By Denise Bodart, Realityworks RealCare Product Manager
As the American Academy of Pediatrics and numerous other child development experts have stated, play is necessary for the healthy development of a child. It contributes to their cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being; it helps them develop executive function, imagination and creativity; it helps them practice private speech… the list goes on. The curriculum that accompanies our RealCare® Baby infant simulators includes several activities and discussion opportunities on recreation and play, which we recommend incorporating into your RealCare Program to teach students these important benefits. Playtime activities can even be used to engage students and hold them accountable, as a Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) teacher from Indiana has successfully done. Keep reading to learn about the playtime requirement that Peru High School FACS teacher Shannon Smith has incorporated into her program, and download a copy of the activity log that you can use!
Smith incorporated the above chart (which you can download here) into her RealCare Program to ensure that her students were interacting with their Babies and learning vital child development skills. Each night of their simulation experience, her students must complete the chart (including the signature of a parent or guardian) and either email her photos of their interaction with Baby or Tweet photos of their interactions using a specific classroom hashtag.
According to Smith, many of her students thought the simulation experience was too easy – until she incorporated this playtime requirement. With it, her students can experience the time commitment of playing and practice bonding with their infant simulators, just as real parents do. Download a customizable version of Smith’s playtime log here.
Thank you to Peru High School FACS teacher Shannon Smith (@FACSPeruHS) for sharing her RealCare Program idea with us! Do you have a RealCare Baby program idea to share? Email us at email@example.com.
How do you encourage students to engage with Baby? Share your ideas in the comments below!