Title: Speech and Language Development
Location: Toddlers Workshop, 39 Brewer Road, Summerstrand
Description: Your toddler is turning two and is not saying any words apart from Mommy, Tata and Baba. You are concerned and do not know where to start looking for help. Kayla is 10 months old. Your sister raves about her being such a good girl; she hardly makes a sound while your 8 month old is babbling non-stop. What is normal and when should one be concerned? Little Jimmy is a year old and refuses to eat solid food. Is something wrong with him? How can I stimulate my baby’s language development?

If any of these questions ring a bell for you, you are invited to attend a talk on Speech and Language Development, presented by Janet Whitehouse, a Speech and Language Therapist who is currently practicing at Yvonne Gooding Speech-Language Therapists in Lorraine. The talk will be on Wednesday 4th of August from 19:30 – 21:00 at the Toddlers Workshop, 39 Brewer Rd, Summerstrand. The cost is R50 per person and bookings can be made through mailing Lynette at lynettevw@gmail.com or phoning her, after hours, at 0837933320. Seats are limited and bookings are essential.
Start Time: 19:30
Date: 2010-08-04
End Time: 21:00

Ouers sal dikwels vir my vra:  “Hoeveel stukke behoort my kind teen 2 jaar te kan bou?”

Dit is geen eenvoudige vraag om te beantwoord nie aangesien kinders se vermoëns met legkaarte hemelsbreed verskil.  Ek het al ‘n tweejarige gehad wat alle legkaarte op die rak oor en oor gebou en dit uiteindelik onderstebo kon bou.  Hy was eenvoudig rasend oor legkaarte en sou dit later seker geblinddoek ook kon bou!  Aan die ander kant kry jy ‘n vierjarige wat die stukke van die tafel af sal vee en doodeenvoudig weier om ‘n legkaart te bou.

Legkaarte se moeilikheidsgraad hang nie bloot af van die aantal stukke nie.  Neem gerus die volgende ook in oorweging:

  • Het die legkaart ‘n enkelvoudige prent sonder enige agtergrond, of bestaan die prent uit ‘n figuur teen die agtergrond of voorgrond van menige ander detail?  Die tweejarige kan begin met die enkelvoudige prent van byvoorbeeld ‘n bal en uiteindelik vorder tot ‘n prent van ‘n bal teen die voor- en agtergrond van ‘n parkie met allerlei kinders, plante en diertjies.
  • Dit is altyd makliker om aanvanklik met ‘n legkaart wat bloot vierkantig of reghoekig is, te begin.  Deesdae is daar legkaarte wat sirkelvormig is of selfs die vorm aanneem van byvoorbeeld ‘n boot, ‘n insek of ‘n huis.  Hierdie legkaarte bied groter uitdagings.
  • Party legkaartstukke lê doodgewoon teenaan mekaar terwyl die makliker tradisionele legkaart se stukke in mekaar pas en so selfkorrigerend is.
  • Die meeste tradisionele legkaartstukke is min of meer ewe groot.  Nuwerwetse legkaartstukke wissel dikwels in grootte en vorm en bied so ‘n groter uitdaging aan die kind.

1 – 2 jaar: Stel jou peuter bloot aan knoppieslegkaarte met stukke waarvan die prente verkieslik realistiese, eerder as geanimeerde prente van diere, dinge of mense bevat.  Aanvanklik sal die peuter bloot plesier vind daarin om die stukke uit te pak.  Gebruik hierdie fase om vir hom die woordeskat van die verskillende items aan te leer en plaas teen die einde weer al die stukke terug.  Hy sal jou gou probeer naboots deur dit self te probeer terugpak.  Wees versigtig om nie aanhoudend negatiewe kommentaar te lewer nie, soos byvoorbeeld:  “Nee, nie daar nie.  Hier!”  Dit breek die peuter se moed en lus en laat hom gou tou opgooi.  Loof eerder sy lofwaardige pogings en help hom wanneer hy daarom vra.

2 – 4 jaar: Begin met enkelvoudige prente sonder te veel gedetailleerde voor- en agtergrondprente.  Spring weg met 2 stuk-legkaarte en laat jou peuter jou lei:  4 stukke, ses stukke, agt stukke, ens.  Peuters is geneig om dieselfde legkaart oor en oor te bou totdat hy die vaardigheid bemeester het.  Moet hom nooit hierdie voorreg ontneem omdat die speletjie vir jou vervelig raak nie!  Dit gaan hier om die ontwikkeling van jou kind se vaardighede, nie om jou vermaak nie!  Ongelukkig word ‘n legkaart gou oorbodig wanneer die vaardigheid baasgeraak is.  Prys jou peuter hiervoor en beweeg aan.  Ruil gerus jou legkaarte uit met ‘n vriendin of familielid aangesien jy nooit genoeg kan aanskaf om die peuter se honger te bevredig nie.

Vanaf 4 jaar kan jou kind eksperimenteer met 20 en meer stukke.  Hierdie speletjie kan nou interessant raak aangesien jy van blote prente kan aanbeweeg na leersame materiaal soos byvoorbeeld ‘n legkaart met die verskillende provinsies van jou land, of ‘n onderwater-seetoneel.

