Mindfulness raises awareness of what is happening in the moment. It is very good for controlling our emotions and responses.
Play a game of sleeping lions with your child.
Encourage him/ her to take deep breaths in through their nose & out through their mouth as you do so. Can he/ she lie still for more than 2 minutes?
Use a dream bottle together.
Ask your child to show you how to use the dream bottle they have brought home:
1. Put on some mindfulness music (google ' insight timer').
2. Breathe in for 5 as you slowly turn the bottle upside down.
3. Hold your breath & the bottle for 1.
4. Breathe out for 7 and turn the bottle as you blow all of the glitter back down to the bottom.
Starfish breathing together
1. Put on some mindful music/ use 'Relax Music for Kids' on youtube (with moving screen).
2. Ask your child to show you how to trace one of your hands with the index finger of the other.
3. Slowly breathe in as you move up your fingers and out as you move down them.
4. When you have gone down your little finger, trace back the other way. Repeat until you feel calm.
1. Put on some relaxing music.
2. Ask your child to close their eyes and breathe slowly and deeply.
3. Tell your child a story they would like, e.g. blowing up a big balloon they float into the sky with/ travelling on a train through the countryside. Prompt them to use their senses: Is it calm or windy? What can they hear? What can they see? Can they smell the smoke? etc.
4. Alternatively use the 'insight timer app/ google 'guided meditations for kids'.
Encourage children to eat mindfully by chewing slowly and thinking about textures and tastes.
Encourage children to walk mindfully by breathing deeply and using all of their senses.
Memory games can help brain development.
The Tray Game
1. Put a few familiar objects on a tray.
2. Ask your child to look at each object & try to remember it.
3. Cover the tray with a cloth.
4. Without your child seeing, remove one of the objects.
5. Take away the cloth and ask your child to think about which object is missing.
6. As your child gets better at this game, slowly increase the number of objects.
Let your child give and follow instructions.
Can they do 2-step instructions, e.g. Put your hand on your head and sit on the floor? To make this harder use before and after, e.g. Before you say 'hello' put your fingers in your ears.
1.Ask your child to take a good look at a room and then ask them to step outside while they count to 20 aloud (this also encourages them to count).
2. Change something in the room ( you could move an object, turn the lights on, hide a cushion, etc).
3. Ask them to step back in and notice what is different.
4. Change roles. Make sure they can hear you counting.
Share a story
Can your child talk about the pictures/ say what might happen next/ tell you why they like/ don't like the story & why?
Can she/ he think about another story it is similar to?
Reading books will be changed in the mainstream class. Children should read to you from these every day.
When your child is drawing, colouring, painting, mark making or writing, please encourage her/ him to use a tripod grip. This means holding the mark making tool between the thumb & the forefinger and supporting it from behind with the middle finger.
This type of grip allows for maximum flexibility and range of movement because the pencil, etc. is controlled by the pivoting joints of the fingers and thumb. It may feel a little awkward at first, but tucking a cotton wool ball under the ring and little finger can help with positioning.
For further ideas and support with helping your child to develop their handwriting skills please visit: https://www.teachhandwriting.co.uk/teach-handwriting-parents.html
When you do things around the house/ outside with your child:
1. Encourage them to use their senses. E.g. Can they guess an object in a bag? How does it look/ sound/ smell/ feel?
2. Support your child to use temporal language by telling/ asking them what you are doing first, next, then, last, etc.
3. Help your child to learn opposites by comparing people/objects, e.g. that man is very tall, but his friend is ...
4. Help your child to make longer sentences by using and, so, but, because. Encourage them to say the whole sentence from the beginning.
5. Remember to use the activities in the Words First booklet if a copy has been given to you by the Speech & Language therapist.
1.Count to 100 with your child, especially when you're walking or moving.
2. 1-1 correspondence: can your child count how many apples are in a fruit bowl, etc? Make this as challenging as necessary.
3. Encourage simple addition/ subtraction, e.g. If 5 leaves are on a branch and 2 more grow, how many will you get altogether? Make this as challenging as your child needs it to be.
4. Counting in 2s, 5s & 10s.
Days of the Week/ Months of the Year
Can your child teach you these songs? Encourage your child to tell you which day it is every morning. What day was it yesterday? Which day will it be tomorrow? What is this month? Is it special for any reason?