Shannon R from Donaldson Room shares some thoughts and some strategies you can use at home in this blog on Social Interactions.
Here at Rebecca Cheetham Nursery and Children’s Centre we have many different and exciting resources for the children to utilize and explore. For some children this choice may be overwhelming. Some children may find it tricky to start and stop activities as well as transition to group times, lunch time or even home time. Visual aids and objects of reference are some of our most effective tools at aiding these transitions!
We have a multitude of visual aids that are used throughout the setting. These visual aids are used in combination with language to prompt and help children anticipate transitions and grasp different concepts. We have ‘Now and Next’ cards to aid transitions along with other visual time tables. Some of our most popular visual aids depict different emotions i.e. a card with a sad face with the word ‘sad’ written below. The children have free access to these cards and are encouraged to use them throughout the day.
We also use objects of reference in the nursery. Objects of reference are tangible objects that can represent an event, person or an activity. Over time children learn to associate the object with the representation (and begin to understand what is happening in that environment). For example, prior to nappy changes the key person could pick up a nappy to show the child. They might then say, “It is time to change your nappy.” This act can really help to aid and ease transitions throughout the day.
I strongly encourage you to try and use your own objects of reference at home. For example, a toy car could be used to represent a car journey and a rubber duck could be used to represent bath time! Visual aids can also be a brilliant resource for tidy up time! At Rebecca Cheetham, the children are responsible for tidying the resources up after they have finished playing. The children use visual aids in order to effectively do this. Photographs of each boxes contents are stuck on the front (e.g pictures of dinosaurs are stuck to the dinosaur box along with the word ‘Dinosaur’)
I hope I have inspired your to try some of these techniques at home- we would love to hear all about it!