Learning difficulties at the preschool level
April 17, 2015 | Brigitte Carrier, Formatrice en jeux, produits éducatifs et besoins particuliers
As we all know, children aren’t all at the same stage when they start preschool or kindergarten. Some haven’t had much practice handling small objects or scissors; others may have particular speech and language patterns. Some may be less independent than others (have difficulty lacing their shoes, etc.), or may have trouble with certain social skills, such as waiting your turn or being a good winner or loser. Finally, some children are dealing with a diagnosed condition (ADD, ADHD, dyspraxia or DCD, PDD, autism, etc.).
Brault & Bouthillier offers a range of popular products that are not only fun to play with (for both children and adults) but help to promote children’s development.
This versatile toy encourages imaginative play and develops skill in forming letters and numbers. Best of all, there are no small parts to lose! To erase a drawing or letter, have children use a fingertip rather than the stylus: this way, they use their sense of touch as they trace the outlines of the letters and numbers. Find out more.
This clever toy is equally popular with boys and girls. Handling small objects and parts (not just building blocks) is important. This product engages several skills, including mathematical concepts, spatial orientation, patience, dexterity, and creativity. As well, the mosaic pieces can be used to practise sorting and counting. Find out more.
For added versatility, have the child watch as you place different objects behind the doors, then ask him/her to see if they remember where they are! Hide letters and numbers, and have the child retrieve them in sequence. Hide different objects, and as each one is retrieved, add it to an ongoing story. Find out more.
An ingenious construction game! The cards show the pieces needed to build various letters; players need to plan their strategy and make sure they have the right pieces. This process builds a correlation between the shapes of the pieces and how letters are formed. The colourful see-through plastic pieces are beautiful on a light table or held up to a sunny window. Their large size makes them easy to handle—ideal for children who have difficulties with coordination. Find out more.
In this skill-testing balance game, players spin the spinner to find out whether they have to add or remove pieces from the hanging structure. Develops dexterity, understanding of spatial relationships, patience and concentration; enhances strategic thinking in carefully selecting and suspending the pieces. Last but not least, it makes a great game of solitaire. Suitable for 1 to 4 players, it can also be used as a “time out” calming activity to focus children’s concentration. Find out more.
This versatile balancing game can be played seated, holding the board in your hands and rotating the balls through the snail-shaped maze, by a single player or cooperatively by two players. To build balance, the board is placed on the floor and players stand on it to move the balls through the maze. Find out more.
Adults have partitions at work to help them focus: now there’s a version for the pre-school set. In the TEACCH educational approach for people with autism, students each have their own cubicle, and work with their backs turned to the rest of the class to minimize distractions. Our cardboard-and-nylon workstations are light and portable, and have clear plastic pockets for pictograms, visual timetables, and other visual cues. They can be used in classrooms, libraries, daycare centres, etc. Find out more.
Another fine B&B original! Unlike rigid tactile exploration boxes made of cardboard or wood, our soft bag is made of plush and sateen in contrasting colours. Children can easily slip one or two hands (or even one or two feet) into the bag to feel the objects inside. The zippered side opening makes it easy to insert fairly large objects. There are lots of possibilities: a child and an adult can play (have the child feel around in the bag and hand the adult a specific object without looking); or you can insert flashing balls and watch them flickering through the top openings (the inside of the bag is black, which really sets off the flashing effect). Find out more.
A veritable gold mine for French immersion! Set of 33 tubs in a sturdy storage container. Each tub contains 5 objects representing a particular sound. A fun and effective way to build vocabulary, encourage early readers, make up all kinds of stories, and refresh language skills. Find out more.