One of the key early cognitive skills that babies develop is object permanence. This is their understanding that an object still exists, even when they cannot see it. This understanding can begin to develop from 4 months and is often seen between 4 and 7 months old. You might first notice your child is developing this skill when they look for things they have dropped from the buggy or highchair. Here are some toys and games to support babies in developing their understanding of object permanence.
At primary school level there tend to be three types of school settings available for children with special educational needs; mainstream primary schools, schools with specialist classes/units and specialist schools. Choosing which type of school is most suitable for your child can feel a little pressurised. Here is a little run down of what the different types of schools offer and the advantages of each.
Developing attention and play skills in preschoolers with additional needs can be a real challenge. But with the right strategies and helpful hints, they can learn to play for longer periods of time and develop their creativity and focus to learn and explore.
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.