Invitations to Play and Signing to Support Learning

This past week’s classes we were discussing the importance of play and exploration. A conversation came up regarding a type of play called invitations to play, or invitations for learning, or play exploration. I thought that this would be a good topic for this week’s blog.

What is an Invitation to Play?

This is an intentional and planned collection of materials that a parent/caregiver prepares and sets up with which a child plays and explores. Invitation to play is an open invitation for a child to use as they desire. This can be a sensory basket, organized colour bins, paint daps, and much more.

How Children Learn?

Children are sensory learners. This means that children learn though: tasting, touching/feeling, seeing, hearing and smelling. Parents can encourage child’s learning by setting up an invitation to play, watch their child explore and then begin to talk and sign with their child.

How can you use American Sign Language signs during play?

There are three main ways to learn: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Using sign language with your child allows for all three types of learning. Your child is learning though their visual (sight) by seeing the sign. Auditory learnings see their parents use the American Sign Language signs while saying the English word. Kinesthetic learners move their hands to communicate before they are able to express themselves through language.

If you provide your child with an egg carton filled with 6 different coloured plastic eggs. You many watch your child explore “opening” and “shutting” the container, they may take the eggs “in” and “out”. A child’s learning is supported by their parents/caregivers. When you see a child begin to explore, act like a broadcaster saying what the child is doing while signing key words. For example “Elijah, you took the yellow egg out of the container and put in the blue egg”. (ASL signs that maybe used are in bold).

Another idea is a winter sensory basket. This can filled with “white” cotton balls, “blue” pom poms, snowflakes, snowmen. As a parent, you can have an idea of how your child will play with these times. You may want to have them practice fine motor skills and provide a shovel and pot or have them feel the different textures of the pom poms, cotton balls and the hard plastic snowflakes. An example of signing and talking: “Those soft balls are blue, the white balls feel like fluff. Can you put the ball in the pail? Oh, you took the ball out!

What to Remember About Invitations to Play?

All types of sensory play, invitations to play and play exploration is well supervised time. There can be many choking hazards in this type of play. This does not mean it is not safe, it means that parents have to be engaging in play with the child to ensure safety.

Examples of Invitations to Play!

20 months old

Sorting play. This invitation to play can be used as colour sorting or item sorting based on child’s need to explore and discover.

16 months old

Colour and shape recognition invitation to play.

14 months

Sensory bin focused on fine motor skills

Photo 5

This invitation to play was set up to show the difference between soft and hard toys. As everyone can see, climbing on the basket was much more fun.

DSCN2650

Playing with hand crafted stones- focused on shape sorting from http://www.artinstones.com/

DSCN2655

Pattern play with natural rocks from http://www.artinstones.com/

Please let me know your comments and thoughts on invitations to play and signing.

Happy Signing,

Tanya Myrfield-Wolfe- BSW, RSW, Certified Baby Sign Language Instructor, & Parent Educator

My Smart Hands Saskatoon

http://www.mysmarthandssaskatoon.com

http://www.facebook.com/MySmartHandsSaskatoonBabySignLanguage

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Sign, Play & Explore Workshops!!!

This is a brand new program to Saskatoon. Together, through play invitations; parents and their baby and/or toddler explores their world, develop skills, and engage in meaningful (developmental) learning experiences and all while having fun. These skills are taught through American Sign Language signs, activities and games that encourages parent-child interaction. This program will have activities for children ages 2/4 months to 3 years of age! Come join us the first Wednesday of each month to connect, communicate and bond as parents and children.

These workshop are great for parents wanting to learn to sign with their children or those developing their signing vocabulary. Each month we will create invitations to play that will be enhanced though signing! While the themes repeat throughout the year, there will be different learning activities and opportunities to play and explore.

Theme I: Sensory (February, June, November 2014)

Theme II: Language Development (March, July, December 2014)

Theme III: Physical & Brain Development (April, September 2014)

Theme IV: Creative Play (May, October 2014)

Where: Birth Rhythms – 248 3rd Ave South

When: First Wednesday of each Month starting February 2014

Time: 10:30-11:15AM

Cost: $10/family or 5 pass card for $40 (5 workshops for the price of 4)!!!!