Jy kan jou legkaarte aankoop deur Celia Nortje, of enige ander opvoedkundige speelgoed-konsultant.  Gaan gerus in op Celia se webtuiste:  www.toys4you.co.za of stuur vir haar ‘n e-pos met jou behoeftes aan Smile@celian.co.za.  Playworld in Heugweg, Walmer, bied ook ‘n groot verskeidenheid legkaarte en by Treasure Cove, ook in Heughweg, mag jy dalk teen ‘n nominale prys legkaaarte kan leen.

Ek hoor graag van jou indien jy enige raad of voorstelle in die verband het.  Lekker legkaart bou!

‘n Splinternuwe, pragtige kinderverseboek is sopas deur die samesteller, Riana Scheepers, in Port Elizabeth bekend gestel.  By hierdie geleentheid meld Riana ‘n paar interessante feite oor kinders en poësie.

Ek haal haar kortliks aan:

Kinderpoësie is leer sonder pyn.  Dit laat die kind onvlug uit die werklikheid en neem hom op ‘n fantasievlug van pure lekkerte.  Terselftertyd verryk dit sy taalsisteme, woordeskat, spelling en idiome – om maar net ‘n paar te noem.  Poësie is ‘n verrykte taalaanbod; tog steeds toeganklik.  Buitendien laat kinderpoësie jou goed voel.  Die ritme, metrum en rympatroon in ‘n gedig leer kinders om beter te onthou.  So word bekende rympies uit die kindertyd dikwels in swaar tye as ‘n mantra herhaal omdat dit ‘n skakel is met ‘n geborge en veilige verlede.

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– Getting the “inside” information

Planning to have a baby or expecting a baby?  A lot of planning and thinking today goes into important logistics such as choosing your gynaecologist and paediatrician, attending ante-natal classes, booking the hospital of your choice, writing a birth plan, extending your home to accommodate the new baby, buying the best pram, cot, etc. However, just as important as all these detailsi, if not more so, is to meet the challenge of preparing intelligently for what is going on right inside you, the development of a beautiful, new human being. This baby is not just an extension of yourself, but  a unique little being with his or her own set of fingerprints, own personality, own features, own dreams.  And you can start bonding with and respecting your new baby right from the very beginning, even from before conception.

The phenomenon of prenatal learning (learning in the womb), though not widely known about in South Africa, has been researched from as early as 1920 by medical doctors and specialists, psychologists and educationalists. Schools for prenatal learning are common in parts of the USA, Canada, Japan and a few other overseas countries.  Parents are being taught to bond with their unborn child through feelings, through music and through learning.  Research has shown that  babies who have experienced this bonding in utero are easier to care for, cry less, and are generally loved and appreciated by others. Mothers who have thus bonded with their unborn child experience easier deliveries, and feel strong attachment to their baby after birth. Such babies grow and develop rapidly into friendly children who are not afraid of strangers, children who are sociable and highly competent.

Dr Yoshiharu Morito, M.D., creator of a Japannese prenatal education programme running since 1989, states the following:  “A failure at the beginning might be a prelude to future unhappiness and violence to self and others.  Therefore, prenatal education, in nurturing our social nature, could save the financial resources that are being consumed by social ills today.”

If the above sounds far-fetched to you, consider the following: your little fetus can express his/her needs, interests,  feelings, likes and dislikes by self-initiated and reactive movement.  By as little as 4 months gestational age, the fetus has facial expressions.  It can frown, squint and grimace.  By 5 to 6 months the fetus is sensitive to touch.  It can discriminate between tastes (and prefers sweet stuff!).  At 24 weeks it shows distinct musical likes and dislikes and will prefer the single notes of a flute to rock music.  These are only a few of  the wonderful abilities your unborn baby already has.

But how can you as a parent-to-be enhance your baby’s development in utero?  The answer, in a nutshell, is simple: talk. Talk, talk, and keep on talking to your unborn child.  Include daddy and the siblings, if there are any.  Listen to different types of music. Touch your unborn child lovingly.  Say a rhyme as you rub the anti-stretchmark cream onto your tummy, e.g. “Round and round the garden…..”  Try to relax. Make sure you eat properly and snack on healthy foods. Walk, swim or do light exercises.  Exercising is most important for you and your unborn baby.  Be sure to build positive relationships with others during your pregnancy.  It takes a town to raise a child, and you will need all the support you can get.  Establish a good future bedtime routine by going to baby’s room at the same time every evening.  Put your feet up and make yourself comfortable in a rocking chair. Switch on the music. Touch your baby, talk to your baby, bless your baby.  Stick to this routine after the baby is born.

If you are keen to lay the foundation for a sound and meaningful relationship with your child, starting in utero, you may contact Lynette van Wyk, who has been running workshops on this topic for many years now. You will learn when and how baby starts smelling, feeling, hearing and tasting while still in the womb and how baby even learns in utero – his first school. You will be advised on techniques for bonding with your child from day one onwards.

The next workshop will be on Tuesday 5 May, 19:00 for 19:30.  For more info contact Lynette at 0837933320.