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books, parenting, special needs

100 Ways Your Child Can Learn Through Play: A Book Review

100 Ways Your Child Can Learn Through Play: Fun Activities for Young Children with SEN by Georgina Durrant was released in June 2021. This book* builds on the success of Georgina’s website The SEN Resources Blog. In the book Georgina shares 100 activities that are designed to provide inclusive learning opportunities for any child.

You can read a bit more about Georgina’s ideas from the book in our write up of the #SENExchange discussion she hosted on How to Learn through play.

book, pens and a map

As a family we have 5 children, my wife is currently taking a career break from her role as a teacher and running the Inclusiveteach SEND advocacy service for local parents. We have a range of needs represented in our family, so it seemed fitting that over the summer holidays we should try out some activities from the book.

Baby playing with animal stickers with book

A Great Activity to Learn Through Play

The first activity we chose to try was number 33. Follow the adventure map. Well I say we, but as a geography teacher and ex-Ordnance Survey employee I couldn’t resist.

For this activity you just need a big sheet of paper and a pen. You or your children can draw a map of your local area of a favoured/new place then go on an adventure to explore. Georgina suggests adding “Sat Nav” directions for the child to follow. I didn’t use this idea as I wanted to be able to expand and reuse this activity.

I did this early one morning but with a bit of a twist. As our new baby wakes up a good hour before the others we went out and hid some animal tokens around our estate. She loved holding these and getting some fresh air. I then filmed a little news report about missing animals to set the scene. This hooked the children in to the adventure. Let’s just say energy levels in our house are pretty high first thing so the adventure really helped them focus this energy through structured playing. This is really important as two of our children do need a bit of guidance to play together.

Learning to play together

The best bit was they had to work together and use the map. They talked about directions, distance and read road names. Together they had to use problem solving to identify landmarks and features on the map.

Learning through play map skills two children reading home made map

The great thing about this activity was it just used things lying around. Old wallpaper roll and felt tips. The tokens are baby food lids and Melissa and Doug* animal stickers.

I can thoroughly recommend 100 Ways Your Child Can Learn Through Play: Fun Activities for Young Children with SEN for any busy family that is trying to reduce screen time, get outside more or fill rainy days with accessible or easily adaptable activities.

baby in pushchair holding an animal token SEN learning

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