- November 17, 2017
Welcome to our weekly news round up of happenings at The Infants' Home.
Johnson House Toddlers
Toddlers at Johnson House enjoyed a science experience involving ice blocks, water colours (three primary colours) and droppers. Children learned about cause and effect through changing colours and melting ice, also developing sensory motor as well as cognitive skills. Educators supported children’s learning using stimulating colour wheel pictures and talked about how to create many different colours from these three primary colours.
Rigby house children have started to talk about Christmas, mainly Christmas trees. Educators provided clay and shape cutters which children used to create their own tree ornaments. Children displayed high levels of concentration as they carefully rolled out the clay, and cut out the shapes. Patience and problem solving skills developed as they overcame difficulties that they encountered while using the clay.
Robinson House children have been developing cultural competency and respect for the Traditional Custodians of the land, acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the Land before group times. Most children are now able to memorise the acknowledgement word for word, thus every day a child is invited to stand up in front of the group to assist with the acknowledgement. This empowers children develop confidence to speak in front of a familiar group in order to prepare them for the formal schooling years.
In group time after acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land, children discussed how Aboriginal people look after the land. Educators emphasised the need to continue to look after the environment and the earth now for the future generations. The children were then encouraged to design a piece of art work in group time. The entries were shown to them and they were encouraged to vote to decide a piece of art work to make for the recycling project. Below is the piece of art work chosen with the most votes.
Now that the weather is much warmer the children have been showing a great interest in flowers and plants. Educators decided to bring the vege garden back to life and plant some hardy plants to climb the lattice between the Infants and Toddlers Programs. Educators encouraged the children to help, explaining to them what plants need to stay alive. The children really loved it when the vegetables starting growing in the garden, using some of the herbs grown in a recent experience where Widad made dumplings with the children. It was a great learning journey enabling children to understand where fruit and vegetables originate from.
Weeks ago three new guppy fish came to live in the small fish tank in the infants’ room. This week the children noticed that the female guppies had given birth to a school of fry! Caring for and feeding the fish is part of children’s routine each day. Every so often, a child initiates this by taking an educator’s hands and leading them to the fish tank, saying "fish". This is usually followed by other children gathering around the tank and observing its inhabitants. Children describe the little fish as "baby fish", and larger fish as "mummy fish". Children's language is becoming more descriptive, using combinations of two words and using vocabulary to describe sizes. Children are also counting and naming them, displaying concentration and enthusiasm.
In the Toddler room children have been experimenting with producing water colour paintings using jacaranda petals. Vinegar, salt, and sugar were used to extract the colour. Children were also encouraged to use their senses to investigate the properties of these additives, tasting and smelling the mixture of salt and sugar, salt, sugar and vinegar, sugar and vinegar, salt and vinegar, etc. The children used a spoon to grind the petals and soak them in a variety of liquid mixtures. Some liquid changed colour quite quickly while others stayed the same. The children found out that those with vinegar in it gave the best result. Next, the children were invited to use the coloured liquid to create artworks. Some of them moved the wet petals out of their jars and placed them on their painting to represent their ideas.
Johnson House Preschool
Integrated groups are a strong addition to the early childhood programs run at the Infants’ home. The Infants' Home integrates a range of teaching strategies to provide the best opportunities for children to engage in, practice and master new skills. Integrated groups are held weekly in Johnson house and are carried out with a member of our allied health team and educators. It is this integration model that makes The Infants' Home unique within the early childhood sector. Here is an example of the daily write up from our Occupational Therapist, Justine, after a group in Johnson House.
"It’s motor skills day! Today, our focus was on crawling and moving in positions that are similar to crawling. Although all of the children have moved through the developmental stage of crawling, it is still an important skill for the following reasons – 1. Crawling helps to develop balance, strengthen muscle tone and develop eye-hand co-ordination. This is necessary for future reading, writing and physical activities. 2. Bilateral integration is improved through crawling as both hands, legs, eyes and ears are required to work in synchronisation, increasing left and right brain co-ordination. 3. The crawling movement is repetitive and this stimulates brain activity to develop cognitive processes such as concentration, memory, comprehension and attention." - Justine Tarrant, Occupational Therapist
Family Day Care
Family Day Care children have been exploring health, including healthy food choices, through art and play. After discussions on what healthy food is available at the supermarket, children cut out pictures of healthy food choices and put them in the trolley. Children also explored bones and skeletons through the song “Dem bones” as they sang about how the head bone is connected to the neck bone, and then created their own skeletons using cotton buds. Looking at how their bodies move, and the food that bodies need to work properly, is a great way for children to develop a strong sense of wellbeing as they take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing.
Join us next week for another installment of weekly news.
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