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Why we do the 'Boo Poem'

Have you attended one of our Zip Zap classes and wondered why one of the teachers decides to have a nap mid class?

Let me explain….

In the Zip Zap world we have come to know this section as the ‘boo poem’. One of our Class Teachers decide to have a break from the singing and go to sleep underneath the blanket whilst the other Teacher whips out a castanet and recites a poem. It may seem rather strange, but this is all to do with object permanence.

By around 4-5 months, a baby’s vision and hearing have developed and they are beginning to master different skills. They begin to grasp the idea that objects and certain people exist even when they can’t be seen. They begin to reach for objects hidden under blankets and have a lot of fun playing peekaboo.

Now back to the ‘boo poem’. One of the Teachers will disappear under the blanket, whilst the other Teacher begins reciting a poem with a castanet. The simple sound of the castanet draws a child’s focus towards the blanket and the fact that the other Teacher has disappeared. The poem and the beat of the castanet also help with rhythm and, of course, every baby wants to learn a new nursery rhyme each week! After the nursery rhyme has finished and a count to 3 the Teacher that is hiding reappears with a grand 'HELLO'. This is then repeated 3 times so the children get used to the idea that someone disappears but then also comes back.

Though this is the main section each week where we focus on object permanence, there are many other ways which in which we include object permanence into a Zip Zap class. Colin and Dave having a little nap at the beginning of the class, props disappearing and then reappearing and scarves to play peekaboo.

Our friendly Educational Psychologist, Dr K. Robinson strongly believes “that the development of object permanence is such an important milestone in a child’s life as underdeveloped object permanence can lead to separation anxiety as the child has not yet learnt that when an object (or parent/carer) is out of sight that they continue to exist. If a child has not yet negotiated the developmental stage of permanency they are likely to experience distress when not connected with their parent or carer and may seek to be connected to them at all times”. Louise Bomber also has some incredible books which look at this.

We continue this into the Little Zippers classes too as the toddlers grow in confidence each week coming up and shouting ‘boo’ or tickling toes. We often see Toddler's who once enjoyed this section, start to a bit upset or scared by this section, it is simply a developmental milestone in their cognitive growth and memory recall. It often passes within a few weeks and during that time, we are always on hand to lend them some support.

So there we go, now you can be certain that we don’t employ lazy Teachers at Zip Zap that like to have a nap mid class! Someone once said to me when I was having a tough time with my “Every thing is just a phase, it will pass”. It kept me sane through the trials and tribulations of object (me) permanence/ separation anxiety with my children, luckily we are past it now!

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