Written by Sarit Levy- National Vision Guide, Elia Association
All year round, the children went to kindergarten and attended an educational framework that provided routine and permanence, enabled security, stability, growth and development. Now, we stand just before going on vacation and it is important that we understand and address the change and mediate it for our children until we return to kindergarten.
For many of our children, the difficulty in transitioning between routine and freedom and disguised as returning to routine, hence the path to restlessness, restlessness and difficulty regulating, is short.
Sometimes the panic is also felt in the parents by the thought of an uncertain or predictable period with the children, a period that can seem difficult and negative, and it is important that we breathe a moment and try to look at this period as an opportunity to connect with the child, create shared memories and experiences, an opportunity to strengthen the relationship with the siblings, exposure to diverse experiences in the children's wakefulness times, in the morning and more.
In order to make this period enjoyable and meaningful, it is advisable to prepare for it.
The basis of our work is the deep understanding that vision affects all areas of development. The key to learning is not to tell about the world around our children, but to create situations and experiences in order to enable children to produce the knowledge and concepts about the world around them, themselves!
- It is recommended to prepare in advance, the pre-term for the transition to vacation and the change in routine both by the educational figure and by the parental figure. Mediate the change for the child according to his developmental abilities, in order to facilitate him as much as possible.
- The understanding that the duration of the day is not an infinite time but is divided into two main parts: morning and afternoon can make it easier in advance to plan the "long" vacation days and allow an atmosphere of calm for both us adults, parents and children. We planned two main activities for the day, activities that will contain tangible games, playing in dough, kinetic sand, soap bubbles, creations, walking to the garden, family or friends, and more… In this way, we will also not put a strain on the children in the multiplicity of activities.
You are invited to use a play development booklet and games adapted for children (early childhood) with visual impairment or blindness you can find it in the following link https://bit.ly/2KEcs7H and take ideas for games from it.
- It is a good idea to plan the activities in advance and share the activities with the child in a way that is suitable for him, using the channel of information that suits him: visual/ auditory/ sensory and/or movement. You can also share your decision-making, choosing the activities from a selection of tailored activities chosen by you.
Planning in advance will help maintain the built-in framework, a clear and well-known agenda will make it easier for the child and will align with comfort and confidence.
- When going on family trips it is important to get ahead of thinking about choosing the trip, location of the trip, visual adjustments required for visual trips (example: bringing a tum of water to the sea), using other senses: taste, smell, hear. And don't forget the long travel times in the car and prepare for them as well (you can prepare a travel bag with the child in advance with games to pass the time, music and recorded stories).
- It is possible to prepare with the children a "experience notebook" that will accompany the vacation and allow the processing of the experience and even a souvenir that will serve as an object beyond returning to the kindergarten routine. The notebook will be filled with surprises and stories about a walk in the grounds or just some kind of flower…, a nice afternoon or any special occasion. Write in the notebook with the kids, what did you do? where? With who? And how did you feel? You can attach a souvenir from the experience: a balloon from your birthday, a picture, a leaf or a flower. Upon returning to normal, the notebook can be sent with the children and the kindergarten teacher will be able to mediate the change with it.
It's important to remember! As you get closer to the end of the vacation and return to the kindergarten routine, make sure to mediate the return from vacation to routine, since some of the children return to a new kindergarten with a new staff and a new place. And the opinion we'll leave for next time!!!