During the spring term we will spend our time exploring and understanding different animals! Our interest topic this week is sea animals. In class we will be exploring different things; here are some examples of how you can explore sea animals with your children at home:
Water activities- sinking and floating.
Which animals might you find under the sea??
sensory water play - finding sea animals in ice.
We hope you have lots of fun learning about sea animals and where they live at home! Make sure you take lots of pictures and send them into school.
Filling tray up with foam/oats/sand etc, can your child write different letters of the alphabet in the sensory tray?
Writing different letters onto blocks- can your child spell their name? Can they spell CVC words?
Interactive stories i.e. the 3 little pigs using pig teddies or printed out pigs and wolf, sticks, straw and blocks to make a house
Phonics baskets- a basket filled with a letter of the alphabet and different toys/objects that relate i.e. for P- pinecone, pen, panda, polar bear, peacock, Peter pan etc
Mark making to trace letters
Share your child’s favourite stories with them. Ask them to point to pictures in the story or to recall events that have happened. Encourage your child to turn the pages independently.
- Routine. Some children in our class benefit from following a stable routine. Could you create a daily routine that helps your child through the day? (this can just be written and drew on a piece of paper- including visual images will help support your child's understanding). I.e. brush teeth (draw a picture of toothbrush), breakfast (draw a picture of cereal) etc.
- Turn taking/sharing. Learning to play and share with other children is a big aspect of our children's lives, as it is a tricky skill to learn. It is important to model good turn taking/sharing with your child. For example, 'first its ____ turn, then its my turn' (some children may not be ready for this, use your own judgement of their play skills).
- Modelling language. Show your child pictures of animals. As you say the animals name encourage your child to say the sound of the animal. Another example is exploring a sensory tray and discussing the feeling i.e. hard, soft, squishy etc.
Different number songs on YouTube (10 in the bed, 10 green bottles etc)
Numbering blocks 1-10 for your child to place in order
Sorting objects by- size, colour, what they are etc
Number hunt- sensory bin activity I.e. blended cheerios, the child has to dig for different
numbers in the sensory bin and name or explore the number as they are found
Shapes hunt- finding different shapes around the house. ‘can you find me something that is a
Measuring activities with different size straws- small, medium, big.
Plastic plates with numbers 1-5 on, can the child place 1 pom pom on plate one, 2 pom poms
on plate 2 etc. If the plates are different colours, will the child match the colour of the plate to the colour of the pom pom?
- Using a rocking chair to rock back and forth.
- Stretches- model this if your child will copy back. Make it fun!! For example- can you stretch to reach the dinosaur?
- Bouncing on a therapy ball.
- Row row row your boat.
- Playing on a swing.
- Swinging in a blanket (have your child lay in a blanket and have two adults hold each end and swing back and forth - always ensure the child wants to do this, can’t fall out and face isn’t covered)
- Balance board.
- YouTube videos- ‘autism sensory meltdown’ provides different calming videos.
- Pans and spoons- bang the pans with your child.
- Plastic container (could a kinder egg container or plastic bottle etc)- fill with different things that make sound I.e. rice, coins, popcorn kernels.
- ‘Quiet area’- this could be a tent or somewhere at home that is quieter.
- Popping bubbles
- Make homemade lava lamps https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxAvnKutz2Y
- Sensory bottles- can be filled with paint, glitter, water + food colouring, pompoms etc (there are lots of ideas on Pinterest for this)
- Getting a big cardboard box and poking holes through the top for fairy lights to slot in
- Sand timers
- Filling up jars with different scents
- Using lavender (calming) body wash in a water tray to create bubbles.
- Adding different scents such as lavender oils to homemade playdoh.
- Different food coloured cooked rice/spaghetti/ in a tray.
- Blending cheerios to make a sand texture (can be used with different animals in to act like the dessert)
- Under the sea animals frozen into ice
- Painting bubble wrap, waiting for it to dry and popping it.
- Putting different things into Ziploc bags i.e. paint, hair gel, foam and food colouring, pompoms etc- these can be attached to a piece of cardboard to create a sensory walk (lots of ideas on Pinterest under ‘sensory bag activities’)
- Chew tube
- Crunchy foods
- Drinking from a straw • Chewy sweets
- Vibrating toothbrush • Blowing bubbles.
Proprioception (body awareness)
- Body socks
- Rolling a therapy ball over your child’s body
- Push pull activities
- Bear hugs
- Chew tubes
- Play doh activities- doh disco on YouTube.
- Weighted vests (always ensure that it is to the correct weight for your childs size)
- Building towers. If you don’t have blocks at home there any many things around the home which you can use.
- Make some chocolate angel delight and add farm animals to make a fun muddy sensory tray!
- easy chalk paint- water, food colouring and corn starch mixed together.
- play foam- soap, water, food colouring, blended together.
- slime- glue, baking soda, lens solution and food colouring.
- freeze some toy animals in water
- Making a worry monster.
- Make a happiness box- decorate it in all your favourite colours and crafts and place your favourite items inside.
- Experiments- put a mento in a coke bottle and watch it fizz. This is what can happen to us when our emotions get too much sometimes.
- Make a den.
- Adults, voice your emotions too. Children need to understand that sometimes adults can get upset and frustrated sometimes, but we need to do something positive to help us regulate our emotions again i.e. 'loosing this game has made me really sad, I'm going to play with ___ to make me happy again'.
- Space. Sometimes children need some space to regulate their emotions independently (Always ensure your child is safe doing this, your own judgement is key).
- Get 2 circle pieces of paper, decorate them with happy and sad faces. Attach to lollipop sticks and allow your child to voice their emotions using them. Sometimes it can be tricky to tell someone how you feel.
- Do something that makes you happy.
- Self care routine- getting yourself ready of a morning, calling a friend, going for a nice long walk, bubble baths are some ideas.
- Make sure you stay in contact with people that are close to you. It is important to remember that even though we cant see each other, a phone call, face-time or a text message can make the world of a difference.
- Learn a new skill, something you are proud to accomplish.
- Small acts of kindness can make us positive- thanking people for helping you, asking people how they're feeling etc.
- Pay attention to the present. In times like this it can be difficult to not think about how the next few months can look. Be mindful to your present thoughts and feelings and the people around you. Remember that this is not forever.