From the age of eight months to about two years, children engage in banging games. Everyone can picture a child sitting at the dinner table banging his or her spoon on the high chair. Who hasn’t emptied out the pots and pans from a cupboard to have a child bang away on them with a wooden spoon? Children bang toy cars on walls, and bang toys on the side of the bathtub.
Banging games serve many purposes, including to:
- facilitate the child’s understanding of auditory qualities of objects and surfaces
- enhance the child’s babbling, and later his or her vocalizations
- enhance the development of muscle strength in the arms and hands
- enhance the child’s knowledge about quantity
- facilitate learning how to use a tool
For a child with visual impairments, banging games are precursors to using a cane for ambulation.
Picking Banging Games
When introducing banging games, it is important to observe the child in order to learn which kind of banging game would be the most beneficial. Does the child need to strengthen muscles, or does the child need to distinguish between auditory qualities? Does the child need to learn to use a tool? Some children with special needs become stuck in the stage of banging. They may head bang or bang the face or body with the hand. When you realize the role banging games have on learning to play constructively, you can guide a child through the Dynamic Learning Circle to use banging to explore new objects, in varied environments, and to play more constructively.
Importance of Banging Games
In this video, a boy is introduced to a new drum for the first time and he uses banging activities to learn about the auditory property of the drum. Observe the extension of the wrist and fingers. Banging the drum is important to build muscle strength for him, whose tone is influenced by spasticity.