Exclusive Content:

The Sneaky Drips: Furnace Exhaust Pipe Leaking & How to Handle It

Ah, winter! The time for cozy blankets, hot cocoa,...

The House as a Home: Emotional Ties to Physical Spaces

Ever walked into a room and felt a sudden...

Live-in landlords: The pros and cons of living with a lodger

An owner-occupier, also referred to as a resident landlord,...

Early Skill Development – The Work of a Child is Never Done

A child is constantly working on developing new skills when doing everyday activities. What to adults look like play activities, can be seriously hard work for a child trying to master a new skill. A child has to to develop master the skills need to be able to walk, talk and be independent. Early development skills form the basis for successful entry into formal learning when they enter school.

Early development skills improve because of –

– the child’s personal preference (just like adults, children prefer to choose activities we either like or are good at),
– the number of opportunities the child gets to practice their skill (in their play),
– how well the child can “join up” that skill, with other skills they are learning.

Just like a jigsaw puzzle, all development skills (e.g talking, moving etc) need to be improved. Skills in one area must be combined with the other skill areas to make a “whole” base for a child to use to learn and develop. Children with very strong preferences for certain activities, or who only play in certain ways, can find it difficult to get the broad range of skills they need. They find it difficult to “join up” their strong skills and their weaker skills so that their skill level can be come “unbalanced.”

To help, parents can encourage new activities and less preferred activities to keep their child learning a wide variety of skills. When they join their child in play they can target the less preferred activities to offer support and demonstrate how their child can master these skills. For example for a child who prefers to drive their cars but avoids drawing activities, a parent could join in the car play but introduce drawing roads for the cars to drive on and assist their child to attempt to draw as well.

BUT Remember: Work, rest & play

Children need to work, rest and play – just like adults. But how they work, rest and play is different to adults. When children learn a new skill it could be considered their “work”. So in the work phase of learning a skill it takes a lot of effort and concentration. It can be pretty tiring and can’t be sustained for too long. So the child drops back to playing using skills they have already mastered.

This repetitive “play” helps to make skills easier and easier (Think about the play very young children engage in saying the same word over and over as if seeking confirmation from you as the parent that they are doing it right. While slightly frustrating for us adults sometimes – it is a fun game for the child – playing with their newly learnt word and making it easier and easier for them to say it).

Importantly, they also need to take a break from learning. How much rest they need can depend on how quickly they are attempting to add new skills, or how hard skills are for them to master. When we say rest it is important to consider this includes non sleeping rest times. Again this may be where they lay quietly on the floor playing with a simple toy, or flop into a beanbag, or run wildly around in circles – if only for a few minutes – they are resting in the form of not having to concentrate and getting ready to get back to work. They may need to rest often, but only briefly throughout the day; as well as having longer “sleeping” rest.

With their child needing to learn so many skills, a parent has many things to consider

– what skills should my child have or be working on?
– what does my child really like doing, and what do they avoid or not give themselves as much time practicing?
– What chance do they get during their day to work or play at a new skill?
– How well does my child rest themselves and how do they do this?

What does this mean for your child?

Children need parents to “challenge” their current skill to get them to the next level – but not challenge them so much that they can’t succeed at learning the skill.

Children need to be encouraged not only to play in activities they like, but to also to “work” at activities that they don’t enjoy as much. They may not play in a certain activity because the activity needs skills that are currently difficult for them. For example three year old Michael liked to climb but never played with blocks or jig saws. He was confident and skilled in his gross motor skills. When his parents helped him build towers with blocks, and gave him lots of praise he began to play with the blocks more frequently on his own. His fine motor skills gradually became as strong as his climbing skills.

Finally, children need lots of ways to rest – not just sleep. This includes quiet time, down time, and active time with no pressure (e.g. running around or laying on the floor with their favorite toys). This is a sign they have been working hard to learn something new or practice something difficult. How often they need this “rest” time shows parents how hard they have been working at a new skill. Recognizing and encouraging appropriate rest activities ensures the child will then be ready to successfully work or play at more skills again.

Kendra Bell is Managing Director and Principal Speech Pathologist of Next Challenge. Next Challenge provides Speech Pathology, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy services for children and produces developmental screening tools and other products.

Choosing a Certification Body

Some organisations believe that all certification bodies are the...

Is a degree a certification?

Certificate Programs A certificate is earned by a student after taking a...

Special Learning Needs – Effective Educational Services For Students

15 million school age children in the US have...

Challenges in Education in Today’s Society – Globalization and Changes in Education

Recent investigations in the study of demographic trends at...

Subscribe Pages:


Follow Us:

What Is the Healthcare Administration And Health Information Exchange?

The healthcare industry is one of the largest employment...

Get Better in English with English Language Courses

Are you having trouble with reading and speaking in...

Career Planning After 50 – A Proper Foundation Is The Key!

A proper foundation is the key to both career...

Human Rights and Iron-Fisted Leaders

What was that great quote, you know when Caesar...

The Mighty Energy of your education

Things are being converted into machines. It doesn't matter the...

Related Articles

The Sneaky Drips: Furnace Exhaust Pipe Leaking & How to Handle It

Ah, winter! The time for cozy blankets, hot cocoa, and... unexpected puddles near your furnace? If you've stumbled upon this article, chances are you're...

The House as a Home: Emotional Ties to Physical Spaces

Ever walked into a room and felt a sudden rush of nostalgia? Or perhaps, you've entered a space and immediately felt at ease? That's...

Live-in landlords: The pros and cons of living with a lodger

An owner-occupier, also referred to as a resident landlord, is defined as any landlord who rents out part of their own property while living...

Home Maintenance Quick Tip – Tree Trimming Season

Trees and Your Home Real estate agents love trees. Trees can increase property values and make neighborhoods more walkable. Research shows that people drive slower...

12 Tips for Tree Pruning Success

Don't like pruning? Don't plant evergreens near overhead lines. Instead, you should choose evergreens that have a more conical shape. You can give them Tree...

You Pay Less for Remodel Supplies

You Pay Less for Remodel Supplies All of us want to save more cash, especially for big-ticket purchases like Remodel Supplies our basements or purchasing...

Home Improvement Tips – Bathroom Remodeling

Home Improvement Tips - Bathroom Remodeling Bathrooms are one of the most common areas to renovate in a home. There are many ways to remodel...

How to replace the shower stall – Home Improvement Bathroom Projects

How to replace the shower stall - Home Improvement Bathroom Projects Bathroom Projects Projects Many home improvements can be done in a few minutes to...

How can you pick the most appropriate Interior Decorator for your home?

Being a homeowner of a beautiful home is a privilege and keeping it maintained in the most fashionable way can be an experience that...
error: Content is protected !!