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Thursday, 30 June 2011


GET CREATIVE: further ideas to help your child play and learn.

 Drawing and painting can be introduced for kids from 18 months. You can use crayons, felt tips or powder paint . You can  make powder paints thicker by adding washing-up liquid as well as water. At first you will need  to show your child how to use a paint brush,crayon. You can use thick cereal packs for paper.

 WALKING- Encourage your child to walk with you,you may use the safety harness. It may slow you down but its a good way  for both of you to get some exercise.

PAPER BAG OR ENVELOPE PUPPETS- Use old paper bags and envelopes to make into hand puppets. Draw faces on them or stick things on them to make your old characters. Slip your fingers in them and try getting them to 'talk' (using a high pitched voice), 'laugh' to your child.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011



   Giving your child different things to play or creating more opportunities for them to play does'nt need to be difficult or expensive. Sharing books,songs and nursery rhymes with your child is fun, and will help them develop language and communication skills. You can also use lots of things you have around the house. Listed here are some ideas. Don't forget to get involved yourself- your child will learn more from you than they will from any toy.

illustration of kids playing dress up.

child enjoying water play.
    toddler moulding with play dough.
  1. RATTLES                                                                                                                                            [from four months].                                                                                                                               Wash out a plastic screw top bottle and put dried beans or lentil inside. Shake it around in front of the child and it helps them to learn how to make a sound/noise with it. As dried beans are poisonous and small objects can be dangerous for young children due to suffocation. It's  best to glue the top of the bottle very well so it will not come off.             
  2. PLAY DOUGH                                                                                                                                [from 18months].                                                                                                                              You can make your own play dough. Put one cup of plain flour, two tablespoons of cream of tartar, half cup of salt, one tablespoon of cooking oil and some food colouring or powder paint in a pan. Stir over a medium heat until it forms a dough. Once the dough has cooled down, you can show your child how to make different shapes. If you keep it in a plastic box in the fridge, you can use it again.              
  3. PRETEND COOKING                                                                                                                  [from 18 months].                                                                                                                             You can use bowl and spoons and measure real ingredients like flour ,sugar. You and your child can mix it up in a bowls and use spoons to stir and you can narrate what you are doing. So they are putting words to what they are doing.
  4. TELEVISION.                                                                                                                                Watch television with your child and make sure you know and authorise what they are watching. Some parents prefer to limit their children's television viewing. TV can entertain as well as educate your child.
  5.  PLAYING WITH WATER(any age) :                                                                                                                                Babies , toddlers and young children love water play, in the bath or paddling pool or just using the sink or plastic bowl. Use plastic bottles for pouring and squirting at each other, plastic tubing, a sponge, colander, straws, a funnel, spoons and anything unbreakable will do. You will both get wet, it's best either cover your clothes or wear loose fitting clothes. Remember , never leave a young child alone with water. A toddler can drown in less than 5cm (2 inches) of water.
  6. DRESSING UP                                                                                                                                 [from 18 months].                                                                                                                            Collect old clothes,hats,scarves,bags. Make sure there are no loose strings to wrap around the child's neck or trip them [or you]. Paper plates can be used to make masks. Kids love dress up, they find it really fun.
  7. READING.                                                                                                                                     You can start reading and looking at books with your baby from an early age. You don't have to read the words, just talk about what you can see. Even very young babies like looking at picture books. Local libraries usually have a good range of children's books. Looking at books with your child, even if it's just for 10 minutes a day, will help  them build important skills and encourage their interest in reading.                                                                                                                                             Look out for learning and playing 3.

Saturday, 11 June 2011


We all know playing is fun, but did you know it's also the most effective way for children to learn? Through play, children can practise all the skills they will need as they grow up.
 Play is very important to children as it is spontaneous. When children play, the use the experiences they have and extend them to build up ideas,concepts and life long skills they can carry with them later in life. While playing, babies and children can try different things out, take risks and do trial and error to find things out for themselves.
 Babies and children have to experience play physically and emotionally. In other words, it is not enough to provide stuff to play with. The most important element for young babies is the parent or primary carer. It is that person the baby is close to, the person that forms emotional bond with the baby. A child with this secure attachment feels able to rely on their parents or caregivers for safety and comfort, develops knowledge about communication and language , and uses these important attachment  relationships as bases from which to explore and learn about the world.

  • Get together lots of different things for your child  to look at, think about and do.
  • By making what you are doing fun and interesting for your child. You can do your chores while they are learning
  • Make sure there are times you focus completely on your child.
  • Talk about everything and anything, even the washing up or what you put on the shopping list.[you will literally be a talkative lol]. As you are sharing as much as possible your child will be picking up new words and be picking up her vocabulary.

 To grow and develop , children need time and attention from someone who is happy to play with them. We all need to make out time for play for our children because while they are playing you can get their attention  to teach them as well.
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