Table of Contents
Part 1: Learning Story
The learning story in this context is taken from the first video that is RIE babies learning to play. The chosen child in this context is the baby wearing a pink sweater. The child in this video seems very engaging with the other child. The child is very active and is in a mood to play with the other child. The environment set in the video is very apt for the children to play and connect with each other. The adult who seems to be a caretaker is looking after the two children and monitoring them, the child at times is also engaging with the caretaker.
The two main observations from the video are that the child (Pink sweater) is very much active and at the same time he/she is trying to engage and play with the other child (social interaction). From birth to year 2 is very important for children. In the case of children or toddlers, great motor skills can be developed when parents or caregivers provide toddlers or young children with ample opportunities to practice their new emerging skills. Giving them space, time and resources to kick, climb, run, jump and keep balance. As stated by Raby et al. (2019), parents or caregivers can similarly help children improve motor skills. Providing young children with play experience to develop fine motor movements and improve hand-eye coordination by combining puzzles, drawings, cutting with safety scissors or beads together is very imperative.
In this particular video also the child (Pink Sweater) is found very active and engaging in his surroundings. Social interaction is very important for a toddler and that is very much being seen in the video. Social interaction is important for the social development of children, which also indirectly affects other areas of development (Malhi et al. 2018). One of the most imperative aspects of children's development is social interaction. These facilities will have a lifelong impact on the child and they will be given the opportunity of social interaction from the very beginning by ensuring that the children will acquire a solid foundation of their social skills. Although early communication skills are developed through the imitation of adults, children must learn to converse orally with their peers. In context to an early age, social interaction is the key to learning to communicate efficiently for clear communication (Veldman et al. 2019).
Through conversations with others in places like child care, children become self-centered and learn to identify as individuals, which is a common part of the developmental process of children. In this particular video also the child (Pink Sweater) is seen trying to engage and communicate with the other child which is a sign of his social interaction. Communication in non -verbal aspect is another significant component in context to social interaction for toddlers and children. As toddlers learn and play together, they will start on to comprehend emotions articulated throughout facial expressions and body language (Horst & Flack, 2019). This is important in deliberating what others are actually feeling and it is also useful for toddlers and children who are just subjecting to express and communicate. This aspect is also seen very clearly in this context.
Early childhood is known as from the period from birth to age 6 years. Children in this range of age are for the most part likely to meet peers in their extended family, playgroups, childcare or preschool. In certain cases, unhealthy peer pressure may have some negative impact on a child's overall development, but early interaction with peer also has many positive effects in a child's early experiences (Page, Lustenberger, & Frӧhlich, 2018). A childhood friendship is important for a healthy development. Friendships and peer interactions in childhood subject overall development and well-being in the specific learning domain. Peers play an important role in the impact on a child's social development (Keenan, Evans & Crowley, 2016).
By the means of interaction with children of their age, kids learn how to work with efficiently with others, collaborate with individuals and relate to others. Experiences with peers also implicitly teach children about correct and unacceptable social behaviours. Interaction with peers provides an opportunity for children to bond and experience diverse emotions, like that of joy and acceptance. Winning or losing a game with kids encourages confidence and resilience skills that are essential for healthy, holistic development as children grow up and even fights around playgrounds and for toys are essential for a child's development, as they help children to express and cope with frustrations in diverse ways. Peers and friends can also have a big impact on a child's physical development. When young children play together, they engage in physical activity to promote a healthy, fit and strong body. Playing games with friends promote agility and flexibility among children (Libertus & Hauf, 2017).
For the Future development of the child, several more activities can be initiated for their development. In this context five activities can be further incorporated to develop cognitive skills in children:
Stacking: Stacking is one of the easiest activities to develop motor skills in children. Stacking with wooden blocks is one of the most helpful preschool activities. Children are given coloured wooden blocks to stack on top of other in their pre-school or even at homes and care centers. For improving motor skills at home; one can give the child some coins to stack. To make it more fun, it can be turned into a competition where the child is stated to stack coins in a minute. This activity will improve the stability of hands and fingers in kids.
Playing in A Sandpit: Who knew playing with sand could improve a child’s motor skills. At several care centers or at home gardens, a sandpit for children to play in and have fun can be adhered. Children often indulge in transferring sand from one bucket to another. This is one of the activities that can improve motor skills. Children could also indulge in writing or drawing shapes on the sand or making sandcastles in the pit which would lead to cognitive development (Tandon et al. 2016).
Indoor Basketball: Aiming a ball so that it falls in the basket leads to the development of motor skills and improvement of stability of hands. One can use a small tub or basket and some plastic balls for this. A variant of this game is to let the child make balls of newspapers by crushing them, add some tape and let them try tossing the balls in an empty dustbin.
Art Activities: Giving the child paper and some crayons and let their imagination run wild. The coloured scribbles on paper are a form of art in itself. So many parents save their child's first drawing no matter how meaningless it may seem. This is the way for children to express themselves creatively.
Stringing: Giving the child laces or a piece of yarn thread with knots at one end and let them string the beads to the lace. One can make this activity more colourful by using cut pieces of various coloured straws. Different shapes of pasta can also be used for a fun stringing activity. The best toy a child can have is a parent or a teacher who gets down on the floor and plays with them.
