Games are great for developing early social interaction, communication and attention skills. When we play a quick game, I feel that we have been able to have a bit of quality time together, even when doing something mundane like waiting to board the plane.
Building in a bit of learning whilst having fun doesn’t need to be complicated. Sometimes spending 5 minutes of focused time with a child, engaging in their play, can be enough to give them a little boost with their learning and confidence.
One of the great ways to enjoy playing outside is to visit local parks and play areas. We are really lucky to live in a part of England where there are lots of green spaces. Over the years we have tried and tested lots of playgrounds and gone on many day trips. Here are my favourite 3 places in East Berkshire to play outside.
Children need the opportunities that exploring outside provides. Nature gives a wealth of information into every one of their senses, which in turn helps them to develop their motor skills, their cognitive skills, their social and communication skills and especially their attention skills. Gardening is a wonderful way to explore their world.
Playing outside offers a great opportunity to explore making marks with lots of different materials. Early mark making is wonderful for supporting the development of fine motor control and is an important step towards learning to read and write.
When introducing a new routine, visual support is particularly important as children have a lot to get their heads around! For children starting preschool or primary school we recommend using a weekly visual calendar.
Reading stories about school is a fun, non-threatening way to help children to begin to think about what school might be like. Talking about relatable characters, rather than themselves, may help them to gain some understanding before talking about their own feelings. There are so many lovely children’s books on this topic, here are a few of our favourites to share whilst preparing for transition into education.
Turn taking is a valuable skill which supports the development of early social interaction and communication skills. Developing an understanding of reciprocation through the exchange of two way communication is a vital foundation for shared attention and conversation skills later on.
Pegs are ideal for getting little hands working to develop fine motor skills. At first glance a pack of wooden pegs may not seem like to most exciting or eye-catching resource... think again. With a little imagination, a simple pack of wooden, pound shop pegs can become a tool for so many play tasks.