When C was 6 months old, our local Surestart centre began a group called PEEP. I had no idea what it was but, being on maternity leave and struggling to fill my days, I decided to go and find out.
Basically, PEEP aims to help develop a child’s skills such as listening, mark-making and language before they begin school. It really isn’t anything difficult. One of the things the group reinforces is that talking to your child really helps them develop their language. That’s fairly obvious really but simply by changing how you describe things, for example change ‘look at this ball’ to ‘look at this round, yellow, shiny ball’ and you introduce those extra words into their vocabularly.
At 20 months old, C can count to ten, is recognising colours and has a fantastic vocabulary. I can’t say that it is all due to PEEP, I know I’m lucky to have a child who picks things up really quickly, but I’m sure that it has helped.
We also do lots of singing and reading, and we’ve recently started cooking together. That crazy person in the supermarket doing Wind the Bobbin Up with a toddler? Yes, that’s me. With actions and everything. Singing, talking and playing with her helps to develop her listening and talking, so she’s learning without even realising it.
There are lots of other topics covered within the group which are dependant on the age of the group. We’ve covered mark making, movement and play patterns amongst others, but for older groups there are topics on tantrums, television and other relevant areas.
I love this group. When I went back to work when C was 9 months old, the days I worked clashed with the PEEP group so I now drive to another village just so we can still attend. If you get chance to visit a PEEP group I would definitely recommend it.
Written for the March Tots100 Blog Hop
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