Bright and Beyond Activity Card set promotes cognitive skills, motor skills, language skills, self-esteem and sensory awareness using simple, everyday items found in the home. The cards are sturdy and laminated and include helpful illustrations and simple instructions for the activity. Activities promote learning while providing fun, interactive experiences for children and caregivers. Each set has 52 activity cards and is sold separately. Safety issues are noted when appropriate.
Approx. Price: $10.00 Box Age Range: 1+ yrs # of Pieces: 51-100 Washability: Surface Wipe Storability: Easy Directions: Pictorial Play Locations: Indoor and Outdoor Adjustability: Levels of Play: Beginner and Advanced Batteries: None needed
Fosters Imagination/Promotes Creativity
Incorporates Fundamental Learning Skills
Clearly Written Instructions
Easy to Store
Provides Pretend Play Opportunities
Promotes Active Play
Wide Age Range
Developmental processes promoted
Cooperative Hand Movements
Two-Handed Play – Midline Focus and Transferring
Physical Range of Motion
Finger and Hand Control and Dexterity
Core Strengthening, Trunk Strength, Stability
Functional Finger Movement and Exploration
Spatial Relationships e.g. Under, Over, On, Off
Hand and Finger Grasp
Action Concepts e.g. In/Out, Push/Pull, On/Off, Go/Stop
All of the activities presented in the Bright and Beyond sets have the underlying goal of encouraging interaction between caregiver and child. Communication abilities are enhanced through this social interaction, and through listening, sound imitation, object identification, pretend play, position words, and concept understanding.
Listening skills and receptive language skills are enhanced as children listen to the caregiver present the activity. Games like “This, Then That” help, too. Ask the child to perform two or more actions in a row to teach them to follow a sequence of instructions.
Sound imitation is encouraged by games like, “Who Moos?” using toy animals or, “Come Out of the Barn”, using a blanket tent as the barn. When the child comes out, he must vocalize a different animal sound.
Object identification and labeling can be exciting when it’s done with a flashlight in the dark: shine the light on an object and ask the child to identify what’s in the spotlight. Then ask the child to shine the light on a familiar object in the room.
Size concepts and words can be taught using any number of household items, such as big and little spoons, bowls, plates, socks. Other everyday objects can be discussed to learn about long/short, on/off, and position words such as up/down, in/out.
Pretend play is a great way to expand language skills. Activity cards contain many ideas for creative, imaginative games such as, “Juice Can Puppets”; “Fill In the Blank Storytelling” (let the child add a word to extend the story); and “What Happened?” (Show an action picture from a magazine and ask the child why the man is running or why the baby is crying).
Bright and Beyond Activity Cards are packaged in sets by suggested age level, making it easy to find activities appropriate for the cognitive level of the child. Activities can be easily adapted to fit the interests of a particular child or modified to become simpler or more complex. Categories at the top of the cards make it simple to find the particular activities that address specific areas of need, such as color/shape recognition and identification, memory skills, sorting/classifying, left/right recognition, and problem solving.
Math skills such as number recognition and identification and simple addition are enhanced through tangible activities using materials such as uncooked macaroni, coins, craft pom-pons, pinecones, leaves, clothespins, glue, and snack foods.
Sorting and classifying skills are taught using materials such as a muffin tin and a variety of small toys to sort or identify socks or mittens and match into pairs. These skills are also taught through activities like going on a leaf hunt and then sorting the leaves by type or size.
Shape recognition and identification are practiced using sponges cut into shapes for the bathtub and sandpaper cut into shapes and glued onto index cards to sort. To add a large motor skill, make shapes on the floor with masking tape and have children run to stand inside the various shapes.
Color recognition and identification are fun when done with a fishing pole and homemade colored fish. (Attach small magnets to the end of the fishing line and to the fish with a glue gun.)
Problem solving skills are developed as children execute an activity and observe what happens when they swirl a drop of food coloring into a puddle of corn syrup or shake a plastic container full of whipping cream until it turns into homemade butter.
