Building SANDCASTLES to BUILD ATTENTION

Building SANDCASTLES to BUILD ATTENTION


– You ready to go then? Bryony Rust, Salt by the
Sea and today we are off to the beach. I’ve got my bucket and spade
in my bag, I’ve got my dog, simply because he insisted
on coming, and I wanna share with you some ways that
you can build sand castles in a way that boosts
your child’s attention, helps them learn some key phrases, and builds their understanding of simple routines and sequences. So, let’s get going. So of course, there’s no secret
to the sand castle building that I know that you know how
to make a good, sturdy sand castle, but what we’re doing
is building more performance into it and also really focusing on using some intentionally repeated
phrases to help your child learn language, and also
build up some anticipation. So I mentioned with this
sand castle activity, we’re aiming to build
your child’s attention. But what we’re really aiming to build is their attention on you. Their ability to listen to you
and to show focused attention on what you’re showing them. So this is different from the
attention that they can show with an activity that they’re
working on by themselves. What is about sand castles
that is really appealing to your child and how can
we make the most of this so that they’re going
to be really interested in looking at you and listening to you to see what you’re going to do next. So you’re aiming to create
a bit of a performance, something that is brief
enough and exciting enough to absolutely capture
your child’s attention. The shorter the better to
start with, because then you can build on that over time. It’s gonna be really useful
if you have a second pair of hands to help you to
encourage your child to sit down and watch what you’re
doing, rather than diving straight in and helping you
out with that sandcastle. So this is going to be a
bit of a switch around from how you typically play
sand castles together, but this is about helping
them build their attention for what you’re up to. So let me give you a demonstration of what that might look like. Building up that excitement,
modeling that key vocabulary, and building up a familiar,
short little sequence. So let’s get started. Fill it up! Fill it up! Fill it up! Pat it down! Pat, pat, pat. Turn it over. Lift it up. Smash it. Rah! If your child can pay attention
to that whole sequence, then you can start building it up. Build up a little
sequence of sand castles. (upbeat music) Sandcastles! What we’re doing is building
up and extending the length of time that your child can
pay attention to what you’re showing and hear how you’re
modeling those key phrases. Now, at the end of course,
the big excitement, the thing that is worth holding
that child’s attention for, is the big smash, the big
knock it down at the end. If you’re at the beach all
day and you want to build a beautiful castle construction,
then this might not be the activity for you,
but in the early years, we’re just looking to
find something that will really capture a child’s
attention and we’re thinking about it from their perspective. What is the thing about that activity that makes it most exciting? Often, it’s the smash. If you want to extend this
activity, then you can take turns to smash the sandcastles at the end. This activity is inspired
by the work of Gina Davies, who’s a speech and language
therapist who has a structured four part program for
building the attention and language skills of young children on the autism spectrum. I’ll link her website
below, do check it out if it sounds useful to you. Meanwhile with this activity
and with anything else that you and your little
one are doing together, the main thing is that you’re
exploring and having fun together with a curious open heart, accepting that there
might be a few mistakes, some smashed sand castles along the way, but that the two of you are figuring out little things together everyday. And every tiny step the
two of you take together, is a step in the right direction. Thank you for being here,
and I’ll see ya next week. (upbeat music) (ocean waves crashing)

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