Using appropriate songs from our ‘Welcome to Music’ series and in conjunction with Mary Brake from Launceston, who wrote the wonderful text for ‘Your Stage’ we have compiled this new early childhood resource
STOP!!! An understanding of ‘stop’ is critical for the safety of all children.
As understanding grows and ‘STOP’ is practised, an automatic response can usually be developed to this command. Some children have difficulty comprehending that not all areas of their environment are safe, and an understanding of stop is critical for such children. Some children benefit from boundary training to build their awareness of where their ‘safe space’ is and where it ends. Where is the boundary between safe and unsafe? The boundary might for example run along the fence line at the end of the garden, or the school yard. Within such comprehensions is embedded an understanding of ‘STOP’.
The activities developed here are loosely listed in a suggested sequential approach to develop an appropriate response to ‘STOP’. As an initial understanding and introduction to ‘STOP’ is made, children sit in a tightly controlled environment. As understanding is built, so the parameters widen until eventually children are active participants moving quickly around the room responding independently to cues to stop.
A multi-sensory approach is used in teaching ‘STOP’. Visual cues are coupled with auditory, which are coupled with kinaesthetic. Use a variety of visual cues: a large traffic stop sign can be fun and effective for outdoor use, while a stop symbol on a card or a physical ‘stop like a policeman’ cue might be appropriate at other times. Have lots of fun while children are learning and practising. The more interesting and enjoyable the activity, the more the children will engage with it!