Contest Time!

CONTEST TIME!!

I want to celebrate families all week! Each day, on Facebook, I will be posting a picture or quote and asking for your thoughts. Each comment will be entered to WIN a $30 Little Hands and Me Parenting Network gift certificate for an upcoming baby sign or sensory class!

What does the finger spelling say? Would you be my ____? and like this comment. Tag a friend or an additional contest entry!

*Winner must like Little Hands and Me Parenting Network page

Invitation to Play Ideas

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.

block sensory bin

Kaila is exploring sensory balls in a pit. She is learning colours, shapes, patterns and different feels of the objects.

 

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.

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

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.

16 months old

Colour and shape recognition invitation to play.

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 feellike 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!

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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 fromhttp://www.artinstones.com/

DSCN2655

Friday Funday!

Each Friday we will be blogging fun activities! I am very excited for this weekly activity. This week, Miss K is playing with a Valentine’s Day sensory bin. This promotes much learning including: colour recognition, fine motor skills, brain development and of course language development. As parents, we can use the signs “in/out”, “up/down”, “colours”, and “touch”. Let’s see your sensory bins below!

Mid-Winter Mom and Baby Classes in Saskatoon

I can’t believe the response we have had this week for our classes! Remember to register soon to avoid disappointment. Also, note that we do require a non-refundable depsoit to secure your family’s space in our exclusive programming.

Here are some pictures of our multi-sensory programming:

 

Here is our Mid-Winter class schedule. Please note that the My Smart Hands classes are great for babies 4-6 months of age, yet families can enroll in the program right from birth. The sensory classes are meant for older babies and young toddlers (ages 10 months to 2.5 years of age). Please contact Tanya for more information or questions.

midwinter schedule

Keep Baby Sign Language Fun!

Today, we had our second classes for Level I! Each class, was very different with the questions and activities. I love the unique dynamics each family brings.

scarf play
One sensory based learning activity we played with was scarf play! This type of sensory play helps to develop multiple areas of whole child development including: brain development (how things move in space, and object permanence), language development (when paired with an activity/song- read below for one we use in our classes), and fine motor skills (letting your little one touch the scarf and try to grasp it in the space).

 

 

where is baby

 

Song we used in class (Yes, we have two dads in our classes this term!!):
Where is “baby”? Where is “baby”?

Here s/he is, here s/he is!

I’m so glad to “see you”, I’m so glad to “see you”!

Peek a boo, Peek a boo! (Here is where you can play with the scarf- hide from you little, move the scarf over their head, have them touch the scarf)!

 

Remember Mid-Winter 2016 registration has now started. We have a lot of interest and spaces are filling quickly. Register today to avoid disappointment.

New Sensory Toys for Baby Classes in Saskatoon

Miss K was very excited to find bags filled with sensory items that I will be creating for upcoming Level I and the Tiny Tots Sensory classes for babies in Saskatoon and area!

 

kaila.jpg

 

Tonight, I will be making brand new sensory boxes for children in Level I and the Tiny Tots Sensory classes. These sensory boxes will promote fine motor skills, language and cognitive development! I am so excited to bring these into our unique classes!
Remember we just started registration for Mid-Winter 2016 classes. The response has been outstanding and spaces are becoming very limited. Thank you for the continued support.

Mid-Winter Registration for Baby Classes in Saskatoon

Just a reminder to mark your calendars! Tomorrow is the day Mid-Winter Registration begins and space is limited!

midwinter schedule

Follow this link to find to register for your class type and time:
https://mysmarthandssaskatoon.com/class-registration-form/

I will send an email within 24 hours with more information such as how to pay for the deposit to confirm your family’s space and the location.
Please let me know if you have any questions.

Calm After the Stork

Each year, I take professional development training to keep increasing my knowledge related to working with families. This also provides new and current information for the Little Hands & Me Parenting Network.

Today, Kaila and I attended the “Calm After the Stork” training with Jillian and Paige. These two ladies are trained in Somatic Experiencing and provide much knowledge to their classes! I highly recommend these for expecting and new parents as well as professional working with families in the perinatal period.