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Help your child spring into action
Post date: 28 Apr 2016

Hi, it’s the children’s therapy team here. Now spring is here (well, almost) we’ve thought of some spring theme activities you can do at home to help your child’s development. Child playing

Communication games:

  • Work on colours (adjectives) over spring with your child. If they comment on something, extend what they say with a colour. For example, if they say "flower”, you say "the flower is yellow”.
  • Plant a sunflower seed in a yoghurt pot, as it grows name the parts of it "green leaves”, "yellow petals”, "brown soil”.
  • Position words: A Hunt in the garden – hide chicks/ bunnies/ rubber ducks around the garden (or indoors if the weather is unkind). Follow your child round whilst they hunt for them. When they find them, ask "Where was the chick?” If your child cannot identify on/ under/ in, offer them choices. For example "Was it under the flowerpot or on the flowerpot?”
  • Following instructions: Using bunnies/ chicks/ ducks give your child instructions on where to put them. For example: "Put the duck on the table, put the chick in the bath”.
  • Concepts "big” and "little”: Picture matching/ lotto game with big and little animals – as your child turns over the pictures, encourage them to match the big and little animals.
  • Singing games: Sing nursery rhymes to your child that are relevant to spring, for example "Old MacDonald had a farm”, "This little piggy” or "April showers”. Sing the songs and do the actions. When you repeat the song, pause to see if your child can remember the next action. For example "on that farm he had a sheep, with a *pause.*”
  • Sensory games: taste, smell and touch different items related to spring. For example, spiced buns, cake, flowers, chocolate, wool, feathers, grass and eggs. Name and describe the items that the child is interacting with to build on their vocabulary.

Physical development:

"Spring” into animal action with animal walks. Try to walk like one of the following animals and get friends and family to guess which one you are:

  • Duck: Stand up tall, turn your feet out and walk forward.
  • Penguin: Walk on your heels with your hands by your sides.
  • Bear: Put your hands on the floor, walk with your feet and hands on the floor, keeping your legs straight and bottom in the air.
  • Caterpillar: Sitting with your bottom on the floor, bend your knees, then without using your hands push your bottom backwards straightening your knees as you go. Keep going!
  • Frog: Squat down and jump forward.
  • Rabbit: Squat down, move your hands forward and then jump your feet forward to meet your hands.
  • Crab: Lay on your back on the floor, then use your arms and legs to lift your bottom up off the floor and walk around.
  • Tortoise: Put your hands and knees on the floor, walk slowly.

Fine motor and sensory games:

  • Bake and decorate biscuits or nest cakes. Encourage your child to pick up small sweets to decorate.
  • Tear and scrunch up tissue paper to decorate a picture of a rabbit or chick by gluing the scrunched up balls onto the paper.
  • Sensory play with cotton wool balls (rabbit tails), playing with dried grass (bird’s nests) or feathers (for chicks).
  • Plant bulbs for messy play.
  • Smell flowers.
  • Play with a rain stick and water spray for April showers.

Healthy eating for spring:

  • Find out what fruits and vegetables are currently in season: www.bbcgoodfood.com/seasonal-calendar/all 
  • If you find that your child does not like trying new food, try some of the following ideas.
    • Introduce new foods to your child using lots of fun activities. It is important not to force them to eat it, the emphasis is on being able to smell, touch and experience foods in a fun way.
    • Encourage your child to take part in messy play outside with food. For example:
      • Hiding animals or toys in the food.
      • Counting the food items.
      • Finger or hand printing using sauces.
      • Making fruit kebabs with different coloured fruits.
      • Basic recipes for example spreading jam on toast, decorating cakes with sprinkles or putting ingredients into a bowl and stirring them.
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