How do you describe the colour Black if you can’t see it?
Back in my college days, when I was going to school in Early Childhood Education and Development. We had to do an experiment, and report back. We were given a choice to choose one of the following: blindness, deafness, or being in a wheelchair. We had to experience our daily tasks, for 24 hours, inside our home, and outside in a public place. It was then discovered, how our homes or businesses may not of been easily equipped, do we rely on others, as well as our senses to help assist us.
I choose being blind!
I patched up both of my eyes with gauze, and then put sunglasses over top. I then went out to a restaurant, with a group of friends. The waitress, spoke loudly to make sure I could hear what was on the menu. I felt each utensil, and textures of food in my mouth. Here in Calgary, there is a new restaurant, called The Dark Table. You can experience eating withour your eye sight, without having to pretend, and it helps employ up to 70% blind, and visually impaired. Check it out for a true experience, without having to go in pretending to be blind.
Walking throughout the house, I felt each step using the back of my heal, as I walked up and down the stairs, and touched my clothing labels, seams & texture of each piece making sure I was wearing my shirts the right side out. I definetly could not read, braile. It was an enlightening experience to be in another pair of shoes. If you were blind, how would you describe colours?
A favourite book of mine, is called the “The Black Book of Colours” by Menena Colton
Each page in the book is visually black, and it is beautifully illustrated with textured images that describe each colour, through items that one might taste or feel. There is also braile, but reviewers say, that the braile is not bigger enough or textured enough for an visually impaired child to understand, but it at least introduces to a child. I introduce it gently, to four years olds, and would recommend a 8/10.
As a young preschool child I struggled with speech. My parents were concern, as I wasn’t speaking, and was in my own world. They took me to the Toronto children’s hospital for a series of hearing tests. Eventually, when I did start speaking, they couldn’t understand what I was saying, and I was speaking too fast. I started speech therapy before I started kindergarten at age 4, which continued throughout my elementary years…(until the end of grade 6). I had weekly speech therapy in school, and out of school, where I met with a therapist.
I was not a strong reader, since there were times, I couldn’t sound out a word, I would completely skip it. It wasn’t until jr. high school years, when I developed a love in going to the library, and reading for my own enjoyment.
Reading with your child, opens up their imaginations, and increases their vocabulary. It helps children learn about people, places, and events, outside of their own experience. What they read about it, can be evident in their play, as they incorporate what they have learned about. It helps reinforces social skills, and be prepared for future learning. It increases their ability to sit still, be quiet, and over time will improve their concentration. Reading strengthens the brain connections, and not only that, it reinforces that the child, is important to you, as you spend your time with them. Going to the library, shopping at your favourite book store, or just cuddling up on the couch, on a rainy Saturday. One of my favourite things I did with my children, was reading bedtime stories. In my preschool setting, the leader of the day, opens up the special mailbox, and may discover a book that will introduce our theme that the children will be learning that day. They also, are the first one to pick their favourite book to read first during snack time.
There is no excuse these days, when we are overload with information, and even can have books on our devices. We just need to slow down, and take the time to read. Even better, when you can snuggle with a child and it’s a pop up book!