- April 20, 2018
Welcome to The Infants Home's weekly news roundup.
The Johnson House toddlers integrated team worked collaboratively together at a workshop focussing on “Choosing and Using materials”. The team, consisting of our professional development facilitator, early childhood educators, allied health staff including our speech pathologist and occupational therapist, all learned the art of being creative with the children using even the simplest of items. Often these items are referred to as “loose parts”. Giving meaning to loose parts requires the team to think about the possibilities of how a child learns and consider the materials and learning areas these can be used in.
The team came away from the workshop inspired to use the provisions within the program and were impressed by the interest the children had in experimenting with such items. The team were able to see the endless possibilities of such play and will continue to embed this into the daily program.
In early childhood education settings, loose parts play can involve a range of items such as found objects and materials that children can move, manipulate, control, and change while they play. The children can carry, combine, redesign, line up, take apart, and put loose parts back together in almost endless ways.
A range of items was set up in Johnson House Preschool to encourage such play and the children were instantly drawn to it. They experimented with, created and designed a range of things. Some focused on building, others wanted to balance, some used the parts to create the letters in their name and others simply categorised items based on shape or size. This space invited the children to work either independently or with each other and be creative in an open-ended way.
Murray House children have been engaging in sensory experiences, making goop with cornflour and food colouring. The children were excited and curious to touch and feel the texture of the goop. As the children noticed the different feel and texture each time they dipped their hands into the tray, they responded with giggles and laughter. The children enjoyed the experience as it turned into a messy sensory play.
This experience supported the children's Social development - children interacted with staff and their peers by sitting down together and enjoying the experience. Physical development was also supported as children used their fine and gross motor skills to explore the texture, hand-eye coordination, concentration, exploration skills & imagination skills.
Rigby House children have been taking part in open-ended art experiences, allowing children time to explore and engage in the process rather than focus on the finished product. Rigby children have the look of pure joy as they explore painting!
In related news, the Rigby House Grand Re-Opening Party was held on Wednesday April 18, from 6-8pm. The party was attended by over 80 friends and supporters of The Infants' Home. His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of New South Wales, and our Patron, Mrs Linda Hurley as our guests of honour. Speakers included Rigby House parent Yumi Wong-Pan, who shared her family story with guests, and had a lovely chat with Mrs Hurley and His Excellency. You can read more about the Rigby House Re-Opening, and see some pictures in our website story here, or in our Facebook Gallery for the event here.
Children at Robinson House have been investigating ways in which they can look after the environment. Lauren, an educator at Robinson House, thought that it would be interesting to explore bush tucker with a focus on the foods on the grounds at Robinson House. Children have been gathering seeds and berries and identifying them through books. They hypothesised about what they may taste like and how they may be prepared. Children identified that picking berries takes food away from possums, birds and the plant's ability to spread its seeds. One of the children then came up with the idea of planting the seed from inside the fruit in the hope that it may grow again. Educators have honoured this by replanting the seeds from the Lilly Pilly berries they eat.
Educators then asked families: Do you have any bush tucker in your garden at home? Common plants may be lilly pillys or lemon myrtle. Do you have any bush tucker recipes? Do you have any seedlings you may want to share with us so we can grow our own bush food?
Rebecca, Director of Robinson House, found a lovely row of Lilly Pilly trees growing on Alt St as she was walking from the train station and so was able to collect a few more berries for the children to try for themselves.
This activity addresses the Early Years Learning Framework, outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world.
Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment when they:
- show growing appreciation and care for natural environments,
- explore relationships with other living and non-living things and observe, notice and respond to change, and
- develop awareness of human activities on environments and the interdependence of livings things.
Children at La Casita FDC have been using magnifying glasses to investigate and explore the indoor and outdoor environment. The children were fascinated with the insects they discovered at the interest table that Gladys, their educator, had set up.
The children then went outside to the garden to get a close up look at the insects they could find in the garden. The children saw ants, beetles, and snails. They called the snails – mama snail and baby snail. This activity helped to engage the children with nature and discovery.
Join us next week for more news from The Infants' Home.
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