Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Tickly subject for teacher Debs

 Our little people had great fun communicating theough music, rhythm and touch, with special needs teacher Debs Aspinall. 
Debs. visiting Watamu with one of our very earliest volunteers, Hailey, is a qualified Early Years and general primary teacher currently teaching at Broadfield Specialist School in Oswaldtwistle, Lancs and is studying for her Masters in Education.
When getting ready for her first trip to Kenya, she wanted to bring something that would have lasting benefit. 
She writes: 
When preparing for this wonderful holiday to visit the Happy House, I wanted to bring something I could do with the children, but that would be  of benefit afterwards.
.As a teacher, there were obvious educational resources, however,I wanted to bring something different. 
I teach in a special educational needs school and and where I am the Sensory Curriculum Leader.
I have found a group activity called Tacpac to be very rewarding for the children I teach and decided to bring this to the Happy House.
 It is an interactive, sensory communication and relaxation resource which helps develop children's social, emotional and behavioural skills while promoting positive communication with each other.
I delivered  group sessions at the school to the younger children. 
They were very excited to see the variety of interesting objects we used, such as wet spongers, mini feather dusters, scourers and furry material.
 Initially unsure what we would be doing with them, the children soon followed my lead.
 They enjoyed the feeling of the different sensory objects as we listened to music corresponding to each. 
Children with serious faces soon started smiling, quieter children were giggling and they all shared the experience well together.
One child, who  Mama Sue had told me had, before coming to Happy House, suffered  before physically abused let me tap chopsticks on him gently and squash a wet sponge on his skin. 
He was soon giddy with excitement like his friends. For him, this was an opportunity to introduce safe touch and build trust. 
The session finished with individual hand massages and positive affirmations to each child. As they were told how good they are, clever and kind, every child had a beaming smile, and couldn't stop smelling their cocoa scented hands!
From one session, I have been able to see the different benefits each child has gained. 
The class teacher was involved and was also impressed by how responsive the children were, so I am very happy that they will continue using the Tacpacs  Hailey and I created and gave them.
For me, it has been a privilege to spend this special time with these wonderful children.