Monday, 23 September 2013

A Pocket Full of Learning!

Something again so simple, but can really enhance a child's development

My daughter has recently decided to take a liking to pockets. She had to have a change at Preschool today and on the way home, she realised they had pockets on her trousers. That was it....she is now spending her afternoon filling her pockets with whatever she can fit into them! This is something she has shown a liking for with her dressing gown pockets and our pockets too (My husband keeps finding little gifts that she has placed in his pockets when he gets to work!!)

I have seen this before with boys, mainly, when working in childcare. There have been several sheepish parents turning up for a session full of apologies that their child has sneaked some toys out in their pockets! But, they need not fear, they have not got a thief on their hands! It is all a part of their learning strategy!

Pockets are a great way to move toys around! When a child puts something in their pocket, they have it close and it feels like it is well and truly theirs to play with! Not only that, pockets come in different sizes, meaning they are great to experiment with. What may fit in one pocket, may not necessarily fit in another! I think a lot of my daughters fascination with pockets comes with the joy it gives others! She loves the reaction of our faces when we find something she has put in our pockets as a surprise!

The use of pockets can also be used as part of the Enveloping schema. This is definitely apparent with our daughter, as she is constantly filling bags, dress up and wrap things up as presents. This form of schema helps children to explore shape, size, volume and capacity. The whole idea of "what could fit in this pocket?" is all part of the mathematical thinking they will develop.

There are many ways to encourage this form of schema. Our daughter is currently loving many of these activities too!!

1. Play Hide and Seek!

2. Wrap up dolls in nappies and blankets

3. Exploring bags and boxes of different shapes and sizes

4. Play with a range of old clothes and dressing up materials

5. Explore with scarves of different lengths and colours/materials

6. Offer writing materials and envelopes in the writing area/ at home

Get exploring with those pockets!! It is always worth watching what your child or a child in your setting is doing, as you can learn so much about their patterns of learning!!

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