Friday, 25 May 2012

Bang,bang,bang...Auditory Pattern

Drums, shakers, and noisy toys all added to the fun at Head Start this week.  The reason behind all this fun noise was because this week we were concentrating on Auditory Pattern.  This is the ability to listen to a pattern of sound and repeat that same pattern back.  Auditory Pattern is an important underlying skill for a child's speech development. 

Our activities this week included drums and shakers that had our Ready and Steady kids banging and shaking out some fun patterns with Mums, Dads, Nana's and carers all trying repeat them back.  Our On Your Marks kids found some of the noisy toys lots of fun, pushing, watching and listening to all the interesting sounds these made.  This caused lots of laughs and smiles and we love to see this at Head Start. 

Musical instruments and singing is a great way to help your wee ones learn to recognise sound patterns. It doesn't matter if you sing in tune or not and the musical instruments can just be the pots and a wooded spoon from the draw.  For our Go kids we have them clapping and stamping patterns with hands and feet and you can do this at home while listening to your favourite songs.

Have fun making your own instruments this week and we look forward to seeing you all next week at our Head Start Headquarters

From the Head Start Team :)

Friday, 18 May 2012

Visual Completion

Wow what a busy week at Head Start this week.  Everyone seems to be settling into the Head Start environment really well and enjoying all of the fun activities that we do, YEAH!

This week we have been looking at Visual Completion.  This is the ability to identify an object even if part of it is hidden. Visual Completion is important for children to be able to formulate letters and numbers when learning to write.

For our little's we were practising this by covering up our favourite soft toys and playing a slow peekaboo to see how much (or little) you can show before they tell you what it is.  We extended this idea in class by using peekaboo windows over pictures of familiar things, for example a picture of Thomas the Tank Engine hidden with only a small window to see a portion of the picture - a fun concept to try at home with some of your favourite picture books!  For the bigger kids we took these ideas of completion even further and started finishing partially drawn shapes on the white board...who knew join the dots could be so educational?!  For more ideas to do at home don't forget to grab a take home sheet on the way out.

Have a fun weekend and stay nice and warm.  Maybe you could play some card games or sit and read some favourite books in front of the fire.  It is a good time to collect leaves and make some nice leaf rubbings which makes lovely wrapping paper.

Take Care from the Head Start Team :)

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes - Body Awareness

Hello All!
So this week at our Head Start Headquarters we have been focusing on Body Awareness. Body Awareness is the internal awareness (in technical jargon: proprioception) of where your body parts are without having to look at them. In other words the understanding of where your arms, legs, head etc are in relation to each other. As kids learn about where their body parts are and develop a greater understanding of where their body is in space they are better equipped to move in a coordinated way, such as running, turning, leaping and generally just being active.
When they get to school this can help them to navigate their way in a busy classroom environment and also helps to stabilise their trunk while moving their arm in an isolated and coordinated way while handwriting. Who knew that all those songs and games like Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and the Simon Says could be the gateway to so many other skills?!

So this week at Head Start what have we been up too?  For our OYM kids we played with tactile objects out of our treasure box  to introduce different sensations to different parts of the body (the detergent bottle was a favourite). Our Ready kids were popping a beanie baby on different parts of their body whilst the Steady bunch took this one step further by seeing how far they could walk while balancing bean bags on different body parts.  The Go team got super inventive with their Body Twister moves managing to get elbows, knees, hands and feet into positions that are not recommended for the older members of the class.

So all in all, another great week for the Head Starters of Term 2. Try to get creative this week and use your newly practised Body Awareness skills at home too - What a great excuse to get out your newborn clothes out of storage and dress up all the teddies...see how many parts of the body you can throw into the conversation! Try looking through your books and see how many noses/ears/toes etc you can find on each page. For the older ones get creative with your Simon Says instructions. Lastly, see if you can make up actions to all your favourite songs, Hokey Tokeyand Knees Up Mother Brown  are great places to start but I am sure you can think of heaps more!
Have a fun weekend and remember, there is no wrong weather, just wrong clothes :)
From the Head Start Team

Friday, 4 May 2012

B...b... Looking at Visual Consistency

Hello to all.  Hasn't week two been busy! 

This week we have been looking at Visual Consistency.  This refers to your child's ability to recognise that objects stay the same despite size, colour, viewing angle and orientation.  This becomes important when the child starts school and there are lots of signs in different fonts in the classroom.  So at Head Start we have been identifying all the circles or squares, pulling all the same shapes out of the treasure box and grouping letters.

Reminder to all to pick up a take home sheet as you leave.   This gives you some tips to enhance the foundational skill we have been addressing in the class for at home. 

We now have a designated blue bucket for any equipment that may need to be washed.  With winter coming on we want to keep everyone well so please use this if your child puts anything in their mouth.

For those families that have just joined us, we also want to let you know that if you do  accidentally leave something behind we have a lost and found box located on the window in the Head Start room.

Keep an eye out for  our seminar this term.  'Look who's Talking'.  This will be run by Karen Maunsell (Speech Language Therapist) on Thursday 17th May, 2012, 7.30pm.  All are welcome but you will need to RSVP to 487 9698 so we have enough supper for everyone.

Have a great weekend all and we will see you next week.  Keep Warm

From the Head Start Team