Our children learn so much through experimentation and discovery of their environment. You can put together a box or basket of interesting objects that stimulate your child’s mind and senses. Using everyday objects that have been carefully chosen for their visual, kinesthetic and auditory qualities.
The early experiences for the younger child are taking out the objects and looking at, feeling and exploring the textures and shapes without any verbal input, just pure discovery. With an older child you can start to discuss the objects; ‘what does it feel like, sound like, look like?’ ‘What do you think it’s used for?’ ‘Where else have you seen an object like this?’
When setting up these activities be aware of their aesthetic values. They need to be beautifully presented to appeal to the sight sense. All materials used with children should be in excellent repair and chosen with the multi-sensorial approach in mind. (excerpt from ‘Teaching Parents How To Teach’)
The best objects to include in your box or basket should have no sharp edges, and are easy to explore and grasp for small hands. There should be no small pieces that can be pulled off or swallowed, and use natural materials rather than plastic wherever possible.
Enjoy watching your child choose an object and then discover its qualities, feeling it’s shape, shaking it to make a sound or bashing it on anther object to create a noise, fitting one object inside another, noticing that some objects are shiny and reflective, some objects are heavy. Your child is developing their fine and gross motor skills as they manipulate the objects individually and together.
Here is a list of some ideas for your box or basket of objects, but please feel free to use your imagination in discovering new things of interest to add:
Wooden spoon, baking tin, metal spoons of all sizes, bean bag, nailbrush, napkin ring, plug and chain, piece of silk, pot brush, eggcup, shaving brush, wooden lemon juicer, pastry brush, spinning top, whisk, wooden blocks, curtain rings, metal bangles, bottle brush, natural sponge, marble egg, honey dipper, sieve, egg shakers, metal bowl, tin with a lid, small knitted toy, small drawstring bag … the list is endless.
Have fun finding new objects for your child to explore, and enjoy the rest of the summer!