Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Try Something Old

New to the Life is Therapy series? Here's a quick blurb to tell you what it's about:

Sometimes we parents can get bogged down in the notion that the teaching of our children must be done by professionals. Parents of children with special needs are particularly vulnerable to this idea since children with special needs often have to learn and develop quite differently than children with typical needs. This series centers around the idea that learning can and does occur most effectively through everyday life experiences at home and out in the community--for children with both typical and special needs.

Doesn't it feel good to accomplish something when you've worked really hard at it? Does it surprise you when you think about how second nature certain tasks become when they were so hard to learn? Do you get a sense of pride when you sit down and quickly accomplish a task that used to take you a lot of concentrated effort?

Kids are like that too! The difference is that we don't always remember to stop and celebrate all the things they've learned to do. They've learned to do absolutely everything. Think about it--take a step, walk, run, climb, jump, drink from a cup, eat with a spoon, take off a sock, etc. Everything they do on a routine basis took time and effort to learn. And we are constantly exposing them to new things and expecting them to do more and more. Kids are absolutely amazing in their ability to try so many new things at once. After all, everything is new to them.

With all the newness, I think it's a good idea to sometimes just take a step back and do something old and familiar. You'll be amazed at how happy your kiddo will be when you break out an old toy that they have not played with in a while.

And they'll surprise you with all the new things that they know and can do since the last time they played with it.

It's been a while since we got out Jack's "baby keyboard" and played the games that come with it. He sat down right away when he saw it and began insisting on Beethoven. I thought he was confused and told him that this was a game not his Baby Einstein movie. He kept insisting on Beethoven.

We got him started on one of the games and he played happily but kept saying, "Beethoven, Beethoven". You know what? On one of the games, when you hit the right button, a little conductor shows up and the shapes play a familiar tune written by you guessed it....Beethoven!

It's been fun to see how much Jack remembers from playing the games before and now that he talks he points out things that we did not even notice before (like the shapes playing Beethoven).

So I encourage you, don't think that all learning has to take place with new things. Get out something old and familiar. Revel in the accomplishments that have taken place since the last time you and your child played with the item and watch out because they'll probably show you something new too!

Recent Life is Therapy Posts can be found at:
Get Out There
Going to the Movies
What Happens at Home

For more Life is Therapy Posts, check out the left side bar.

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Sarah and the Gentlemen said...

That's such a good reminder!

I have a hard time getting rid of old toys because they do love to return to them over and over.

Marie said...

I know! Jack prefers his old toys. He's just not into new stuff.

Michelle said...

Kayla has that same keyboard! It's in storage ... along with pretty much most of her toys/books we left in NM. Once we finally get all our stuff this summer....oh boy! it's going to be like birthdays and Christmases all rolled in to one when the kids see all those 'new' old toys again! :)

How neat that Jack remembered the "Beethoven" from that game!

Marie said...

Oh boy that is gonna be like one big ol' holiday. ;)

Rachel said...

That's awesome! And TOO true - I've noticed that same thing when I pull out old toys - it's amazing how much they've learned, AND how much they remember!

mommytoalot said...

What a great reminder.
Joey has a bunch of stuff that he hasn't used in quite awhile.