You may have heard of Executive Functioning Skills. Well here is a piece that explains what they are, why they matter and how you can support your child’s development of these important skills. The original article can be downloaded here https://iraparenting.com/school-ready/executive-functioning-skills-child-development/
The Early Childhood Ireland website has some great information and resources for families like these ideas for supporting literacy and numeracy skills at home
What do children think about play? Do they see it as an opportunity to learn? Here is what the researchers at the Child and Family Blog https://www.childandfamilyblog.com/child-development/children-learn-through-play/ found out.
Do you know that you can help your child’s brain to develop? Here’s how, from The Growing Child newsletter distributed by Lifestart.
There is increasing evidence that a young child’s environment plays an important part in brain development.
Providing a child with appropriate developmental activities and experiences can lead to an increase in brain cell connections.
By so doing, the child is not only using existing brain cells but these increased connections can actually reshape the brain and enhance the brain’s power to learn and remember new material. Here is a short checklist to serve as a reminder of what parents can do
for their child’s brain development:
- Provide opportunities for your child to explore and gather information both in your home and outside the home.
- Give your child many opportunities to develop new skills, such as sorting, putting things in order, comparing, and discovering relationships, such as cause and effect.
- If your child doesn’t know how to get started on a new task, you can provide some guided rehearsal, but have her become actively involved as soon as possible. She will learn better as an active participant than as an observer.
- Don’t push if your child’s behavior indicates that a task is too difficult. Back off to a simpler task at which your child can experience success.
- Avoid disapproval, mocking or teasing if your child makes a mistake.
- Talk to your child in simple language to explain new words and concepts.
- Give praise and encouragement for good effort and celebrate new accomplishments.
The GROWING TOGETHER NEWSLETTER is issued by; GROWING CHILD Inc., and is distributed free, courtesy of: THE LIFESTART FOUNDATION, 2, Springrowth House, Balliniska Rd., Springtown Ind. Estate, L’Derry BT48 OGG
Tel: 028 71365363.
How do babies learn? Here is a piece from the Growing Child newsletter distributed by Lifestart which gives us some insight into that.
Exercises in Learning
Around her first birthday, what kinds of things is Baby now doing on her own? If you watch her carefully, you will notice she is likely to try to do something in a different manner the second, or at least the third time she tries to repeat an action. For instance, when she discovers the fascination of dropping objects, she doesn’t drop the same toy the same way each time. Instead she holds her arm in different positions She also tries out all possible surfaces for dropping.
This is quite a change from her younger months when she used to do the same thing over and over like banging an object or shaking her arms and legs to sway the bassinet. What has happened is that she is no longer so fascinated with the effect she can produce when she simply makes the same thing happen over and over again.
Her interest has shifted to the world of causes and effects outside herself. She is willing and able to make variations in her actions to learn about the nature of the objects themselves. She has now begun to sort and classify her experiences in a simple way.
Jean Piaget, the noted psychologist, divided a baby’s learning experiences into two categories.
First, she tries it out with a number of variations. She exercises the idea, so to speak. Baby’s various ways of dropping an object is not just a onetime occurrence but a predictable
happening. Then, along comes a situation where an idea doesn’t work. Let’s say that Baby is exercising the idea that she can put objects into a box through a hole in the top. All of a sudden, an object refuses to go through the hole—push though she will. Now comes a tiny crisis.
Baby’s idea, which had been so stable, suddenly becomes unsettled. She must either reconcile the idea with this new happening or give it up entirely.
Of course, Baby soon learns to modify her idea slightly. All objectswill go through the hole except those that are “too big.” Her process of adapting an idea to new circumstances is the second category of learning experiences and it is really the more important of the two. By this means, all of us have gained a more highly refined understanding of the world and its ways.
The GROWING TOGETHER NEWSLETTER is issued by; GROWING CHILD Inc., and is distributed free, courtesy of: THE LIFESTART FOUNDATION,
2, Springrowth House, Balliniska Rd.,
Springtown Ind. Estate, L’Derry BT48 OGG
Tel: 028 71365363. Fax: 028 71365334.
Web Site: www.lifestartfoundation.org
Here is another good piece from The Growing Child newsletter distributed by Lifestart
The Importance of Play
It is generally through play that a preschool child learns about the world around her and then assimilates what she has learned into her concept of reality.
Preschool children enjoy three different forms of play: physical, manipulative, and symbolic.
Physical play refers to activities that involve the use of the muscles. These activities emphasize action, and include running, hopping, jumping, climbing, throwing, sliding and playing with a ball.
