I have noticed recently that little X has ben showing some unwanted behaviour in the form of throwing and pushing. These are very normal behaviours in young children as they start to make their desires more known and find ways to control the world around them. This does not seem to be the case with little X though. This does not appear to be about power or control in any way.
He is a very caring and effectionate child who enjoys being with others and joining in. I decided to observe him closely and see if there was a trigger or pattern to this behaviour. I very quickly noticed that he had a strong trajectory schema and many of the actions were due to his desire to set things in motion, push things, make them move, watch them roll along a surface or fly through the air.
He did not intend to hurt or upset others but sometimes it would happen as a result of his explorations.
Every day that he attends my setting, he asks for the cars and garage. He does not play with this in an imaginative, small world way. He sits by the car basket and one car at a time, rolls each one down the ramp until the basket is empty and the cars are all at the other end of the ramp. We then re fill the basket and the process starts again.
Another fun game that X loves is running up and down the hall calling for friends to follow. The only purpose of this game seems to be to move from one end of the hall to the other, over and over again.
Balls, cushions, teddies, sponges and all manor of toys are often thrown across the room or at people. Not because he is misbehaving, but because he is so excited and stimulated by the item moving through the air. If he aims it at a person then he hopes it will be returned and the experience can be extended.
After observing this, it really challenged my initial thoughts on what was going on. I started to think about how I could provide for his interest and give him safe opportunities to explore this concept of movement and motion.
Use his interest in movement to introduce new language. I will talk to him about what he is doing. Throwing, aiming, pushing , launching, spraying, rolling etc…
Offer challenging yet safe activities to explore motion and movement. Set up ramps for the cars. Use different objects on the ramps. Do they all role down? Chose different items that might challenge his expectations. Use his interests to explore new concepts.
Ask questions that encourage his exploration. For example….
● why does the round one role?
● why doesn’t the square one roll?
● what will happen to the water if you make the hose pipe point up higher?
● How else can we make this move?
Read books about and watch video clips of movement. Sports is a good topic for looking at types of movement,
as well as vehicles.
Offer activities like …..
● tubes to role things down
● make and throw paper planes
● blow bubbles
● swinging on swings and going down slides
● running races
● jumping on trampolines
● riding bikes, cars and scooters
● ball games
● knocking down towers of blocks
● water play with running water and pouring equipment.
By offering these types of experiences I will be supporting him in his exploration and nurturung his interests. This will enable him focus his play in a more appropriate way and draw others in to share his experience rather than excluding him from the group, which some of his actions have recently resulted in when ithers have become frustrated with him.
Personal, social and emotional development
Language and communication
Understanding the world