I would like to clear one thing.
The methods, techniques & ideas I put forth in my blog are actually practiced with my daughter Palak who is 23 now. Few newer things I have practiced with my school children. I am taking care of 197 special children. The pictures are internet images for the purpose of clarity. We at our school are doing lot more & those who have visited our premise would agree with that.
I AM NOT COMPILING THE INFORMATION FROM VARIOUS SOURCES...I AM SHARING MY ACTUAL EXPERIENCES
ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN WITH DS
Why we find it difficult to make our children learn in a better way???? Because we are not able to remove the word 'SPECIAL' from our minds..!!!! See the following pictures...these are routine things all children learn...some need assistance & some learn naturally. Similarly our children may need varied level of assistance to learn things effectively. Take it easy and play with the child enjoying his/her childhood & within no time you will see the magic...!!!
One more thing, I would like to share my experience with few parents (not all). Parents, especially mothers they keep on worrying every now & often for the smallest things. I know it is difficult to judge what is important & what is not, but you all are lucky enough to get authentic guidelines from various sources. Just start implementing whatever method/suggestion you get....too much of questioning will leave you in a state of confusion. At the end you will get tired without doing anything.
Coming to the point, I already wrote about 'STRENGTHS OF CHILDREN WITH DS' in my previous blog. It must be easier now to plan the learning sessions for your child accordingly. I am giving you few ideas & examples, you can have many of your own. In our school we may change the method but not the goal. As I said while programming our children's minds,
PutPut= Use the strengths (mentioned in my blog),
Patiently wait for the Output.
Threading is the fun activity that helps your child work on fine motor skills. All you need are some objects with holes through them i.e. large tubular pasta, big wooden beads, empty spools, or even empty toilet paper rolls,polo,buttons and some shoe laces. You can apply tape on a thread to make it harder & easier for the child to hold & thread. Let your youngster string away!
Colourful, malleable velvet wires as shown in picture are available & you can do many activities with that.
The sweet boxes during Diwali were made into learning boxes.
We just covered the box with a paper, put some holes with iron rode and threaded the straws. Child can further thread polo, pasta, beads etc. on each straw.
Empty bottles in your recycling bin actually make some pretty fun toys! In Toddler Bowling, kids roll a rubber ball toward the plastic bottle "pins" (fill them with dried beans if you need to add some weight).
Children even simply can explore matching a variety of bottles with their correct cap and screwing/unscrewing the caps.
You can also just fill empty plastic bottles with fun combinations of materials for little ones to shake and observe. Be sure to glue on the cap! You can get many ideas for sensory bottles on internet.
Here comes my favourite PLAY DOUGH & KINETIC SAND
We can use our biscuit, muffin or cake molds.
Lots of learning with FELT cloth. The bright colours of the cloth attracts the child. You can make many learning items. Shaping, cutting, pasting etc helps the child to strengthen the hand muscles. All the activities mentioned will improve the hand-eye-brain coordination & thereby the attention span of the child.
Children enjoy this hand matching activity a lot.There is one twister game you can play. My school children play with hands & feet both. We have modified the original a bit.
Colour sorting: There is no need to name the colour in the beginning. Just start with sorting. Put two very bright & opposite coloured things(what materials you can use, I have shown pictures ahead) in a bowl & help your child to separate them. Next is spread them on the floor & help your child to pick them up and put it into a bowl/container accordingly.
You can prepare these Hungry Monsters using 2 liter cold-drink bottle, a pair of scissors & colourful tapes.
Gradually keep on adding one colour at a time, still no need to name the colour.
In both the pictures, above & below, felt cloth is used.
Instead of Lego blocks(costlier), you can use other material.The importance is of sorting.
When the child is able to sort 5-6 colours with ease, start naming one colour. Continue sorting 5-6 colours but name just one, usually red being bright & catchy colour child starts naming it first. Apply the same rule, if child is able to identify that colour (lets take it 'Red') from anywhere in his surroundings, name one more colour (lets take that 'Yellow'). Keep on naming these two colours during the colour sorting activity.
Now stick Red coloured stickers on the dorsal aspect of child's one hand & Yellow on the other.
Now child has to pick red coloured object using the hand with red sticker & yellow coloured object using the hand with yellow sticker. If the child is able to speak he has to speak out the colour every time he picks the object or otherwise you speak out the colour name.
You can encourage your child to match & name the same coloured objects/pictures from the house hold things. Mix tomatoes/red bell pepper & bananas/ripe mangoes etc.
Once the concept of these two colours is clear, add more names one by one.Now child has to sort the colours naming them each time.
The above picture shows colour sorting using pieces of wool. We have cut different coloured wool into 2-3 inches pieces & mixed them.
Sorting tray made from empty Dry-Fruit box. This can be used in a multiple ways. Here we will use for colour sorting.
SOME HANDY & USEFUL MATERIAL THAT CAN BE USED IN MULTIPLE WAYS
Different sized & coloured buttons:
As we learned about colours, we will follow the same rule to learn shapes. Start with sorting; once the child sorts 5-6 shapes with ease, start naming one at a time. Give house hold examples simultaneously like Round- Roti, plate etc. Square- carom board, floor tile etc...
Continue with the same method of putting sticker on the dorsal aspect of hand. This time it would be two different shapes.
Few craft activities that can be done easily with younger kids:
Disposable paper dish:
Just stacking the dishes is good activity to keep your child busy. Learning is always there.My school children with the help of teachers prepare lots of innovative things from paper dishes.
Lot more ideas on paper dish crafts on internet.
Again stacking the cups, making the pyramid etc. can keep your child busy with side by side learning. As I mentioned in my blog on speech, blowing the pyramid made up of disposable glasses is an effective oromotor exercise.
Craft activities with cups.
Our children do have problem with pincer grip. Easy grip crayons will motivate them to draw, colour & help their fine muscles of hands to grow stronger.
You can do the following and lot more on your own.
- Pile the empty boxes, put a soft toy on the top & knock them down.
- Put a soft toy on your back and crawl till the toy falls down. Encourage your child to repeat the same
- Playing with colourful ribbons.
Lots of learning using flashcards.You can get free printable flashcards from the site mentioned.
In my previous blogs I have mentioned lot of activities that helps to develop speech clarity, exercises for strengthening smaller muscles of the hands etc. There are no compartments for learning. Go on doing everything that is applicable to your child as per his/her age and developmental stage.
Many mothers repeatedly says that their kids don't cooperate. Most of the time mother is stressed & so the joy of learning disappears. Our children smell our emotions within a fraction...!!!! They won't cooperate!!! Enjoy each milestone.....whether achieved or underachieved...
- What is the importance of foot arch? How can we develop that in our children?
- What is sensory integration?(SI) Do it yourself, I'll show you.