Today we have been continuing learning colours. J can already match colours and can point to some basic colours when asked. So the next step is to use Makaton to communicate the colours.
J loves cars (and anything with moving parts to be honest) but isn’t the biggest fan of mess and ‘wet’ textures. So I thought we’d combine learning colours with some sensory desensitizing play (meaning you encourage your child to slowly not react so much to the textures as they get used to the feeling).
I will add, it’s important to not push your child too much if they don’t like textures. I offered this at J’s pace. We started with just the cars being messy and he slowly got paint on his hands from pushing them, then this led to J dipping the cars in the paint himself so coming in contact with it. Soon he was using fingers to push paint on the paper and then rubbing his hands with the paint. It was a thin layer so dried quickly meaning he didn’t feel the wet texture too long. As soon as J signed ‘finished’ I respected this and went straight to wash his hands.
Anyway, I digress!
As we played I would name the colours and ask J to look at my hands to see me sign them. I then started offering him choices of two colours and signed, then watching to see hints of the signs. Admittedly, he was more interested in pointing to make his choice but it’s still communicating.
Sometimes (to me, anyway) it feels like he’s not paying any attention to my signing. I sit back and think ‘well that was a waste of time’ but it’s amazing how quickly he will then randomly use the sign at another time. Recently this has been the sign ‘biscuit’ which he has not once shown any attention to me signing it, but then randomly started to use it since Wednesday.
I think the lesson here is that children are like ninjas and are stealthy learners. They are soaking everything up and processing it before being ready to express it. Clever little beings really, aren’t they?