Most parents who have at least one boy in the family quickly learn all about cars, trucks, diggers, planes, trains and more! Weather we push the exposure or not, many of them naturally show interest early on in "THINGS THAT GO". That's not to suggest that girls can't or don't want to learn about these same things but many will show interest later than boys.
Why should we expose kids to Transportation and Things that Go?
Transportation is an important part of everyday life, and is a topic many preschool aged children are interested in. Children are introduced to different modes of transportation at an early age. We are surrounded by things that move, including ourselves! They drive in a car, truck or bus almost daily, they see different shapes, sizes and coloured vehicles on the road all the time, they get introduced to bicycles and tricycles shortly after they can walk. They learn about school buses as they get ready to attend school. They see planes and helicopters flying in the air and trains transporting goods on train tracks, and can often see different size boats on the water.
A transportation theme not only teaches children about what different vehicles are for and how they work, but you can also use it to teach other important concepts such as safety when riding in a vehicle or walking. By using games, toys and crafts when teaching children about transportation, it will help them remember important information.
Children love learning and playing with new things, and most parents use their natural curiosity to teach them the important skills needed for life, as well as introduce them to concepts about the world and how it works. Activities that include playing with all types of transportation theme items including vehicles such as cars, trucks, airplanes, trains and more provide a base for learning new concepts daily.
Activities about Transportation can help teach them, not only about the different modes of transportation, but other skills as well such as counting, problem-solving, vocabulary, recognizing colours and so much more. An easy one to start with involves Sorting and Grouping vehicles by Water, Land and Sky. When we incorporate other "movement" concepts such as rolling wheels and balls, children will also develop other skills that they will need in life such as motor and creative skills.
Travel is something that most people need to do, whether it is in the city, to another province and even another country. Exposing your child to the different modes of transportation will give them enough general knowledge about transportation in today’s busy and fast-paced world.
At Toddle Tots Play and Dance Centre we have a number of fun ways to learn about Transportation and Things That Go! We have a variety of toy vehicles and play mat surfaces to move on, we have ride on toys for children try and we even have a large "LOOK OUT" window where children can easily watch what is happening around us and spot all sorts of different modes of transportation. Check out posts on Facebook to find out when our next "TRANSPORTATION THEME" weeks will be happening and Visit Toddle Tots to explore Transportation HANDS-ON with your child!
Our TENTS & TUNNELS Play Theme is one of our most Popular and why wouldn't it... it's just SO MUCH FUN!!! Who doesn't like to slither like a Snake, crawl like a Ant or hideout like a Bear? Creatures aside, playing in Tents and Tunnels on the ground is actually fulfilling many gross motor skill functions for your child.
Crawling is an important developmental skill for your child which include:
Vestibular Movements: rolling, crawling through the tunnel, balancing their body weight on all fours while crawling. The Vestibular system is located in the inner ear and has to do with balance.
Proprioception: crawling, body weight being balanced across your child's joints such as the arms and legs. Proprioception is the ability to sense stimuli arising within the body regarding position, motion, and equilibrium.
Bilateral coordination: using both sides of the body together
Visual Motor skills: eye-hand coordination, spatial awareness
Fine motor skills: pincer grasp holding onto small objects
Gross motor skills: core, neck, shoulder and leg strengthening through crawling
Even if your child shows no or little interest in crawling, it's important to encourage them to try. Using Tents & Tunnels can be a fun and engaging way to do this! I love showing families that rolling a ball into the tunnel creates interest and intrigue for children to venture inside.
Play tunnels are not only the entrance to amazing worlds, they also reinforce the benefits children gain from crawling. Very young children may be reluctant to go through play tunnels at first because they may be afraid of the unknown. Once they realize that the tunnel doesn’t go on for ever and that they exit in familiar surroundings, the potential for imaginative play is phenomenal. Play tunnels allow children to exercise their bodies in a unique way that particularly benefits children who missed the developmental stage of crawling. Crawling has sensory as well as physical benefits. It engages your sensory symptoms and gets them ready for action, it builds up the foundation of reflex strength, and the motion of moving your hips and shoulders in coordination will ensure that your gait is correct when you walk.
Crawling is one of those skills that we never forget, in fact it is hardwired into us. Children who have physical limitations and need to build up their strength can benefit from crawling. Crawling through play tunnels can help to improve; physical strength, mobility, concentration, response to stress and moods. If a small group of children participate in the crawling exercises they will also benefit from social interaction and feeling part of a team. Crawling increases stamina, endurance and the use of our imagination.
At Toddle Tots Play and Dance Centre, we’re always focusing on how to PLAY with Purpose.
Toddle Tots Play and Dance Centre opened September 12, 2018 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, with the intent to offer a clean, friendly and welcoming place for families to bring their children to play and explore different types of toys to enhance learning and motor skills that contribute to children’s emotional, physical and cognitive development and future growth.
Toddle Tots Play & Dance Centre is an inclusive, child-friendly space featuring gym and ride-on equipment that encourages the the parent-child bond through movement, socializing and the enjoyment of Rhythm, Music and Dance. The Play Centre inspires children under 4 years to safely move, explore and play with others while parents socialize in a relaxed atmosphere.
WE OFFER MORE THAN JUST "PLAY"... We offer "PLAY WITH PURPOSE"!
All the Toys and Activities provided are chosen with Early Childhood Education Milestones in mind for optimum development of your child. We always offer some basic soft climbing structures to aid in Gross Motor Skills like Tummy Time, Crawling, Pushing and Pulling Up, Cruising Along Items, Walking, Climbing and Rolling along with Educational Sensory Development toys for Infants. We also have Mini Gym Equipment (Treadmill, Stationary Bike, Cross Country Machine) to give children the chance to try out Adult-Like training machines, to engage major muscle groups and give children an early start at indoor physical fitness and training.
We CHANGE our BIG PLAY TIME Themes every few weeks to allow new and fresh toys for our regular customers and to appeal to new customers who may want to explore something new with their child. We create interest because families know they can discover new, or remember familiar toys every few weeks. All items foster growth and development with an underlying basis built around music and movement (dancing).
THEMES & ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:
WHAT SOME OF THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT PLAY:
Heather Syvitski is the owner of Toddle Tots Play & Dance Centre and Dance Basics Dance School. She has spent a lot of time studying and researching children's movement programs and Early Childhood Educational toys, movement and childhood development.