Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Activities to help teach the sense of sound to your children

The final sense - sound.

As I write this, I am wondering if my children understand that hearing uses their ears; they do point to their ears when they say "listen". This would be a good starting point!

A way of helping to teach children that hear through their ears, is to speak to them and ask them to put their hand over one ear, then the other, then both and ask them to describe what is happening each time.

For further activities to help your children understand the sense of sound:
  • Record many different sounds and ask your children if they recognise the noise when played to them. Recommended sounds: water running from tap, animals (cat, dog, duck etc.), giggles, baby crying, car engine, motorbike, bell and telephone. The University of Illinois extends this exercise by creating a reference book for your children to point to.

  • Bright Hub Education offer 3 fun activities to learn about hearing: sound bingo, vibrations and crickets.

  • Another great idea from Bright Hub Education; metal can speaking.

  • By making musical instruments, Bright Hub Education have devised a fun lesson plan, which also teaches your tots about the sense of sound. 

  • A firm favourite - water in glasses. Fill several glasses with water at varying levels. Show your children how to make them 'chime', by running a wet finger around the rim of the glass. By using your voice, sound a low note and a high note and explain what they are; can your children identify the lowest tone and highest tone produced by the glasses?

  • Have your child sit with their eyes closed (not possible for my toddlers I do not think, but you never know!), in your garden. After 2 minutes, talk to your children about the sounds you heard and see if they recognise what produced them (car, bird etc.).

  • Similar to above. As with the other senses, take a sensory walk with your tots. As you walk chat about the sounds that you hear and again, what may have produced them.

  • Education suggest cooking popcorn to teach sound. Fun and yummy!

  • Lucy Gardens detail ideas to create a hearing sensory garden.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Activities to Teach Your Children the Sense of Touch

The second to last sense; touch. Many baby books and toys feature sensory touch, with an array of fabrics, card... As they grow, you can aid your child's development by providing a range of activities that teach them how to recognise objects through touch alone and identify the sensations they are feeling, for example, smooth, rough etc.
  • Create a sensory box and fill it with many different size, shape and textured items: shell, feather, stone, leaf, sponge, coin, bead, piece of ribbon, piece of bark, pine cone, twig, cotton wool ball, flower head etc. Ask your child to place their hand inside (without being able to visualise contents); ask them to describe, or together, detail the object they are feeling (smooth, bumpy etc.); can they identify the object? If they are too young to describe the object, you could take the item out and discuss how it feels and what it is.
  • Items can be gently rub against your child's cheek and/or the back of their hand. As above, ask them to describe the texture and how it feels against their skin. Items you could use are a warm flannel (not too hot to burn), cotton wool, piece of ribbon, leaf (watch not an irritable variety), ice cube etc.
  • Bright Hub Education suggest an excellent idea of a sensory book; with page identifying the texture, for example, smooth. You could seek different textured items to add to the page on the book.
  • Another great suggestion from Bright Hub Education - a sensory table. They list a range of table activities that your tots will love.
  • Kids will love these fun activities from Bright Hub Education; art is always good where children are concerned! 
  • Using various textures to make a tambourine, as suggested by Bright Hub, your children can have fun while creating.
  • A bit extreme, but Lucy Gardens have listed plants that would make a fabulous sensory garden for your children.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Teach Your Children About the Sense of Smell

With your children knowledgeable on the taste sense, we can now move onto smell.

The activities below will not only be fun for you and your children but will educate them about the tool that is featured centrally on their face - their nose!

  • Garden walk
  • A walk around your garden at this time of year could not only teach your children about their sense of smell, but also about Spring. Together with your children, smell the flowers, leaves, dirt and grass. Introduce your children to description words as you smell, such as, musky, sweet etc. 
  • Home adventure
  • Set up a sensory table with many different foods, including: citrus fruits (lime, orange & lemons), jam, cheese, bananas, onions, mint and bread. Ask your child to close their eyes. Firstly, ask them to smell the food; ask if they know what it is. Secondly, ask your child to (also) pinch their nose to taste the food; again, ask if they recognise the food. Finally, they can open their eyes. Explain about how the different senses are important to each other and can they understand that having completed the exercises? 
    Bright Hub Education have suggested a similar exercise but use canisters with holes on the top so that the children can only smell the food.
  • Collages
  • Cut out a big 'nose' shape. Using magazines and newspapers, get your kids to find pictures of noses and stick them onto the cut out nose to make a collage. You could do this exercise with the other senses too.
  • Potpourri Hunt
  • Another good suggestion from Bright Hub Education! Ask your children to smell a bag of potpourri and then have them search for an identical bag that you have previously hidden (within a small area). Use this exercise to also explain how animals seek their food in the wild.
  • Gingerbread Men
  • Education World have posted 'scent of gingerbread'. After reading the story, have your children colour and cut-out a gingerbread man. After placing glue on the gingerbread man's tummy, sprinkle spices like ginger onto the glued area. They suggest using these as scratch 'n' sniff once dried.
  • Plant a Sensory Garden
  • This is a bit extreme to teach a sense to your children, but it is a lovely idea from Lucy Gardens. Suggested plants are listed.
If you have any other methods, please let us know!

Friday, 10 May 2013

30+ Fabulous Party Decorations and Games for Boys

Party time - yay! If you are looking for inspiration for your son's party, then look no further!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

How to Teach Your Children About the Taste Sense

What are the five senses and how do you teach them to your children? When I say "smell this", "taste that", they know which body part to use

Friday, 3 May 2013

Party Decoration Inspiration for Girls

As there are so many themes for girls (theme post), I decided to focus on a selective few (otherwise this post would be endless!).

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

19 Outdoor Toys to Make for Your Children

Finally, after a winter that never seemed to finish, a light at the end of the tunnel can be seen - spring!