Not only do our climbing frames support children’s gross motor skills (movements controlled by large muscle groups and whole body movement) by encouraging children to pull, push, climb, jump, stretch etc they also support their fine motor control. By providing a chalkboard in most of our frames, children are then provided with an opportunity to also develop small muscle movements in coordination with their eyes.
My personal experiences of chalk as a child are pretty dull. However, as an Early Years specialist, I see chalk in a whole different, and a really exciting light!
The first bit of advice I have for using the chalkboard is to forget the small white chalks, go for the chunky, chubby multicoloured chalks that can be found in various children’s educational shops.
My second bit of advice is no worries about children using the chalkboard. Chalk washes away! It, therefore, can be used everywhere (outside of course!)
Finally, think outside the box. Be adventurous, be creative!
Your child (and yourself) could, for example, decorate their climbing frame with chalk. It could become spotty, stripy, covered in zig zags, whatever pattern your child wants all over it! And when their clothes and hands are covered in multicoloured chalk dust. Don’t forget… It washes off!
Does anyone else have any ideas for learning whilst having fun with chalk? Come back tomorrow for some great ways to help your child to recognise letters and numbers while playing on their climbing frame.