Friday, 31 May 2013

1,2,3 Listen to Me - Auditory Pattern

Well our Head Start Headquarters was a bit quiet this week with all that lovely snow closing the city down.  I hope you had fun making snowmen and snow angels we sure did. For those new families at Head Start the best way for us to let you know what is happening is through our Face Book Page, but as a general rule, if the schools are closed so are we and we will post on our Face Book page any change of details. 
So this week for those were able to be with us on Thursday was very noisy.  This was due to all the drums, shakers, and noisy toys being played.  The reason behind all this fun noise was because this week we were concentrating on Auditory Pattern. 
Auditory Pattern 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 children banging and shaking out some fun patterns with Mums, Dads, Nana's and carers all trying repeat them back.  Others 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 older children we had 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, 24 May 2013

Head Shoulders Knees and Toes - Body Awareness

Hello to all our Head Start Friends and Families. 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/Ready kids we played with tactile objects out of our treasure box to introduce different sensations to different parts of the body (the sauce bottle was a favourite). Some of the Ready children 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  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 Tokey and Knees Up Mother Brown are great places to start but I am sure you can think of heaps more!
Have a fun weekend  and we look forward to seeing you all at our Head Start Headquarters next week :)
From the Head Start Team

Friday, 17 May 2013

Visual Consistancy

Hello to all our Head Start friends and families.  Well week two and it already seems like our newest Head Starters have settled in beautifully. This week we tackled the Foundation Skill of Visual Consistency. In a nutshell this is the understanding that despite differences such as size, colour and orientation an object remains the same.

For example, a duck is still a duck even though it may be brown, white or speckled, big, small or have it's head under the water.  It is the ability to mentally turn and rotate objects in the mind and to picture what they would look like whcih in turn helps to distinguish differences between objects. 

In terms of formal learning this skill is important in order to master handwritting and reading as it helps the child understand that letters stay the same sespite changes in size or shape (font size, font type, upper and lower cases).

Till next week have fun finding examples of visual consistency at your place!
From the Head Start Team :)

Thursday, 9 May 2013


Well Term 2 has hit with a hiss and a roar.  Great to welcome back our Head Start families and a BIG WELCOME to all our new Head Start families.  We hope you enjoy the Head Start program and we look forward to getting to know you all better over the next 9 weeks of the term.

Each week we at Head Start we have a specific focus which is based around foundational skills that makes children better equipped for further learning and development.  The activities that we put out in our Head Start room enhance the identified skill and as trained professionals in Occupational Therapy we are able to assist you, the parents, with grading the activity to fit your child.  With parent's participation you then learn the skill as well as how to adjust the activity at home to fit with the growth and development of your child.

We love our job and seeing how the children develop over the term or terms that they are with and we love to hear your feedback, so let us know what you think of our program or how you think it has helped your child/ren.

Don't forget we are part of a larger team at RATA South LTD which includes Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and Physiotherapists so if you have any questions please feel free to ask or call us on (03) 487 9698 for further information.

I am looking forward to next week already, I hope everyone had fun this week I know I did, THANKS.

Have a good week

From the Head Start Team :)