Creativity and imagination are enhanced by activities such as adding props while simple songs are sung, or using a brush and a bucket of water to paint the sidewalk.
Early learning milestones are emphasized in activities such as placing toys in a pillow case and exploring their shapes with hands (object permanence); blowing through a straw to race cottonballs (cause-effect); and pulling a laundry basket by a belt to pick up toys (means-end).
Sensory experiences are the key to learning for young children. The Bright and Beyond card sets contain more than forty activities that promote sensory awareness. Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting are encouraged in games, exploration, and discovery activities. Also included are activities that provide proprioceptive and vestibular stimulation.
Take a tactile discovery walk and encourage touching a variety of textures and temperatures. Paint on a tray with shaving cream or whipped cream; try adding a few drops of food coloring.
Aroma discoveries encourages the caregiver to let the child smell fragrant ingredients during cooking, for example basil, cinnamon, orange peel, vinegar, and onion.
With another adult, gently rock the baby or child in a blanket hammock, side-to-side, forward and backward, up and down to stimulate the vestibular sense.
“Step and Touch” suggests placing an inch or so of different dry materials in boxes and encouraging the child to walk and then play in them. Cornmeal, rice, puffed wheat, and birdseed are suggested to provide proprioceptive stimulation.
Do a scarf dance with the child using scarves or colorful, flowing material cut into squares. Throw and catch the scarves and then change the dance to go with the tempo of the music.
Recipes are provided for a number of materials to explore, such as “Goopy Goop”, “Oatmeal Dough”, “Coffee Sand”, and “Bag O’Squish”. In addition, there are a number of suggestions for tactile activities using contact paper and tape.
Activities that promote motor skills, including motor planning, hand-eye coordination, balance, and manual dexterity are provided at each level of development. Gross motor skills such as crawling, walking, running and jumping are presented as games or combined with other skills, which make movement more fun. In the “Birth-12 Month” set, the activities are grouped in three-month increments based on matching activity to the child’s physical development. For the child with severe motor challenges, some of the activity cards offer ideas for adaptation in order to minimize frustration and utilize the child’s strengths. An array of ideas offers opportunities to practice fine motor skills at the child’s particular level and encourage refinement of skills while engaged in creative and fun play activities.
Motor planning is enhanced by activities such as hanging a beach ball from a string on a doorjamb and encouraging the child to hit it or kick it, or simply giving the child clothespins to drop in an empty milk carton. Build an obstacle course and encourage the child to walk or crawl across the pillow, under the table, around the chair or over the broom handle to the finish line.
Fine Motor Skills are highlighted in activities and games that include gluing, scribbling/drawing, screwing and unscrewing nuts and bolts, nesting and stacking plastic food containers or cans, threading round oat cereal on spaghetti strands stuck in clay, placing pennies over dots, and dropping juice can lids through a slot in the plastic lid of a coffee can.
Gross Motor Skills activities include drawing a path of chalk squares and encouraging the child to walk, hop, or jump the path keeping feet inside the squares. Draw four large squares on the sidewalk and announce that one is a dancing square, two is a jumping square, three is a hopping square and four, a wiggling square. Call out a number, go to the square, and dance, jump, hop or wiggle!
Balance and coordination are practiced as children follow activities that help body movement such as making a balance beam out of masking tape on the floor, or play “Sock Twister” by putting a pair of socks on your child’s hands or feet with the mates laid out on the floor. Call out instructions, such as, “Place your hand with the blue sock on the blue sock on the floor.” Add the word left or right to the instructions for children ready to learn their right from their left.
Eye-hand coordination is utilized by playing such games as “Tabletop Straw Soccer” or making a “Paper Clip Cable Car” by attaching one end of a string to one side and the other end to a chair. Secure paper clips on a small gift box and attach the clips to the string. Watch as it slides from one side to the other.