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Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. Early Head Start Encourages Family Fun!

Digging, filling and dumping are a toddlers favorite thing to do! For parents, it can be an activity that brings aggravation and nightmares! However, these activities do have a developmental purpose.

Children love to dig, fill and dump because it stimulates their sensory systems – touch, smell, sight, sound and sometimes even taste! When a child performs these activities by themselves, it gives them a sense of independence and satisfaction.

Bradford-Tioga Early Head Start, Inc. uses a sensory or grain box to fulfill the need for stimulation in the young children enrolled in their socializations. The grain box is filled with dried beans and rice and other objects. Children are encouraged to dig with their hands or by using one of the provided tools and to search for buried objects. They can fill up small containers and then dump the contents.

During a recent home visit, Family Partner Berni Hornung, introduced the grain box to Emma. She filled and dumped containers while Berni talked with her about the concepts of full and empty. She practiced sharing and taking turns with her parents and sister. Emma was praised by mom and dad when she used problem solving skills to keep the beans and rice in the box and for her exploration skills. In turn, this also helped build bonds between Emma and her parents.

Don’t underestimate the value of teaching children dumping, filling and digging skills. They mark important milestones in their development. So encourage them to practice often and remember to have fun! They are only toddlers for a little while.

Photo Caption:       Emma along with her sister and parents, Kayla and Eric, enjoy some family fun time when they use a grain box activity to develop the children’s sensory skills.