From time to time its good to do an investigation with your child: a project or focus activity that will encourage their desire for exploring and understanding themselves and their world. It's a way for you as a parent or carer to initiate an investigation or project that will encourage them to work alone, think, work as a team and make some decisions for themselves.
When undertaking something of this sort, make sure you leave it open-ended and do not insist the project follow only your ideas. Let the child make some decisions and guide the project through to their own logical end. Yes, be there to guide and help and produce the stimulus, but keep things going at the child's pace and at their level too.
And, make sure it's fun!
One good place to start an investigation is the topic of "ME"! Something all toddlers and pre-schoolers will like!
You'll need: some mirrors (all sizes and shapes) and some different textured fabric, materials etc. Some paper and a camera.
To get them thinking: Ask them to feel their face and their body. What does it feel like? Then cover the mirrors with the different fabrics and place them all over a room.
What to do: encourage them to find the mirrors, uncover them and explore them. Look in the mirrors and find your face, find their face, find other toys' images or items round the house.
Next steps: follow this up with some drawing. Ask them to draw themselves using a mirror balanced on the table to copy. Use crayons/pencils.
ITC: see if they can take a picture of themselves in a mirror or a self portrait using a camera at arms length. Print this out or look at it on a computer screen or TV and show them. Ask them to name the colour of their eyes/hair etc and to count their ears, nose etc.
Wall chart: Write your child's name on a large sheet of paper. Stick on a photo or his self portrait then write My Name Is..., I am age ..., I have ... colour hair and ... colour eyes etc. Write lots of important facts about your child. Use colourful ink and make it a great wall picture to hang up.
Then: get them to build a model of themselves using bricks or use cardboard cartons etc.
Have fun and display the results on the wall! Upload some of the pictures to your Daily Diary and write up what you did.
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