Everyday developmental toys
Before we had Coraline, I used to work with a network of 100 amazing teachers on the @etwinning_europe programme. Many of them love following Coraline and it's incredible how every here and there they just send us fantastically pertinent insights.
Here's what one of them wrote to me yesterday after I posted about Coraline's low muscle tone which I thought was so interesting that I am sharing her message with her permission:
“I worked with a young girl in a nursery school with low muscle tone. I had two small tricycles which we used to travel around the playground. The reason I used two was because the pedals were in different places on the trikes. On one trike they were on the front wheel which helped with full leg extensions along with exercising her feet and ankles, and the other trike had pedals at the centre of the trike near the chain - exercising a different posture and set of muscles across her upper thighs. Before she had learned to pedal, I used to use pedal straps to help keep her feet on and also to encourage synchronisation of brain, leg and foot movement ..... as I pushed her along the playground, which would eventually encourage more automatic responses to pedalling.
There are so many ‘everyday’ toys and games that go unnoticed as beneficial to development and so many companies keen to ‘cash in’ on parents of children who think they need adapted or specialist toys and games.... I pick them apart to see what skills children actually need / use to play with their toys - a push along train set, for example, is great for hand eye coordination, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, language concepts, forwards, backwards, under, over, faster, slower, long, short, counting, colours, reasoning, sharing..... it’s endless and children don’t even realise they’re learning anything!!
I have loved following the Coraline and Us blog - you’re doing a great job with it. I keep recommending it to friends and colleagues, it’s so inspirational and must be so rewarding for you both on so many levels - as Coraline grows up, you will have documented the most amazing and detailed developmental diary/story.”