Thursday, November 23, 2006

Teddies, Stuffies, Toutou -- learning assistants

Teddies, or stuffed animals or “toutous” whatever you call them are wonderful motivators.
If say your child has no siblings, you have an instant family for them. Teddies can be very receptive to instruction, which facilitates teaching/school roleplay, where the child gets to teach the teddies or stuffies.
The helpful thing about this is it changes the classroom experience imaginatively. Instead of always feeling stressed, or bored, or on the receiving end of direction in a classroom setting the child gets to direct the situation (albeit with a crowd of teddybears) Plus teachers write on the whiteboard, so set up a whiteboard with wipe-off pens, place a row of teddies and let your child take it from there.
Many children will be captivated by this idea and request to play the game again. Parents and siblings can facilitate the voices of the teddies, including some messing about and conflicts between the teddies, which will give the child a chance to manage the classroom.
Again this another example where the act of writing is incidental to the activity. The child will be less motivated to refuse to write because he/she will see that the situation calls for him/her to write things on the board. If they refuse, always offer to scribe until they suggest taking the pen themselves.

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