One of my absolute favourite things to do with my little Maddie is playing with her. Ever since she was born I have tried to participate in most of the moms and baby classes and workshops that I can find and one thing I have taken away from all of them is that babies and toddlers learn so much through playing! So many different milestones need to be met and it is my husband and my responsibility as parents to ensure we are helping her meet those milestones.
I have done a couple of workshops and one thing that I have found missing in the teachings is how we can practice them at home – affordably and practically…
My husband and I were invited to attend the play-and-learn workshop taking KZN by storm, Pikanini run by the lovely Mashuda who is so passionate about what she does and is a mom to two little ones whom she practices all her teachings on.
The course is held at Kids Emporium Umhlanga and what was different about this course than any other course I have done is that it isn’t intended for babies to be present but for the parent/s to attend and be taught Pikanini researched playing techniques that will give our children the best possible learning foundation and boost to their development. Taught in a relaxed and interactive environment, the course rans a total of three hours and honestly left me energised and inspired with plenty of inexpensive ideas (with a lot of things that can be used around the house) to stimulate Maddie.
There are currently three workshops available which include; 0-6 months, 6-12 months and 1-2 years, I wish I had got the chance to attend the 0-6 when Maddie was born because the amount of things I learnt in the 6-12 month course is so invaluable!
Playing games with babies is a valuable learning experience for babies and a bonding experience for both adult and child. By spending this time with Maddie I am helping form a healthy bond and attachment to me giving her the emotional security essential to her total development. By interacting and playing with Maddie I am helping promote her physical , mental, social and emotional growth. At just R380 for the course – it is honestly worth every cent!
Here are four inexpensive games I learnt at the workshop:
1. What do you see?
Equipment needed: a R15 peg holder and some flashcards which you can print at home or buy a pack of 10 for R50 at a book store.
I hung the peg holder on Maddie’s changing mat mobile and play this game at every nappy change and she looks at these pictures every time she gets her nappy changed. I chose three different objects – a dog, a car and a ball. I then name each picture and tell her the characteristics of each object. “This is a dog”, “The dog is fluffy”, “The dog barks”. In just three weeks of repeating this everyday she will be able to pick out the dog when asked which one is the dog. Talk about a baby genius! Another fun way to play this game is to use pictures of your family. This is a great exercise for language skills.
2. Beach ball fun
Equipment needed: a R20 plastic ball from Pick n Pay.
Maddie loves this game and gets to excited! My husband and I sit across from each other with our legs open with Maddie in front of one of us and we continue to roll the ball back and fourth to each other. It is really great motor development as she watches the ball come and go while trying to ‘catch’ the ball herself.
Equipment needed: a two piece puzzle or a shape puzzle.
Who would have thought between the ages of six months to a year they are able to put together a simple two piece puzzle or fit shapes into their respective holes. I was amazed at the thought of putting a puzzle in front of Maddie and beginning to show her how the pieces fit together or into one another. This is also another great fine motor skills exercise that also involves problem solving.
4. Drawing time
Equipment needed: a box of wax crayons and scrap paper.
Who would have thought at just six months a thick non-toxic crayon can be given to a baby to start making primitive scribbles on paper. This activity allows them to exercise cognitive thinking while teaching them that all important pincer grip.
These are just four of the over 40 inexpensive ways to stimulate your baby at home all clearly explained during the course and in a take home manual along with a laminated ‘schedule’ that can be hang up in your baby’s nuresery providing you with a roster of different games that can be played throughout the day covering all types of stilulation and developement. Plus we got a cute certificate! The course comes highly recommended!
The next Pikanini workshop at Kids Emporium Umhlanga will be held on 12 November at 11:30 to 2:30.
Book your seat by emailing Mashuda@pikanini.co.za
Until next time… xx
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