J loves fiddling with things he shouldn’t! Well, why wouldn’t he? So, today I gave him the thing he has been dying to play with for ages! Table salt! Whenever we go anywhere to eat, if he starts having a moment, it usually involves tipping the salt everywhere! By giving him this opportunity to play with it and explore it, I know this temptation to fiddle with the salt won’t be there! It no longer has the ‘forbidden fruit’ label!!
To set up this activity, I got a shiny roasting tin, some table salt and a few mark-making tools! I sprinkled a covering of salt in the roasting tin and that was that! To begin with, I just left J to explore and do what he wanted! He began by picking up the salt with his fingers and sprinkling it back into the tray. This required use of his pincer grip! Next he started making hand prints in the salt and he grabbed some stones to make ‘prints’ in the salt too.
J then began using the ‘tools’ I had provided and spent a long time ‘sweeping up the snow’ with the pastry brush! He was talking to himself as he did this in his own little imaginary world.
As well as using the pencil and cotton bud to make marks, he also used his finger – taking his finger on a journey and narrating as he did so! J’s imagination is just superb and I know this is partly due to the amount of stories he has had since birth! The benefits of reading are already evident in everything he does and says!
As J began to lose inspiration for how to play next, I sat down and played with him! We did so many things that we ticked off maths, literacy and art all in one activity!
I began by drawing different amounts of lines or circles in the salt and modelled counting as I did so! J then copied the amount and shape below also counting out loud with one to one correspondence!
Next, I wrote different sounds he knows and J had a go at copying below! None of them are by any means perfect but the fact he had a go, meant I praised him a LOT!! Whenever your child make marks or scribbles, praising them will only ever encourage them to do more and rehearsal is the key to early writing!
We then had a go at drawing faces! J is actually very good at drawing faces and drew his first face with eyes, nose and mouth around the age of just turning two! All children are very different though, so whether your child did it before or after doesn’t matter! They will all develop at their own rate! Having fun with it is what matters most! J absolutely loved this activity and I know he will be at it again this afternoon!
What did J learn?
- Fine motor development
- Pincer grip
- Control of mark-making tools
- Counting objects with 1-1 correspondence
- Mark making
- recognising numbers and sounds