A Human brain is a masterpiece with the most complex machinery.
Everyone has it, yet it works differently for different people. It receives input from the sensory organs in the body and sends coordinated output to the muscles.
Even though we are all born with the five senses, we do not start fully exploiting them all at once. Babies see and feel more from their fingers. Maybe that’s the reason, they want to grab and hold everything that comes their way from mommy’s hair to stuffed toys.
Kids love to feel new textures as it’s fascinating for them, for better or for worse. They love to feel and explore objects with their hands. It’s their way of inferring the world around them. It comes naturally to them owing to their curious nature. Taking advantage of this and letting kids experiment with textures through thoughtful activities and play can help set a solid foundation in many areas like language familiarization and developing motor skills.
In my previous blog post, I wrote extensively on Early learning, STEM concept and the impact of toys on the young and the impressionable minds. Recently we got our hands on one such toy that helps and aids early learning.
The Sandpaper numbers from Skola Toys.
The kit comes in a beautiful doodle box with a small set of crayons inside. It contains 10 placards made out of wood with numbers 0 to 9 textured on it with sandpaper. There’s also a small placard tray to stack them up. This toy looks deceptively simple, yet a great way to introduce numbers to your kid.
- The wooden placard has the number symbol with a rough sandpaper-like texture. The child starts by tracing his fingers on the symbol and calling out the name associated with the image on the card.
- This simple activity uses three senses – visual sense, audio sense and touch-feel sense. The kid starts correlating the three in tandem.
- This move also helps hone their hand-eye coordination which is the ability for the brain to understand and communicate to the eyes and hands to work as one.
- By tracing over the textured numbers with their fingers, children improve their pre-writing skills.
So what are Pre-writing skills? Prewriting skills are the fundamental skills needed before a child starts learning to form letters and developing the writing skills. They could be strokes and lines. Scribbling, drawing, doodling, and creating marks meant to represent letters and numbers are some common forms of pre-writing. In fact, according to the National Early Literacy Panel (NELP, 2008), early writing is one of the best predictors of children’s later reading success. Prewriting readiness activities are an essential foundation for learning to write successfully.
- Playing with the toy, children learn to connect number symbols or shapes to sounds which initiates them into the number system. As children play with this toy repeatedly, they commit the name-numeral correlation to their memory increasing retention and recall.
- Once they start recognizing individual numbers, they then proceed to learn the sequential order
- Following this, children then start associating the numbers to the quantity. They learn that every number represents a corresponding quantity.
- And while they’re learning the essential pre-learning skills, they can practice colouring on the doodle box!
- Skola sandpaper numbers are a fun way to introduce the number concept to children above 2.5 years of age. What better than for them to learn numbers through textures.
One Two – buckle my shoes, Three Four – shut the door.
This and many more such rhymes make up our and our kid’s childhood moments. Listening to such rhymes, Rehaan already knows a few numbers and their sequence and can point to them when prompted. Although he is not yet 2, we are happy to be on Stage 1 already. He likes to spread the cards out and point to the numbers when asked to and wants Mommy to recite the rhymes one more last time.
So here’s to happy counting!