Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Developmental Post #17

Letting preemies explore new textures can be a fun (sometimes messy) way to encourage language skills as well as fine motor skills. One of my favorite ways of doing this is to create a "rice box" and a water box.

Rice box - fill a large clear tub with rice (oatmeal or anything that doesn't break down easily will work well) about 1/3 full. Add in some small toys or objects like cups, sifters, etc. Anything that will encourage your preemie to touch and explore the rice.

Water box - basically the same concept as the rice box but with - you guessed it, water. This is an activity best played outside. In addition to toys for the rice box, I usually add in a paintbrush. Kids love to "paint" the sidewalk and then watch the water disappear as the sun dries it.

Developmental tips:

1) You play too! Get down on the floor/ground with your preemie and reach your hands in to the water or rice. Encourage him/her to do the same. Let the rice/water run through your hands and have your preemie watch what you are doing. Give him/her room and time to explore what's in the box once they are interested.

2) Dump and Pour - this is a great game for the rice and water. Show your preemie how to fill up a cup/container with rice or water and then dump it out If you have two containers - try filling up one container with the water/rice from the other.

3) Language skills - use simple words to describe what you are playing in. "Look, the water is wet. The rice feels soft" This will help your preemie start to develop his/her own language skills.

Most importantly - have fun!!

No comments: