I'm Karen and Dinky Dot Discovery is my home grown adventure- come along and join in!
Having trained as a primary school teacher at the Roehampton Institute, I started my career working in some challenging and vibrant schools in and around London. The wealth of knowledge picked up during my 10 years in teaching gave me solid foundations to build upon, and the confidence to work in a severe special needs secondary school. Here I had to adapt teaching ideas to incorporate students with profound and multiple learning needs across classes of varying levels of understanding. Lessons were exciting and truly all singing and dancing and included various ways to communicate including PECS, Makaton and touch cues as part of my everyday teaching.
The arrival of my own child meant a new pace of life and new adventures to experience. I currently teach on a supply basis but have taken the opportunity to use my skills outside the classroom and share best practice with people in my community by starting Dinky Dot Discovery and becoming a governor and trustee for a local school.
Dinky Dot Discovery started in 2015. After attending a range of classes with my own child, I was inspired to combine some favourite experiences into one sensory class. My training within school to help students with many complex needs also made me aware of how important sensory development was in order to understand the world.
So, here at Dinky Dot we engage the babies with themed treasure baskets. Each theme runs for 3-4 weeks. Over these weeks the baskets are continually updated with new items to keep the interest of the child. It also allows the child to revisit favourite items and use them in increasingly more complex ways or with more precision.
Makaton sign or touch cue instruments are used during the singing session, which we use as a transitional activity between baskets and sensory boxes. Parents find it much easier to remember the sign when there is a purpose to use it - and who doesn't love a sing song!
Each class then ends on a multi sensory massage. The activities follow 6 pieces of music and incorporates everyday items into a sensory experience. Whether you are tapping with claves, tickling with a feather duster or hiding under a shammy leather - your child will find something that engages and promotes their independent learning and exploring skills.
Our groups are small so that those involved do not feel too overwhelmed by being in a large space, or distracted by noise and movement often associated with bigger groupings. Social interactions between the children gradually form and eventually become common place during the session with little adult intervention.
It's always exciting to see children discover, understand and make sense. So if you would like to take part in a relaxed journey of discovery and observe to see if your child chooses to use a wicker basket as a hat, or a pastry brush as a duster or maybe watch them pretend to paint my wall with a paint roller - then come and try a class out!
Imaginative and friendly classes, with new things for babies to discover, plus singing and signing in Karen's lovely house. Always welcomed with a cuppa and biscuits! Highly recommend.
A fantastic basket to have a rummage through - come and experience a range of textures, and weights as well as warm and cold materials. A wonderful experience as children get to manipulate natural objects and allow their imaginations to make links between play and the natural world.
Karen runs an interesting and engaging class which is fun for both babies and parents. Really enjoyed attending this class with my little one and meeting other mums of small babies. Recommend!
Colour and pattern baskets
I love the colour 'orange' but equally am quite taken with 'blue, green purple, red and yellow!' So many gorgeous shades and textures - which ones will your little person gravitate too?