Friday, 23 November 2012

Touch

Hello to all our Head Start families and friends. This is a week that I love sharing with our Head Start children. The sensation of touch is essential for our little's development and is one of the primary ways that they learn about their environment.   Yes it was messy but that's the part I love the most! 

This week we had lots of new things for them to explore using their sense of touch. The firm favourites for the week was the touch and feel tub of dried rice and packing material filled with hidden treasures - under close supervision this was a hit with both our littler and older Head Starters. We managed to pry a few kids away from the touchy tanks to show them our Total Touch station which consisted of shredded paper to be emerged in, mattresses to be squashed between and Lycra to be rolled up in.

The massage box filled with textured goodies and a corresponding bag to try to match objects too just by using the sense of touch...this was harder than it looks! Our Go kids were extended further through tasks that got them identifying shapes and objects using the sense of touch just through their feet - definitely a challenge!!
 
Have a great week and this week I challenge you to let your child play in the dirt or run their hands through their food without you cleaning it up in a hurry.  In other words let your child explore the different textures around them fully.
Maybe this is a bit over the top,but
doesn't it look like fun!!!
Have a great week and we look forward to sharing some more Christmas songs with you over the coming weeks.
 
Jo and the Head Start Team

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Fine Motor Skills

Hello to all our Head Start families and friends.  We have had a busy week at our Head Start Headquarters this week where our focus has been Fine Motor Skills.
 
This is the ability to use smaller muscle groups to perform tasks that are precise in nature. Our children develop their gross motor skills primarily by exercising their larger muscle groups to move around. These gross motor skills help to develop core strength and this in turn provides a stable base from which to initiate movement from the smaller muscle groups responsible for fine motor control. Gross motor movement is a key concept at Head Start and is being developed every week through the running, jumping and climbing opportunities presented to our littlies. So this week we built on all this strengthening and presented our Head Starters with some fun fine motor skills to practise!
 
Little fingers love to explore zips, buttons, clasps and Velcro so we gave them plenty of chances to do so on our dressing up and down blanket. Puzzle pieces were hidden in pockets and there were fun pictures to discover, this is an easy one to keep practising at home too! Other fun gadgets included tongs for picking up teeny tiny animals and nuts and bolts to keep little fingers busy. Some of the boys really got into making up the trucks, putting all the nuts and bolts together, and there was lots of fun discovering what was hiding in the play dough.
  
Fine Motor skills can be practised through food exploration, goo, sandpits, dressing, scissors, colouring,  just to name a few.  For some more information you may like to read this article.  Fine Motor Development 0 - 6 Years http://www.skillbuildersonline.com/SBA/PDF/Fine_Motor_Skill_Development_0-6_Years.pdf 
 
Have a great weekend and we will see you all next weekend for another exciting week at our Head Start Headquarters. 
 
Take Care
Jo and the Head Start Team
 
 
 
 

Thursday, 8 November 2012

I see you - Vision

Hi to all our Head Start families and friends. What a busy week at our Head Start Headquarters this week. This week we have been “looking” at our vision. How many noticed the butterflies in the Head Start room this week?
 
Why do we have a session on vision?  Well.......Our eyes work together to send visual information to the brain. Like the muscles of our bodies, the muscles of the eyes need to be worked to develop.
When your child’s eyes are controlled without effort their attention is available for visual concentration such as following words on a page when reading and following moving objects when participating in games and sports.
 
So this has meant we have been watching the balls go down the ramp, over the roller coaster, through the maze.  We have been watching bubbles float by and feathers fall softly to the ground.  Our Go kids tried to balance a marble in the middle of a maze and pump air to push ping pong balls to letters.  We also had a cave with a flashing ball and torches with rocket ships and planets on them to follow in the dark.
 
Everyone has been really busy as they watch all the different activities happening around the room.  Don't forget to point things out to your children that they might miss, you would be how amazed they will be at the tiniest things and then realise how much we take for granted as adults.
Have a great weekend all. We'll be "looking" out for you next week
Jo and the Head Start Team

 
 
 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Gross Motor Skills - Running

Hi to all our Head Start families and friends.  This week we were looking at Gross motor skills. This requires the use of your child’s large muscle groups (legs, arms, back). With practise these movements become more refined and are extended to more complex tasks. Skills such as running, jumping and kicking are used in active games and sports. Gross motor development is also an important aspect of fine motor control as the large muscle group’s act to stabilise the body in tasks such as writing and cutting with scissors.

With the weather getting warmer the parks are a great place to try out all these Gross Motor Skills.  All the running, jumping, climbing, hanging, swinging that a child can do over all the equipment really kicks all these big muscle groups into gear not to mention the fresh air and sunshine! So this week for our Head Strat Kids there was lots of running, jumping, hopping, and climbing through our obstacle course for all our age groups. We also had games of chase the tiger tail and rolling down the ramp which was created lots of fun and laughter.

Don't forget if you get stuck inside an obstacle course is a great way to entertain the kids as well as wear them out a bit. Cushions, sheets, chairs and tables all make fun things to climb through, over and under and you can even get the kids to help you design it!

Hope you all have a great weekend and we will see you next week at our Head Start Headquarters