Despite the fact I feel blinkin’ awful today, I ended up with three children this afternoon for a little while. That’s just the kind of wonderful sister I am!! Ha! Anyway, as you now know, we’re expecting baby number three and this will make good practise! So today, I had 3 and 1/2 year old J, nearly 2 year E and nearly 1 year old G. It can be VERY chaotic when they’re all together and often, toys in the mix cause arguments, tantrums and tears and frankly, today, I did not have the energy! So, I put everything away, all except three of my rainbow scarves!
I gave them a scarf each and said that they had to look after their own one. I turned on some music and said, ‘let’s dance!’ Simple as that! Giving them a prop to dance with made sure they used their arms during their dancing which enabled them to have a gross motor work out. Gross motor means the large scale movements. Essential for coordination and moving well in all sorts of activities. I would occasionally say, ‘1,2,3 wheee!’ to encourage a big throw in the air. Little E loved this bit!
I used the opportunity to develop their knowledge of prepositional language, e.g. under, over, behind, between, opposite, beneath etc. The good thing was for the ones E was confused about she had her older cousin to copy and learn from. This language is often forgotten about and children need to know and understand what these words mean.
Gross motor skills include movement like running, dancing or jumping, and control, such as throwing, catching and kicking. Gross motor control helps children to move more easily and give them health benefits as they stay active. Waving the scarves around in circular motions meant that they were using their muscles all the way up to their shoulders.
Whilst I was taking photos I wasn’t able to support G in the play and she just sat and watched the two maniacs around her sometimes clapping and rocking but mainly in shock! Poor girl! She loved it too really. When I sat with her, I supported her with the things J and E were doing and I think the photo below shows she had a blast too!
All in all, the terrible (mixed aged) trio really enjoyed their play and it was lovely seeing them play together so harmoniously!! I think sometimes the key is ‘less is more!’ This simple play kept them happy, they had fun, they developed their gross motor skills and some language development too. What more could we want from three scarves and some music?