Promoting Inclusion At Home & In The Classroom
Shelly Karls | Childcare Teacher
1. Meet Each Child At Their Level
It is important to instill a “you can do it” frame of mind in each child, and in order to do that you need to meet each child at their individual ability level when starting a new activity. Everyone can experience success when they have the opportunity to participate at their own pace. It is important to pick a starting point that is appropriate for each child’s ability level and work up from there.
2. Make Conscious Toy Selections
One of the easiest ways to promote inclusion on a daily basis is to offer children a selection of toys that represent different abilities. For example, there are many brands that now make dolls with special needs. Children who are introduced to different assistive devices, like wheelchairs, hearing aids, and walkers, through things like toys, may be more comfortable with classmates who use those items on a daily basis because they are aware of how they help.
3. Create An Inclusive Space
In my classroom we configure the physical environment so that it is accessible for all children regardless of their ability. Depending on which children are currently in my classroom, the physical space may need to change in order to accommodate their individual needs. For example, toys are placed at the children’s level, space needs to remain open in between stationary objects in order to accommodate potential walkers or wheelchairs, and rugs are low to avoid uneven
walking surfaces. It is important to stay flexible and arrange your space to meet the ever changing needs of your children.
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