Monthly registration is required to ensure enough material and activities are provided each class.

Sign, Play & Explore Workshops- NEW PROGRAM to Saskatoon

Sign, Play & Explore Workshop
This is a brand new program to Saskatoon. Together, through play invitations; parents and their baby and/or toddler explores their world, develop skills, and engage in meaningful (developmental) learning experiences and all while having fun. These skills are taught through American Sign Language signs, activities and games that encourages parent-child interaction. This program will have activities for children ages 2/4 months to 3 years of age! Come join us the first Wednesday of each month to connect, communicate and bond as parents and children.

These workshop are great for parents wanting to learn to sign with their children or those developing their signing vocabulary. Each month we will create invitations to play that will be enhanced though signing! While the themes repeat throughout the year, there will be different learning activities and opportunities to play and explore.

Theme I: Sensory (February, June, November 2014)
Theme II: Language Development (March, July, December 2014)
Theme III: Physical & Brain Development (April, September 2014)
Theme IV: Creative Play (May, October 2014)

Where: Birth Rhythms – 248 3rd Ave South
When: First Wednesday of each Month starting February 2014
Time: 10:30-11:15AM
Cost: $10/family or 5 pass card for $40 (5 workshops for the price of 4)!!!!
Monthly registration is required to ensure enough material and activities are provided each class.

Mommylicious Trade Show is this Sunday!! It will be Spooktacular :)

My Smart Hands Saskatoon will be at Mommylicious this Sunday!!! Come see us for a special for our January classes plus a treat bag for kidlets who are trick or treating!!

Every 30 minutes we will have sign to a Halloween story and songs – come and learn these new signs!!

10:30- Ghost Eats It All- Food Signs
11:00- Ghost Gets Dressed- Clothing Signs
11:30- It’s Pumpkin Day Mouse- Emotions/Feeling Signs
Noon- 5 Little Pumpkins- Colour Signs
12:30- Ghost Eats It All- Food Sign
1:00- Ghost Gets Dressed- Clothing Signs
1:30- It’s Pumpkin Day Mouse- Emotions/Feeling Signs
2:00- 5 Little Pumpkins- Colour Signs
2:30- Ghost Eats It All- Food Sign
3:00- Ghost gets Dressed
3:30- It’s Pumpkin Day Mouse- Emotion/Feeling Signs

Which one are you looking forward to learning?

Welcome September and I Need Your Ideas!

Ideas needed!
I am wanting to add a feature to my signing studio- such as trees painted on a wall where pages can stick without using pins. What can I use? I added a picture of my inspiration in the comments…

Everyone who shares an idea is entered to win a FREE Sign & Sing Workshop on Wednesday September 4 at 10AM at Birth Rhythms.ImageImage

Summer Baby and Toddler Sign Language Classes in Saskatoon to Announced Soon!

Nurturing Families and My Smart Hands Saskatoon are teaming up for summer workshops!! I am so excited to announce our great workshops full of Summer Fun!! Watch for updates coming soon.
If you do not know Nurturing Families, click the link to find out more about Laura!

www.facebook.com/NurturingFamiliesSaskatoon

Join our Facebook group for tips, ideas, Fun Friday and more!!!
http://www.facebook.com/MySmartHandsSaskatoonBabySImage#

Sign & Sing Workshop in Saskatoon

Looking for a great activity tomorrow? Want to learn how to sign to songs? Want to start promoting early communication and literacy skills?
Come on out to the Sign & Sing Workshop at Birth Rhythms at 10AM tomorrow morning (248 3rd Ave)!

Sign and Sing Workshop:

Young children love to sing, listen to music and dance! They are active, creative and spontaneous. In the Sign and Sing class we teach ASL signs that go along with traditional children’s songs as well as learn new modern songs! We learn how to sign the key words in each song, play games, read books and review signs. Most importantly, we will laugh and have fun together as we explore our world as signing parents and children!