Using a bucket to build early attention and listening skills

I want to share with you my all-time favourite resource for building joint attention. This is the type of attention that involves you and your child both focusing on the same thing. It’s a key part of how children learn to communicate. Some children need extra help to develop this aspect of attention and it’s well worth spending time to help them develop this as it’s a foundation for language and shared learning.

‘The bucket’ is the first step in a structured programme for developing the attention and interaction skills of children on the autism spectrum, developed by Gina Davies. She described these activities as creating ‘An irresistible invitation to learn.’ In this video I share a brief overview of this first step, why it’s so important, and some ideas to get you started.

I’m always looking for new toy suggestions to fit in my bucket. If you and your child have any favourites, do let me know in the comments below. Thank you!

A Communication Friendly Classroom

As September draws closer, I’ve been helping husband Tom set up his classroom ready for the new school year. We’ve spent the summer sharing ideas, gathering resources and planning layouts. For a young Year 1 class we want to provide an enriching, flexible space with intriguing resources. We want to build on the free-flow exploratory learning that children experience in Reception and support transition to the more structured expectations of a Year 1 classroom. As a Speech and Language Therapist I’m interested in spaces that encourage communication, feel inviting and provide something worth talking about. Inspired by Michael Jones and Elizabeth Jarmin, we’ve been sticking to a few principles in our planning.

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