How does the program work?
To make everything just a little bit easier, we have compiled a collection of short instructional videos that explains everything you need to know about using the set and how you will benefit from investing in the program. We call this our Online Demonstration.
You can view the Online Demonstration HERE
Alternatively, you can arrange a home demonstration from one of our trained representatives by clicking HERE
Until what age can I use the set?
The Practica Program is designed to be used from birth up to the age of 7 years old.
Who do I contact if I have a developmental question about my child?
The Practica Advisory Service is there for if you have any questions or worries about your child’s development.
Lizette van Huyssteen, the founder and creator of the Practica Program, heads up this service. Please do not hesitate to contact the Practica Head Office with any questions!
You can phone us on 011 472 6685 or click HERE to send an email.
Where do I start?
Page to your child’s age group and choose from the activities that are recommended there.
How often do we need to play?
Try to incorporate the activities from the guide into your lifestyle. The activities that are recommended for children between the ages of 2 and 7 years are divided into six groups to assist parents in their efforts to stimulate their children in a balanced way. Try to do one activity per week from each of these groups – adding up to six activities per week. If that’s not possible – try to do an equal amount of activities from the different groups – to strive towards balanced stimulation.
Do I need to do all the activities recommended for my child’s age group?
Not necessarily. It is not necessary for parents to closely adhere to the program as if it is a “curriculum”. Use the program as a tool to help you to be more effective during the quality time that you spend with your child.
It would be ideal if you could do all the activities that are recommended for your child’s age. The more activities you do with your child and the more often you repeat these activities, the better your child will develop.
How do I present the activities to my child?
Instead of paging through the guide to find a suitable activity every time you use Practica, try choosing a few activities for the coming week ahead of time. Display the chosen activities in the kitchen and take the needed apparatus out of the toy box and keep it handy in a safe place. By doing this you’ll find it easier to really utilise those little bits of time when your child is “looking for something to do”.
How much time do I need to spend on Practica?
Since the activities soon become a way of life, the amount of time that will be spent on Practica will be determined by your family’s lifestyle. Also keep in mind that many activities can be initiated by a parent in a matter of seconds – after which the child can continue with the activity on his own.
The activities have been put together according to the average concentration span of different age-groups:
- 0-2 years: 2 – 5 minutes
- 2 years: 5 minutes
- 3 years: 10 minutes
- 4 years: 15 minutes
- 5 years: 20 minutes
- 6 years: 25 minutes
How do I help my child to develop in a balanced way?
If your child is younger than 2 years of age, try not to go through the activities that are recommended for his age group from front to back. Keep in mind that all the different skills, which are discussed every month, develop simultaneously. It will be best if you would page through all the activities that are recommended for your baby at the beginning of the month. Then try to develop all the skills equally by giving equal attention to the different kinds of activities throughout the month.
If your child is between 2 and 7 years old, make sure that you choose an equal number of games from each of the 6 groups of activities under your child.s age group. Keep in mind that the activities have been divided into the 6 groups to make it easier for parents to give balanced attention to all the school readiness skills.
How do I set the pace?
Let your child set the pace. Don’t put pressure on him. (If necessary you can even decide one activity into smaller steps and do it over a period of days.)
Be careful not to give most of your attention to activities that your child enjoys as these activities usually involve skills that he excels in. Also do activities that involve underdeveloped skills – those are naturally the skills that need even more attention than the others.
What do I do when my child quickly loses interest?
Try to stop playing before he loses interest. By doing this you help him to look forward to playing again later. Also safely lock away his Practica apparatus in the toy box. He should view it as special.
What if my child is not interested in a specific activity?
Pretend that you (and your husband) are playing the game and enjoying it tremendously. Your child will probably try to imitate what you’re doing.
Try breaking up the activity into smaller parts. E.g. If he finds it difficult to pack shapes onto a card, pack most of the shapes yourself and ask him to complete the task. Let him gradually do more and more.
Contact the Practica Advisory Service. There are such a wide variety of different activities to stimulate the different areas of development at every age. We will be able to recommend other activities to substitute the activity that he doesn’t like to do.
Leave out the activity and move onto another one. The more activities he plays, the more curious he will become, which will create an opportunity to return to that activity at a later stage.
What do I do when my child repeatedly has trouble with activities that involve the same skill?
Don’t try to “train” him to do what a child of his age should be doing. If he struggles with most activities that are recommended to stimulate a certain skill at his age, it is probably an indication that he needs more attention in that specific area to help him “build up” the underdeveloped skill.
You can help your child by playing activities with him that are recommended to stimulate that particular skill in younger children.
When can I move on to doing the activities prescribed for older children?
If you suspect that your child is talented in a specific skill, you can move on to activities that are recommended to develop that skill under the next age group.
Be careful not to move on to more advanced activities too soon! Keep in mind that every step of development serves as a foundation for the next step and that it is often better to repeat activities that are recommended for your child’s age group until he is very skilled at it, rather than moving on to quickly.
If, however, your child seems to be bored with the current activities, it will probably be better to move on.
How do I monitor my child?
The main aim of Practica is not to motivate you to continually evaluate your child, but rather to help you to spend relaxed, quality time with your child.
The program helps you to discover your child’s strengths and weaker areas through informal play and to effectively contribute to his development at the same time. You are fully equipped and you can have peace of mind that you will be able to do the right thing at the right time without putting pressure on your child.