Activities and reading ideas to support Fun with Spot™ - Discovery zone - Living Paintings

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Activities and reading ideas to support Fun with Spot™

Fun with Spot™ is our introductory tactile, audio and braille book for preschool children. It’s hugely popular with young members, their parents, teachers and careers and sensory support officers.

“Molly very much enjoyed turning the pages and lifting the flaps, clutching onto the Spot toy throughout. As we sat down she said “Me happy” – Good start! It was really useful to relate the soft toy of Spot to the tactile pictures of Spot. When the story was over Molly said “More mummy” – a good endorsement! Thank you for this.”

To help you make the most of using Fun with Spot™ with your child, here are some ideas for extending learning and further reading.

Exploring Spot

Spot's face tactile picture

These two pictures introduce and explain the connection between a real object and a raised tactile picture of it. First we explore Spot’s face and then his body in profile.

Spot's body tactile picture

Join in: Your child could compare feeling their own head and face, legs, arms, hands and feet alongside the two feely pictures of Spot and the soft toy (included in the box).

Feeling the side profile of Spot’s body could lead to further discussion about seeing objects from different views for example, front, back and overhead view. Use the Spot soft toy to explore and feel other views of Spot.

Try exploring other forms of representation, such as a real car and a toy car, a real cat and a fluffy toy cat.

Reading ideas: The interactive picture book From Head to Toe by Eric Carle introduces the basic body parts and simple body movements. The audio guide invites children to imitate animal movements, from giraffes bending their necks to monkeys waving their arms! Make it even more fun by doing the animal noises.

Discovering  Lines and Shapes

Dots and lines tactile picures

These two tactile images are great for encouraging a child’s pre-braille skills, tracking and tracing.

Shapes tactile picutre, oval, circle, square, rectangle, triangle, diamond, star.

Join in: Using plasticine, make different raised tactile lines. Start by copying those on the tactile picture, then work with your child to make different ones, such as a spiral and a swirl.

Gather together different shaped toy blocks. Talk about their different colours and the different shapes you can build, such as – 2 semi circles make a circle, 4 triangles make a square, two squares make a rectangle.

Explore objects in your immediate surroundings to find instances of lines and shapes at home, school and the park – such as a straight drinking straw on a rectangular juice box, straight fence railings at the school gates and wavy lines of bark on a tree trunk.

Breakfast with Spot

Spots breakfast tactile picture, egg and toast with an envelope with stamp.

It’s breakfast time with Spot and on the tactile image are an egg, a fried egg, a piece of toast, a piece of toast cut into four triangles and a letter with a stamp on it.

Join In: Have some of the objects depicted on the tactile picture to hand so your child can feel them. For example, compare the tactiles of the egg with a real egg and a fried egg. Perhaps crack a raw egg and encourage your child to feel its texture, raw and then cooked (always wash hands thoroughly after handling raw egg). You can do the same with a piece of bread – toast it and cut it into triangles.

Talk about, feel and taste other breakfast foods like cereal and fruit. Compare food textures and smells and always talk about colour as you go. For example, compare crunchy flakes with soft banana, raw oats and cooked porridge, crisp apple slices and juicy strawberries.

Reading ideas: I will not never ever eat a tomato is a fun book to start talking about fruit and vegetables with your child. Lola is a fussy eater and there are many things she won’t eat, from tomatoes to carrots. With the help of her brother Charlie, and a little imagination, Lola finds out that orange twiglets from Jupiter are really tasty.

Spot Goes to the Park

Spot in the park tactile picutre, flower, kite and boat.

Spot loves playing in the park and this tactile picture depicts three fun activities – flying a kite, sailing a toy boat and smelling flowers.

Join in: Get hold of the real objects depicted on the tactile to compare size and the materials they are made of. For example, the soft delicate petals of the flower, the plastic or wooden boat and the light plastic kite.

Talk about what toys your child likes to take to the park to play with.

Talk about what sights, sounds, smells and textures can be experienced at the park. For example, if there are trees feel the bark, twigs and leaves. If there is water take some bread to feed the ducks.

Talk about what you wear to the park in different  seasons and depending on the weather. When it’s raining you might wear wellington boots and a rain coat; when the sun is shining you might wear a hat and sunglasses; when it’s cold you might wear a bobble hat, gloves and warm coat.

Reading ideas: Five Little Ducks is a gentle counting and rhyming story that you and your child can join in with.

Goodnight Spot

Bedtime counting tactile picture, moon, ducks, toothbrushes, teddy bears, stars.

As well as exploring bedtime, two additional features of this tactile image are the counting and the repetition of the freely objects of moon, stars, toothbrushes, teddies and ducks. Added night-time sounds on the audio guide make this tactile an atmospheric way to do bedtime reading.

Join in: Collect together items that are part of your child’s bedtime routine and count them out. For example, you might have 1 toothbrush, 2 pillows, 3 story books, 4 toys (including your Spot soft toy!) and 5 glow stars.

As well as counting these out, create your own bedtime story around them and act this out. Finish off with some relaxing classical music or a rhyme such as Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Clair de lune by Debussy or Gymnopédie No. 1 by Satie.

Reading Ideas: For restless little ones who don’t want to go to bed try the jungle themed I don’t want to go to bed and woodland story Goodnight Owl.

Borrow Fun With Spot from our FREE library

Borrow From head to Toe from our FREE library

Borrow I Will Not Never Ever Eat a Tomato from our FREE library

Borrow Five Little Ducks from our FREE library

Borrow I don’t want to go to bed from our FREE library

Borrow Goodnight Owl from our FREE library

A mobile phone sitting on a wooden table top and wrapped in earphones displays the Living Paintings website.


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