From Bee-Bots to stopwatches, electronic devices have the power to unlock an exciting new world of exploration for young learners, says Laura Moore…
Providing opportunities for coding on a basic level, these programmable robots can be used in a variety of cross-curricular ways. They’re a perfect starting point for teaching directional language, great at encouraging communication and language skills when working with a partner (as children have to control the robot’s movements following effective instructions) and ideal for developing problem-solving skills.
Children are naturally curious and often enjoy exploring areas where light is limited. Using torches under tables or in dark spaces allows them to investigate the concepts of light and dark, colour and shadows. Placing materials in front of the torch to explore the meaning of ‘transparent’, ‘translucent’ and ‘opaque’ is a fun experiment that can be adapted for any stage of development.
Child-friendly stopwatches with easy-to-use functions make any task more exciting, especially for kinesthetic learners. They add challenge and help develop children’s ability to measure short periods of time in simple ways. How long does it take to put on their socks and shoes independently? How many words can you read in one minute? Can you complete the fine motor activity in 30 seconds?
Devices with a record and playback facility are invaluable for all children at this age but they can really impact the learning of those with additional needs. Recording features encourage children to speak clearly and think about what they are saying, developing their communication and language skills and boosting their confidence.
Exploring touchscreen technology allows children to access a variety of apps and functions. Selecting the camera facility on the tablet enables them to take pictures of their friends and record elements of their play and exploration of the environment. It’s a great opportunity to see life through a child’s eye! I guarantee there will be plenty of selfies and funny faces.
Laura Moore is a Reception teacher and certified infant massage instructor. For more great ideas and inspiration, follow Laura on Instagram: @lauraloveslearning.