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Monthly Archives

May 2018

Children’s confidence in their abilities

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Building children's confidence.

The Little Wise Box of Emotions explores a range of areas including naming, understanding and managing emotions and feelings; and building self-confidence and self-esteem, both in terms of abilities and with interpersonal skills and relationships.  This blog post takes a look at some of the section that focuses on building children’s self-confidence in their abilities, and how some of these areas were applied in a recent climbing activity experience with Little Wise Junior.

As well as providing opportunities for children to discover activities that they are naturally good at to help encourage them to enjoy the process of learning, the kit looks at the benefits of stretching children’s abilities.  Encouraging children to engage in age-appropriate challenges that they can rise to can help them to learn how to deal with small amounts of healthy stress.  This, in turn, can help them to learn that if they put effort into things they can gain brand new skills and learn how to solve problems too.  It can also be a great lesson in how to deal with and overcome frustrations.

I was super proud of Little Wise Junior when she did such a great job in rising to a new challenge.  From when she was tiny, ask her to stand in front of a huge crowd in Covent Garden and join in with the street performance (which she did when she was three years old), her hand is straight up volunteering.  When it comes to physical things, on the other hand, where she thinks there’s a chance she might hurt herself, she has always been much more cautious.  She’s a very determined character and doesn’t like this to hold her back with things.

Little Wise Junior was super keen to try climbing for the first time.  While she was very excited when waiting for her session, she was also feeling a bit nervous and apprehensive.  When we were watching the other children in the session before hers she spent the whole time saying, with excited wide eyed nerves, ‘There’s noooo way I’m going to go that high’ etc.  So, we decided to set a few goals while we waited (another area which the Little Wise Box of Emotions talks about).  Starting off climbing low; then practising abseiling down from a low height; then going a bit higher next time; and then a bit more; and so on.  She couldn’t believe it when she reached the top and abseiled all the way down.  She was ever so proud.  Not only did she gain a lot of confidence in her ability to climb and tackle physical challenges, she also had so much fun, and can’t wait to go back again.

Every child of course has different things that they might feel a bit more nervous or cautious about.  Which new challenge do you think would be good for your little one to rise to and what goals do you think would be good to set to help them get there?  Even if they don’t achieve the final goal at first, as long as they know that it’s the effort they put in along the way that is the important thing, this can help children to still feel proud of what they have achieved.

The benefits of colouring

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The act of colouring in can provide so many life-long benefits for young children.  Here are just a few.

Motor skills
The act of colouring in can help improve fine motor skills in young children.  The motions involved in holding the tools, and colouring with them, can help in the development of tiny muscles in the wrist, fingers and hands.  This will, in turn, help young children to learn to write and manipulate other small objects.

Concentration, relaxation and patience
Colouring in requires lots of concentration and patience and the experience of focusing on the task can help a child develop his or her overall concentration levels.  It can also be a calming activity that provides an opportunity for children to slow down for a while and relax while creating their work of art.

Creativity
Whether children stay in the lines or not, colouring in is a great stimulant for creative thinking and self-expression.   It provides children with an opportunity to develop a drawing style and enjoy creating an imaginary world. Children can also learn to plan as they make decisions about which colours they will use in their picture for different parts, and what order they will colour things in.  As their confidence grows, they can start to take risks and experiment with things like colour, patterns, themes and special effects.

Hand and eye co-ordination
The act of holding crayons, choosing colours, and using the colouring tool in a specified area can all assist in the development of hand and eye coordination.

Colour recognition
Colouring in gives children a wonderful opportunity to explore different colours and different colour combinations in a direct, hands-on, and engaging way.

Confidence and self-worth
Giving young children an opportunity to gain self-confidence and a sense of self-worth is never an opportunity to be missed.  Colouring in and completing the task can help to boost a child’s sense of accomplishment and pride in themselves when they can see what they have achieved.

Don’t forget, when you subscribe to Little Wise Toys (via the subscription box), you will receive a welcome gift of four printable colouring-in sheets of the Little Wise Toys’ zoo, farm, sea life and farm life collages for your little ones to enjoy.  The image in this blog is of the farm life sheet where my Artistic Director, Little Wise Junior, designed her colouring-in sheet to reflect some of the themes of the Little Wise Toys range (namely emotions, maths and phonics).

Happy colouring and here’s to the many wonderful benefits that it brings!