Every Child is Unique & Individual
When a child is born (Ooh I nearly burst into song there!) as parents, carers, we encounter the biggest learning curve of our life.
SUPRISE there isn’t an instruction booklet for each child. Yes there is a lot of research, advice, books, old wives tails etc. But when we think about it, how much of this is helpful for our unique child!
So what to do I hear you say? I don’t mean to panic you, apologies if this is the case. I’m not an expert, but I do have many years of experience, and to me, now, it seems obvious.
When baby is born, they are new to the world and interested in finding out about everything, and wow what a lot to cover. Initially, baby’s instinct is to survive. They are super clever, as they realise that they need to rely on their main carer/s for this. They quickly link the voice, that they have heard from inside the womb, with the face. I know how clever are they!
They rely on us adults to provide all the basic needs, such as, food, warmth, care and love. Equally, they rely on us to prepare them for their unique journey through life. (I know, what a mammoth task!)
Easy right! When the basic needs are being met and baby is happy, the rest follows. Apparently!
Maslow (1943) through observation identified a hierarchy of needs. In order for us to reach our full potential, the most basic needs must be met and therefore build the foundation for everything else. Professionals use this as an approach to teaching.
Senses play a big part in development from the beginning. Baby relies on their senses of touch, taste, smell, hear and see. Although, their sight is the last sense to develop after birth (this is natures clever way of protecting them from overload).
The senses are the foundation to all learning and finding out about the world. How we listen, see, feel about experiences, is unique and individual to us all. Opportunities to develop these senses enables us to learn and find out more. This is why it is important to offer multi-sensory experiences from the beginning and continue to do so throughout our life. Learning experiences using all our senses are more likely to be remembered and built upon, making this experience strong.
Early years professionals observe babies/children as they use Treasure Baskets. Children discover how things work, how they feel, what will fit, differences, likes/dislikes, smells, textures, numeracy, literacy, language, manipulation, motor skills etc. As children get older, its a good idea to include items that interest them personally, for example; wheels, colours, containers etc. Following their interests through sensory experience will enable them to learn in their own unique way.
As we get older, we remember experiences built through sensory perception. For example, a family holiday at the beach, the smell, sound, taste, feel of the sand, sea, breeze etc, stay with us. Making this a happy memorable learning experience. I remember working out how to balance on the rocks, while looking for crabs (Motor skills). Learning that if I filled my bucket too full, then it would over flow (Capacity, Volume, working out, Maths). Making a sand pie was a challenge, too wet and it would stay in the bucket, too dry and it would fall down (Maths & science). Working together as part of a team with my brothers and dad as we collected shells, crabs, pebbles (Language, maths, team skills, sorting, choice, social skills). I quickly learnt about crunchy sandwiches! Brilliant memories, lots of exploring and learning while using all senses.
As parents, we aren’t always aware of the learning experiences involved while rummaging through a draw, going to the beach, park, reading, writing etc. I know I did a lot with my children when they were small, but I didn’t realise the learning potential. Through experience, I now have a better understanding.
I am keen to help families and support children to reach their potential. I regularly get asked about what will be best for children to help them through situations, help focus, calm, thinking, learning. My answer to this is tell me about your child. How old are they, what are they interested in, do they have a favourite colour, what do they like/dislike? This really does help me to build a picture of your unique child. I’m keen to get it right for them. They are important!
Sensory Treasures provides opportunities for all ages through Treasure Basket and fidget bags. In some cases a mixture of natural items and fidgets are most suitable. www.sensorytreasures.co.uk
I hope that you found this helpful and great if you want to chat