Channeling Your Carer’s Energy
With even the most energetic and motivated carer, you will need to assist in guiding them with ideas for fun and brain-building activities for your child during the hours that you are not around.
A great way to motivate and channel their energy is by making up various lists for the various areas in your house. These will help guide your child’s carer and remind them of the various age-appropriate games they can play.
For example, on the kitchen wall you can have a list that reminds them that packing and unpacking the Tupperware drawer is fun, and while feeding your child lunch they can remember to use the words for ‘eat’, ‘plate’, ‘spoon’, ‘yum yum’ etc.
In the bedroom, where they will be getting your child dressed, make a up list that reminds them to sing fun songs while dressing, and pointing out and naming your child’s head, arms, legs, tummy, hands, feet and also giving the names for clothing such as pants, t-shirt, dress, shoes and socks.
In the playroom/lounge, where the majority of play is done, give your carer four lists for the four major areas of development – gross motor, fine motor, language and intellectual (Practica Parents will have more to choose from, however so just follow your guide). Ask them to do at least one activity off each list every day. This way you will be sure that they are working on your baby’s major areas of development at least every day.
Ideas for the four lists could be:
Gross Motor – crawling through a box or tunnel, climbing, throwing or pushing a ball.
Fine Motor – anything involving hand-eye coordination, like building blocks, shape sorters, threading beads onto a string, turning the pages of a book.
Language – singing songs, reading books, looking at picture cards, talking and describing what is going on.
Intellectual – anything involving problem-solving, like finding a ball hidden under a cup or playing hide and seek. Or task orientated activities that include starting, continuing and completing something (remember to use words throughout this experience to lead the child through the task), such as the process of packing away their building blocks and putting the box on the shelf.
Do not assume that just because your carer is motivated and energetic they know exactly what to do. Channel their energy and give them the support they need to do what is best for your child. They will be grateful for the ideas and feel motivated in having a clear path to follow. You, on the other hand, can rest assured in the knowledge that your child is being stimulated in an age-appropriate way regularly throughout their day.
Words: Loren Stow
when we know better… we do better
*Practica Parents: The programme is designed with many age-appropriate activities for you to choose from, and you can create new lists with every new phase of development. Many Practica Parents do the more bonding and emotionally-laden activities during their own time with their child, and then make a second list for their carer/nanny. The Practica Programme offers 14 Areas of Development for birth to 2 years and then 6 Major Areas of Development for ages 2 – 6 years.
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