A professor of surgery, Professor Kneebone, (Yes really) has told the BBC he has seen a decline in manual dexterity in his students which has led to them becoming “less competent and less confident” in using their hands. He’s put this down to the use of technology as well as less creative subjects being taught in schools.
However, better dexterity is not only a crucial skill for surgeons but it’s also needed for everyday things in life, whether its sewing on a button or even tying your shoelaces, our fine motor skills are necessary, and it’s vital that children from a young age are given the opportunity to develop them.
So how can you help young children to develop their fine motor skills?
Puppet making is an ideal activity for this because it has all the elements from teaching children how to use a scissors through to holding pens or pencils as well as basic sewing skills.
It’s also great for boosting their imaginations and creativity because they learn how to use different materials and media.
Another benefit is that they learn to work together collaboratively so they learn team building skills which again will be a crucial skill they will need as they go through life.
Puppet making also helps them to develop their speaking and listening skills as well as increasing their vocabulary.
Put puppet making together with stories and you really do have a winning combination that’s versatile, fun and engaging for children of all ages – and the adults enjoy it too!!
So to find out more about puppet making and creative storytelling and how you can help the future generations feel free to get in touch.
Words are very powerful things. They can convey our feelings, describe a scene, or tell a story. They can give us factual information or give us pleasure by reading a story or listening to a song. We are frequently encouraged to read for pleasure so why are children not encouraged to write for pleasure?
I find writing for pleasure relaxing and lots of fun. There is nothing better than sitting down with a notebook and pen and letting your imagination run riot. It’s something that we should definitely do more of. It’s also something that the new Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child is a big supporter of as she strongly believes that children should have much more time to sit down and let their imaginations wander and we couldn’t agree with her more!
In case you didn’t know today is National Writing Day and we thought we would come up with a little writing prompt for you in case you’re wondering what to do.
Pojo’s chest of dreams only grants wishes to those who had been good, but what would be in your chest of dreams and what stories would it tell?
We are always on the look out for great stories and would love to hear yours.
We are absolutely delighted to say that our Pojo and the Chest of Dreams Create and Show kit was awarded three stars in the Early Years Excellence awards.
The judges said “The Pojo and the Chest of Dreams kit had a vast impact on children’s listening and attention skills. The children were able to interact with, and take part using the puppets, which is also good for social interaction and building confidence.”
It’s good to know our Pojo is such a little star!!
We were also delighted to see Little Livello was also a finalist in the maths category so it’s good to know that we’ve got a whole range of award winning resources.
To see the rest of the winners we’ve attached the awards special for you to have a read. Awards Special
This month’s Teach Primary includes an article about Teaching Through Stories and how stories can be used right across the curriculum. By looking at the when, where, what and how of stories and linking these to the curriculum.
The article is written by our very own Natasha Dennis and Tonya Meers.
Last week we had the pleasure of being asked to kick off Book Week at Harnham Infant School in Salisbury.
The children of the school had met Pojo previously because they had used Pojo Blows the Gunpowder Plot last November to tell the story of Guy Fawkes.
This time we told the story of Pojo Saves the Rainforest and then spent the day going into the classes to talk to them about how to put their stories together using our 7 steps to story writing.
We also gave them the challenge of writing a story with the characters from Pojo Saves the Rainforest and by the end of the day some of them had already come up with some wonderful tales of Pojo being a superdog and saving the world or meeting penguins. It’s always great to see where children’s imaginations go to when you let them.
We finished the day with a book signing and lots of the children bought other Pojo adventures. So he’s definitely proving a real hit in Salisbury!
It was great this week to see Nick Gibb MP, the Minister of State for the Department of Education, promoting storytelling as a fantastic method for teaching children.
This is something we have always known but I think it’s easy to lose sight of this amongst the never-ending pile of teaching objectives that teachers have to deal with these days.
Educating others through stories has been a teaching method since before teaching methods were ever invented. It was how you taught your children, it was how elders of villages got others to follow them and it was great entertainment as well as a way of bringing people together. Why? Because it’s a very effective way of communicating.
The benefits of learning through stories are well known:-
it widens a child’s vocabulary
it helps them to broaden their knowledge
it helps them to become confident readers
it’s more important in determining a child’s success than how much money their families have
it helps their emotional intelligence
it develops their imaginations
it builds their communication skills
it helps to embed the learning
And that’s just a short list of the benefits – there are of course many, many more!
So as Nick Gibb says, “getting lost in a good story can allow you to discover more about the world, more about humankind and more about yourself. We need to introduce our children to as many stories as we can.”
Couldn’t agree with you more Nick!!!
If you’ve not read his speech here is the link https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-importance-of-storytelling