Helping parents help their children to build confidence in the Early Years
The Pockitkit is a collection of activities that supports parents and their children aged 3-5 during their all-important years of development before starting school. When parents become concerned that their child may be falling behind in their development—problems with speech, coordination, following instructions, etc., the Pockitkit provides guidance and fun activities that will help the child develop skills and confidence where they may seem to be falling behind or need that extra boost of confidence.
Although written with parents in mind, the Pockitkit is an ideal tool for nursery and reception teachers, child minders and Health Visitors to use with parents.
The activities make use of resources readily available in the home or picture cards included with the kit.
Each or the 16 cards provides step-by-step descriptions of activities that can be used by any adult to help encourage and support the development of their child.
The Pockitkit makes it clear when parents should consult specialist professionals, such as health visitors, GP, speech and language therapists, etc., to deal with certain issues. Parents will have the confidence to discuss their child’s developmental issues, having carried out relevant activities.
Parents are also encouraged to work closely with their child’s nursery or reception teachers who may be following similar interventions using the Early Intervention Toolkit (Itkit).
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What's in the Pockitkit?
The Pockitkit Story
The Pockitkit came about as a result of work carried out by Linda Tallent and Jean Thompson, who were consultants in a local education authority in the Northeast of England. Linda (an Early Years specialist) was working with Jean (Early Years Special Educational Needs advisor) and regularly visited nursery and reception classes. They developed a resource for Early Years settings called the Early Intervention Toolkit (Itkit) which supported educational practitioners who were trying to help children who were falling behind in their age-expected development. Both as professionals and parents (between them they raised seven children), they wanted to ensure that all children had the best start in their lifelong learning.
They were also convinced that parents had a very important role to play in making sure that children aged 3-5 were as confident as possible as they prepared to start school. The Pockitkit makes use of many of the themes in the Itkit and addresses issues in the three prime areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework: Communication and Language; Physical; Personal, Social and Emotional Development. Additional activities were added which were more appropriate for parents and children in the home.
Parents are in a position to observe their children’s behaviour and interaction with other children and adults on a daily basis. Parents can become concerned if they notice that their children are struggling with certain activities or skills and may worry that they are falling behind in their natural development. The Pockitkit will help parents to deal with these worries and help them to narrow down potential causes.
‘Young children do not wake up in the morning and say to themselves, “I am going to be naughty today,” or “I’m not going to do as I am asked.” There will always be an underlying reason for their different behaviour.’
The Pockitkit comes with general guidance, 16 activity cards and a selection of picture cards that can be used in the activities. Instructions are parent-friendly and do not assume that they are trained professionals! The activities also make use of materials readily available in the home.
As a result of engaging in the activities, parents and their children can have lots of fun and enjoy working together to develop skills and build confidence that will help children get the best out of their lifelong learning.