Early learning child development blog

Baby and toddler motor development - eye and head movement

Baby and toddler motor development - eye and head movement

We rely on our vision skills to be able to: See objects in our environment Balance across different floor surfaces without tripping over Pick up and play with objects Read written text Climb along play equipment Throw and catch a ball with our family and peers Our visual skills are more complex than just being able to clearly see an optometrist's eye chart.   We also need to make sure our eyes and visual system are: working as a team - with the left and right eyes working smoothly together perceiving the depth and distance of objects correctly (so we...

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Trajectory play schema activities for children's development

Trajectory play schema activities for children's development

Play schemas are repetitive play behaviours that we see typically in infants and toddlers.   Play schema behaviours describe a lot of infant and toddler behaviour such as; throwing food off of a high chair, snatching a toy from our sibling, collecting random objects around the house, wanting to push trolleys and prams, wanting to line toys up in order, wrapping objects up in paper.   I'm sure you're nodding at one or two of those behaviours right now!   We all use repetitive play schema behaviours to learn and develop. That's how we now know how to assemble an...

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How to view the classroom from a child living with autism's perspective

How to view the classroom from a child living with autism's perspective

When I walk into a classroom for an observation session, the first thing that I do is sit at the back of the classroom to observe: the environment (shadows, sounds, lighting, environment inside and outside, smells, colours, etc), the space that children are sitting in (are they sitting on the floor as a large group, sitting at small group tables, sitting at a busy snack table, etc.) observe what sensations are being experienced by the child living with autism from the floor surface, to what is hanging from the ceiling. My observations of the classroom and the outdoor environment come with no...

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Outdoor nature play activity ideas for preschool and primary aged children

early learning blog outdoor play

Outdoor nature play activity ideas for preschool and primary aged children

Nature provides a great opportunity for children to: explore their 3D world, use all sensory systems in their body, self-regulate by connecting more with interoception, use creative thinking to turn open ended natural resources into play experiences, and use their motor skills to walk, run, jump, climb, balance, etc. Below I share nature play activity ideas to encourage children to try when playing outdoors: 1. Sensory activities - these are games such as making mudpies, picking up and hole punching leaves, collecting gumnuts to play a game of naughts and crosses, 'ring around a rosie', etc   2. Looking for...

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Reducing screen time for children with movement and play

play based kindergarten

Reducing screen time for children with movement and play

I'm a busy mum of 3 and most afternoons my children have screen time so I don't feel that screens are necessarily 'bad'. The important thing to remember with screen time is finding a healthy balance with screen time, play and movement.   When children are engaged in screen time, their head and eyes are usually still and facing forward, and they're usually slouching on the couch which encourages their core muscles to have a holiday.   Below I share with you 10 play based learning activities that will work on the motor skills that children need to keep promoting eye...

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