By understanding, child development educators understand what the child is capable of and what they are not capable of given their age. An easy example is if one try and teach a newborn how to walk. Well, it is simply cannot because they are not capable of it. Several people try to train their babies way too early, and it can take weeks or months. If one waits until they are ready, which is generally between 2 - 3 years old, then it is quite easy to do. Not all children develop at the same time, but they do tend to within a range of the same age, so knowing the child is very important. Another advantage of knowing child development is to know if the child is missing some milestones and not developing in the way a child at that age would. That way parents can then visit a specialist to see if perhaps they have some developmental delays. Then educators or parents or careers can implement early intervention strategies to try and help them. Another thing could be that they are developing much quicker and so are advanced in their development. Again, knowing this one can implement strategies to help them even more.
Playing is very imperative for child development and it has also been accepted by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child
Most gross motor skills (larger movements such as crawling, walking, and jumping) are practised through the play.
Fine motor skills are small movements like grasping and pinching. These help with everything from writing and holding a spoon to doing up a zip.
As children grow older and begin to mix with other children, play can be a very important way to develop the skills they need in later life. They take turns teaching and sharing, empathizing and listening to others. Crowley (2017) states that unchanged drama enables children to work in groups, to share, to discuss, to resolve disputes, and to develop self-representation skills.
Playing supports emotional development by subjecting a way to communicate and cope with feelings. Fictional play allows children to create a fictional character or a plot that matches their feelings. He further writes that it can help them control their emotions and deal with them as they may continue to repeat horrible or annoying situations.
Emotions provide a solid basis for learning and development in all areas, and the quality of children's experiences and relationships in the early years is crucial. Emotional development imparts to a process by which people identify, perceive, express, and control their emotions in stages from birth to later life. Younger children who experience joy, satisfaction and achievement during learning activities will be more interested in supporting this process. This will lead them to improve many important cognitive skills such as thinking ability, concentrating on a task and making decisions. On the other hand, when an ongoing experience of anxiety, stress and anger is combined with adverse reactions to events, it can impede the cognitive development of young children. In addition to the connection with physical health, emotions determine from childhood that multiple moral behaviours like empathy, generosity, and understanding will be helpful for social communication.
Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) subjects children find out to shape out What they’re feeling, Why they are experiencing that particular emotion, and How to make improved choices in response to their emotions. These tools can have huge cumulative effects both in the classroom and beyond. Multitudes of studies now show that children learn better and do better both in school and elsewhere if they can be instructed in these basic life skills (Levine & Munsch, 2018).
Activities for physical and social development:
Sorting small stuff by colours
Taking building blocks, Lego, buttons or other small items. Making different piles or filling empty bowls with these objects sorted by colours.
Sorting objects by their size
Get to one room toys for toddlers of different sizes and sort them together from the smallest to the biggest.
Count everywhere and everything
Count with little one whatever toys or objects he/she plays with. Also, counting snacks (crackers, carrots, etc.) while you are feeding him/her. You should use any opportunity: count steps, stairs, number of pushes on the swing, etc.
Letters/ numbers/ shapes
Get a set or sets with all that stuff; they can be made of foam or use magnets. Children like to play and learn with them.
Crowley, K. (2017). Child development: A practical introduction. Sage.
Horst, J. S., & Flack, Z. M. (2019). Studying Cognitive Development in Infants and Toddlers. The Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119171492.wecad106
Keenan, T., Evans, S., & Crowley, K. (2016). An introduction to child development. Sage.
Levine, L. E., & Munsch, J. (2018). Child development from infancy to adolescence: An active learning approach. Sage Publications.
Libertus, K., & Hauf, P. (2017). Motor skills and their foundational role for perceptual, social, and cognitive development. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 301. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00301
Malhi, P., Menon, J., Bharti, B., & Sidhu, M. (2018). Cognitive Development of Toddlers: Does Parental Stimulation Matter?. The Indian Journal of Pediatrics, 85(7), 498-503. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12098-018-2613-4
Page, J., Lustenberger, C., & Frӧhlich, F. (2018). Social, motor, and cognitive development through the lens of sleep network dynamics in infants and toddlers between 12 and 30 months of age. Sleep, 41(4), zsy024. https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsy024
Raby, K. L., Freedman, E., Yarger, H. A., Lind, T., & Dozier, M. (2019). Enhancing the language development of toddlers in foster care by promoting foster parents’ sensitivity: Results from a randomized controlled trial. Developmental science, 22(2), e12753. doi: 10.1111/desc.12753
Tandon, P. S., Tovar, A., Jayasuriya, A. T., Welker, E., Schober, D. J., Copeland, K., ... & Ward, D. S. (2016). The relationship between physical activity and diet and young children's cognitive development: A systematic review. Preventive medicine reports, 3, 379-390. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.04.003
Veldman, S. L., Santos, R., Jones, R. A., Sousa-Sá, E., & Okely, A. D. (2019). Associations between gross motor skills and cognitive development in toddlers. Early human development, 132, 39-44.
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