hands.
Cut shapes (circle, square, triangle, oval, diamond) from cereal box cardboard. Have your child fold a paper in half and trace a shape using one of the stencils on one side of the folded paper. Have them open the paper. Then, encourage them to practice drawing the same shape freehand on the opposite side of the fold. Reassure your child that it is okay if the freehand drawing is not as straight and perfectly formed as the traced or stencilled image. Have your child describe the shape they have drawn. They can decorate the shapes if they would like.
When outside, try painting shapes on the sidewalk with water and a paintbrush.
When I was One
Recite and act out this fingerplay with your child.
When I was one, I was so small,
(hold up one finger)
I could not speak a word at all.
When I was two, I learned to talk.
(hold up two fingers)
I learned to sing, I learned to walk.
(point to mouth and feet)
When I was three, I learned about me
(hold up three fingers)
And when I was four, I learned more.
(hold up four fingers)
Now I’m five and I’ve arrived.
(hold up five fingers)
Discuss with your child the changes that have happened as they have grown. Things that they can do now that they couldn’t do before. Use pictures of your child at different stages to spark dialogue.
Encourage your child to draw a picture of something they couldn’t do when they were little that they can do now. Help your child write about their picture (spelling words, writing words down for them to copy) or write what your child says with their permission, depending on their ability.
Locomotor Skills Challenge
Outside or in a large space inside, decide on a starting point and ending point. Have your child stand at the starting point. Call out a locomotor skill for your child to move from the starting point to the finishing point and back. Point out how some skills like walking they have been doing for a long time, but skipping is a newly acquired skill and how they are maturing and changing.
Some locomotor skills to try crawl, walk, walk backwards, march, run, jump, hop, skip, gallop, leap, roll. Challenge your child to come up with other ways of moving.
Use Your Feet
Create a picture using only your feet. You can use paint with a paintbrush or paint with no paintbrush, markers or crayons. You may want to do the painting outside.
https://www.freechildrenstories.com/ – This website has a selection of free original stories for children ages 3-10 and novels for middle-grade children written by Daniel Errico.
https://raisingchildren.net.au/babies/play-learning/learning-ideas/early-numeracy – This Australian website page gives suggestions to help your infant or toddler develop numeracy skills. But, don’t stop at just this page. This website contains loads of information, both articles and videos, on parenting for all age groups. Some of the topics covered include behaviour, communication, sleep, nutrition and fitness, play and learning, safety and more.