Making and creating, cutting and gluing are all great fun and part of every child's creative journey - it is important to encourage them to have the confident to use the tools we have available rather than teaching them to be afraid of the tools. Scissors are an important tool to master, but should be used with caution. So, by teaching them how to use the scissors from early on, they will be able to cut and create safely without being fearful of accidents due to misuse.
Here are a few tips!
- Explain that scissors are useful but need to be used carefully. If not, they will be taken away.
- Scissors are sharp and are used for paper only (and not their hair or skirts or reading books!)
- No one must ever run with scissors or even walk about when using them. Cut when sitting at a table.
- Always use children's scissors with them.
- Store scissors downwards in a safe place out of reach.
- Remind children of the rules each time you get the scissors out. See if they can prompt you!
- Don't ever play with scissors - they are a craft tool and not for playing.
- Discourage children from walking with scissors in their hands, but when they must, make sure they hold them correctly: grasp them by the closed blades with the blades towards the floor.
- Always supervise.
- Always cut at a table so you can see that they are doing and they are encouraged to sit down.
Have fun - and be safe!
Children today are better at using a computer than tying their shoelaces - according to a recent poll nearly all of the children questioned could play a computer game but only a third could tie their shoe laces! Of the 1057 five to seven-year-olds questions, 97% of them could operate a computer which is staggering.
But is this surprising or shocking? Not surprising as it is a technological world in which we live. Computers are everywhere and are a vital part of our lives, whether we like it or not. Also, not all computer games are dangerous and harmful! Many are educational, entertaining and charming for children to enjoy. And, just because a child knows how to use a computer, it does not mean that same child doesn't attend football classes, climb trees and get enough fresh air and exercise.
Nearly half the children questioned have access to the internet at home, according to Kelkoo who carried out the study. Of the parents questioned, 26% suggested they were worried about the negative impact of technology on their children but and their ability to form relationships. But 87% said that being familiar with technology was vital to their child’s development.
Clearly, monitoring your child's use of the internet and computer based games is vital, but we have to understand that computers are also a vital part of our world and you don't want your child being left behind.
I suppose the question remains: how useful is using a computer (to research, to communicate and to have some fun too) compared with the life long use of tying a shoelace in an age of buckles and velcro.
What do you think? Please post your thoughts.
An interesting study was carried out by the makers of "Rory The Racing Car" children's programme to find out whether girls or boys are naturally the better drivers. Over 70 children from local nurseries traveled to Brands Hatch to take the the wheel and have a drive round in a fleet of toddler's electric cars.
Marks our of ten were awarded for:
- spatial awareness
The children had to drive in a straight line, reverse and manoeuvre obstacles.
The results showed that 34% of boys were better at concentration and spatial awareness. But, when it came to dexterity and listening to instructions it was the girls who did better! In a straight line, 20% of boys did better than their fellow girls.
Who knows if boys or girls are more tailored to driving... it depends on who you ask!
Toddlers are reknowned for falling over: although they try very hard to walk and run, they often end up in a pile on the floor; learning and falling over is all part of the process!
Every day your toddler is learning and through playing simple games they are constantly working towards acquiring new skills. Here are a few examples of what children are actually learning (without realising!) when they are playing with various toys:-
Ride-on toys (scooters, trucks, trikes etc) - strengthen muscles and improve balance. They also give your toddler a sence of mobility and the idea that then can get around the place in different ways.
Trundle truck (shopping cart or toy lawn mower) - these are great for balance and improving walking and running skills. They are also great for role play. Don't limit your children to the stereotypes though. Why shouldn't a boy have a dolly pram and a girl have truck?
Obstacle course - put some rope in a curvey line on the ground or a plank of wood if you have one. Make stepping stones with sheets of newspaper. See if they can negotiate the obstacles.
Rolling a ball - All children love balls. Although toddlers can't really kick a ball while standing on one foot, they can knee it or move it along with a push. This helps their balance and to understand the idea of cause and effect, that if you push a ball, it will roll.
So, give them plenty of opportunity to play with different toys and keep them active. Try out other people's toys and swap larger toys with other families so everyone gets a taste of diferent things to play on (without the expense!).
Give them plenty of encouragement and be enthusiastic when they ask to go out to play no matter the weather. Supporting children by keeping them enthusiastic and encouraged is vital. Give them freedom to explore too - if they want to walk along a low wall then give them your hand, put an arm round them and let them try it out! It will make them even more keen to try new things.