- November 3, 2017
Welcome to our weekly news round up for the week beginning 30th October.
Infants in Rigby House have been enjoying collecting and playing with Jacaranda flowers and using the opportunity to develop langugage and numeracy skills in describing what they saw, felt and counted. Educators extended childrens' learnings from last weeks' Diwali celebrations by creating beautiful jacaranda Mandalas with children, and children were delighted to see the first tiny green shoots of wheat grass seeds that they planted, and called them ‘babies”.
Language development was encouraged as they attempted to describe what they saw and felt, and copied their educator’s descriptive words of the beautiful purple flowers. Many children practiced counting, saying “one, two”.
Toddlers in Rigby House have been enjoying nature walks through our beautiful grounds, collecting ‘treasures’ along the way. They were thrilled to find a carpet of Jacaranda flowers below a tree, and added the flowers to their collection.
The children enjoyed sorting through their ‘treasures’ and showed understanding of early mathematical concepts, as they described what was the same and what was different about their ‘treasures’ and then grouped them into similar items. During these nature walks the children noticed the new buds and leaves that were appearing on the trees. Educators have built on this interest in nature, helping the children to germinate bean seeds.
Soon the Rigby House children will be transitioning to other programs in preparation for renovations to occur this summer. This period of transition is prepared for through visits to new houses with their educators. In this second week of visits, the children have displayed an interest in visiting their new Houses and a growing sense of comfort in their new environments.
Children have enjoyed exploring the new surroundings and participating in familiar and new experiences. They also enjoyed caring for the gardens and plants.
Supported by their familiar educators, the children enjoyed meeting new educators and children, and were keen to tell their other educators about their experiences when they returned from their visits.
At Johnson House Toddlers children have been sharing a book called 'Dunbi the Owl' - an aboriginal dreamtime story by Daisy Utemorrah and Pamela Lofts. ‘Dunbi the owl’ is a book based on the dreamtime of the Worora tribe. It is about increased understanding of the natural environment and interdependence between the land, planets, people and animals. The children explored the story and interpretation of animals, people and the environment (for example wind, water, thunder, clouds, rain, and land).
In an extension of the book, some children created a collage of an owl with white feathers and blue, red, and yellow paint on a large sheet of canvas. The children cooperated with one another and negotiated roles in sharing materials, accessing small soft white feathers and large brown feathers, and blue, red and brown paint for the visual art experience. The children used language to engage in play to imagine and create roles, scripts and ideas. Through the creative arts such as painting, sculpture, they recreated the story.
At Johnson House Preschool, children have been exploring the mathematical concept of mass. A small group of children gathered around the scales and formed hypotheses about which items would be heavier and which items would be lighter. The children observed that even though some pieces were bigger, it did not necessarily mean that they were heavier. The children continued to explore the weights of coloured discs, natural materials such as bark and wooden log piece, attempting to make both bowls balance evenly. The importance of play-based learning is highlighted through this simple experience in which the children have learned about the concept of 'heavy' and 'light' as well as addition and subtraction.
At Northern Beaches Family Day Care recent rain hasn't stopped outdoor play, the children have been engaging all of their senses exploring the natural world with their mud kitchen.
At Randwick South Sydney Family Day Care Linda Crerar, Lisa Saltmarsh and Nicola Leeson and their family day care children along with Child Care Adviser Barbara Millist attended Bush School in Centennial Park, Sydney.
The theme was “We’re Going on a Lizard Hunt’’ - there are no bears in the park! The children enjoyed a picnic morning tea, followed by Linda reading the story "We're going on a bear hunt" by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxbury. They then set off on their lizard hunt, through the swishy, swashy grass. They weren’t scared in the forest...and they didn’t “stumble or trip’’.
At the end of the hunt, accompanied by great excitement, they found the Lizard hiding in the ‘’cave’’. Everyone then explored the bush, balancing on logs and boulder hopping. Fortunately it was “a beautiful day” and the children had the opportunity to broaden their understanding of the natural world around them, and children and adults alike came away with an appreciation of how inspirational nature can be.
Children in the St George Family Day Care hub have been enjoying a play space themed around one of their favourite movies, Moana. A combination of natural, handmade and purchased resources have been used to create the play table, which will be used to extend the learning to Polynesian islands, language and culture.
The Inner West Family Day Care hub playgroup have been exploring ocean life, investigating different natural materials such as driftwood, and creating sea creatures with playdough.
Children have also been playing outdoors, using large logs as balancing beams, and using water to paint different mediums in their outdoor environment. Educators asked questions such as "why do you think the water went away so quickly from the log?", encouraging children to conduct their own experiments by painting particular spots and observing the changes. After some time, one child reported back, "I think it is because of the sun".
Join us next week for another news round-up of happenings at The Infants' Home.
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