Childcare Diploma: 5 activities for sensory development

Childcare Diploma: 5 activities for sensory development
16 September 2019 Angela Wilson
In Study, Work

Here at Le répertoire de Gaspard we offer a free childcare diploma. What is this? It is actually a paid study and work diploma. It is a full time, 10 month course and you are paid around 1000 euros NET each month as you learn and work with a family 🙂 Did I mention you get all the school holidays off ?! Click here for more information on  the CAP Petite Enfance childcare course or check out our FAQ and other testimonials!

As Part of the Childcare Diploma there are lessons which focus on the child’s development. Part of the course focuses on the child’s sensory development.

The senses develop during a child’s earliest years so, when we work with children, we are actively thinking about how to stimulate their development. In our diploma programme we talk about how to put in place activities that children will enjoy whilst encouraging their sensory perception!

Here are some fun activity ideas:

1) Sight

Our vision is blurred and short when we are born. During our first year, our sight develops to the visual field of an adult and by four years old we can appreciate the finer details in our vision. So during the toddler years we are really developing our ability to be able to identify the details in what we see and to enjoy and appreciate the sights around us.

Childcare diploma activity idea:

Play ‘What’s Missing?’

Place a number of household items onto a tray (the more items, the more challenging the game so for younger children start with just 3-4 items to begin with).

Tell your child to have a close look at the items on the tray. Name them together (the more you discuss the items, the more likely your child is to remember them, so you could ask them what colour or shape each item is or what it is used for).

Cover the items with a tea towel. Ask your child to close their eyes and as they do so remove one item from under the cloth.

Ask them to open their eyes, remove the cloth and tell you What’s Missing!

Variations:

For older children, use more items and allow them to look at them for a full minute. Then cover them up and ask them to write a list or draw as many of the items that they can remember.

2) Sound

Babies have good hearing, especially in the treble pitch at birth. Fine hearing develops later, so we can stimulate children to encourage them to identify different sounds and to develop the range of pitch that they hear. Encorporate activities into daily life to see the most improvement in the child’s development. Here are some ideas for activites within a daily routine.

Childcare diploma activity idea:

Easy to make Sound Sensory Jars – great with toddlers!

Photo courtesy of: Hands on as we grow 

3) Taste

Children love sweet tastes. It is the childcarer’s role to introduce salty, acidic and bitter tastes and to diversify their diet so that the child has good nutrition for their body’s growth. A great oportunity to incorporate this into your routine is at goûter. What’s goûter? Read our post explaining this sacred meal.

Childcare diploma  activity idea:

Making food into animals or fun shapes is a great way to encourage children. Try anything from a smiley face, heart shapes or Taste testing with the Hungry Caterpillar! You can adapt this for any food you like. 🙂

4) Smell

The development of baby’s sense of smell is steered by how they recognise and memorise smells. A new-born’s sense of smell is already strong. They recognise mum’s milk and their favourite toy (doudou). In France the crèche often ask parents to bring their child’s doudou to the crèche, to be used in transitional periods such as when saying goodbye to mum and dad in the morning or going to sleep at naptime.

A child’s sense of smell plays a key role with taste too! The receptors in our nose send information to our brain so that we can identify what we are smelling. As we diversify a child’s diet, from around 6 months, we can encourage them with activities that stimulate their sense of smell, so that they enjoy new smells and have more enthusiasm to taste those trickier foods that they really need for a healthy balanced diet 😉

Childcare diploma activity idea:

Scented cloud dough – easy to make and to add scents to!

5) Touch

Our skin is the ‘organ’ of our sense of touch. A baby’s skin is more fragile than an adults, but this means that their sense of touch is very developed at birth, more sensitive than ours. They enjoy contact with other people and are more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. A child’s skin remains thin and fragile, making them more receptive to touch and how it stimulate how they feel and their curiosity to discover and to learn new things.

Childcare diploma activity idea:

What is hiding in our jelly?  – hide items in little pots of jelly for children to squish through to find!

Photo Courtesy of Janice Davis

Let us know how you get on in the comments below!

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