Manipulative play refers to activities by which a child learns to gain better control over her environment. These activities include the use of puzzles and building blocks (which also require some physical play skills) as well as games that involve social manipulation (“What can I do to make Daddy come to me?”)
Symbolic play involves manipulation, not of people, but of events and objects. These play activities
would include the use of fantasy, pretend play, and nonsense rhymes. In symbolic play, a child can
change events, identities, and emotions for the sake of her play, thereby gaining more complete control over her newly created world. In a child’s life, play has many important effects on development.
Physical development. Play activities that involve physical exercise help to promote a child’s general health. Specific activities that involve, for example, perceptual-motor skills also help to develop the child’s eyehand coordination.
Cognitive development. Through play a young child is able to try out her understanding of how the world works. What we see in a child’s play is not just trucks, dolls, teacups and saucers. It is the child’s cognitive conception of the world as she experiences and understands it.
Emotional development. Perhaps the single most important contribution of play to emotional
development is the role it has in the formation of a child’s self-concept. Play is also a means by which a child can deal with emotional conflicts (for example, by using puppets to talk about hurt feelings).
Social development. In play activities, a child has an opportunity to experiment with different roles,
power relationships, and rules. For example, a young child may tell a doll or teddy bear to “sit in a corner” for some type of misbehaviour. Because young children enjoy play, it becomes a very natural way for them to learn about themselves and the world in which they live.
So, the next time you see your child engaged in play, you will know that she is not just “messing about.” She is engaged in the “work of childhood,” namely, promoting her physical, cognitive, emotional and social development.
Even our ordinary everyday routines of meal times, nappy changing and sleep times can give babies and toddlers opportunities to develop their communication skills as well as feelings of security and confidence. These tips from the First 5 website are written with childcare workers in mind but are really useful for mums and dads at home too.
What are care-giving routines?
Care-giving routines are repeated, predictable moments in a child’s life around bodily functions
such as nappy-changing, sleep-times and meal-times. You can create a predictable routine for babies and toddlers to match their individual need for sleeping, eating and nappy-changing.
Routine gives babies and toddlers a sense of security by knowing, I will get something to
eat when I am hungry and My nappy will be changed when it needs to be. A predictable
routine means that the child knows in advance what to expect giving them a feeling of safety and
trust. Develop care-giving routines that allow plenty of time for babies and toddlers to connect
and co-operate. Babies who are rushed can become frustrated, find it difficult to co-operate
and may not build the social skills necessary to manage within a group.
Care-giving routines provide valuable opportunities for some one-to-one interactions. They are positive experiences for babies and toddlers when they are respectful and carried out in a spirit of care and partnership and at a pace that suits the child.
Find out more here
Just click on the images for a better view or you can download the PDF here tip-sheet-birth-3 care giving routines
For more information and ideas about supporting your child’s learning and development see the First 5 website https://first5.gov.ie/parents/supporting-learning
Here are some great ideas from the First 5 website to help you support your baby’s learning and development
Click on the images for a better view or download the PDFs by just clicking the link below
Tá an t-eolas ar fáil anseo i nGaeilge fosta leidleathanach_thuismitheoir_babaithe
For more information from First 5 on supporting your baby/toddler’s learning have a look at the website https://first5.gov.ie/parents/supporting-learning
More creative ideas from First 5 on how you can support your pre-school child’s learning at home.
Here is one about making puppets from bits and pieces lying round the house. An activity like this helps to develop imagination, language, problem solving and creative skills.
And here is another lovely video on imaginative play
For more creative ideas check out https://first5.gov.ie/parents/preschool-at-home
Do you want to have a healthy brain? Have you older relatives in the family who worry about declining brain power as they age? Well this website hellobrain.eu has great tips to help you boost and maintain your brain well being. Check out the link below. Here is what hellobrain.eu has to say,
We want you to have a healthy brain
Research is showing that ‘modifiable’ lifestyle factors can help to protect brain health and function, and we want you to benefit.
Your brain is one of the most complex systems we know of in the Universe, and as with all living things the environment affects how it works.
For your brain, that environment is how you live, how physically active you are, how much you engage with other people, how you sleep and eat and whether you occupy your brain with tasks that can strengthen it.
Here’s how you can learn more
On this site you will learn more about the cells and structures that allow you to think, feel, learn and communicate.
You will learn about how the brain changes with age, and that decline is not an inevitable part of ageing.
You will also learn tips and tasks you can do now to help you enjoy good brain health as you get older.
Welcome to your brain. http://www.hellobrain.eu/en/
(Image by <a href=”https://pixabay.com/users/johnhain-352999/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1000062″>John Hain</a> from <a href=”https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1000062″>Pixabay</a>)