Early Years: Working with visually impaired children
Presented on Wednesday 2 December 2009
Be Active Box workshop
Why Use the Be Active Box?
- Safe, secure environment in busy situation.
- Unchanging environment.
- Stimulates movement
- Allows independent play
Notes: In a busy nursery with active children
Here's a rattle, I liked that, oh it's gone!
Learning at child's own rate - with no interference
- Which hand?
- What movement - exploratory, banging, pushing?
- Favourite material/object?
- Which hole was it in?
- Were 2 hands used together at any time?
Notes: Sometimes this isn't difficult to assess as the child will only play with one item! The holes don't change - they can be numbered to be precise about position.
- Are feet used?
- Singly or together?
- Exploratory, banging, sliding?
- Favourite material/object.
- Shoes on or off?
Notes: Adults don't always notice that children explore with more than just their feet. They may use another part of their body. Note this.
- Does auditory feedback influence choice of material?
- Does auditory feedback influence response?
- Is there any change in child's behaviour during/after session in box?
- Is child more vocal while in box?
- Does he show any strong dislike of any material?
Notes: Does child respond only/better to noisy toys?
Feedback from Materials
Notes: Visual - colours, reflected light, battery light, fibre optics,
chasing lights. This will become a dark area during the day, to help
with perception of lights.
Auditory - papers, rattles (spoons measuring cups), bells, sound producing toys, switch activated toys, communication aids, eg; Big Mack.
Tactile - may only be materials on walls and floor for child who is not yet exploring much.
- Move favourite material
-to encourage exploration
-to encourage use of other hand/both hands
-to introduce new materials
- Introduce materials which encourage new movements
Notes: Move material slightly in any direction, perhaps still within touch. Ask parents/staff for suggestions too. Lilli Nielsen's book "Space & Self" has many ideas which she is suggesting for "The Little Room"
- Observe regularly
- Observe systematically
- Use observations to change environment
- Don't allow child to become bored.
- Use Be Active Box as a learning situation - not as a babysitter.
Notes: Involve all adults in the observation. Record where all materials were at time of observation - make a proforma plan to plot them.