- April 27, 2018
Welcome to The Infants Home's weekly news roundup.
Children in Gorton House Infants have been exploring mathematical concepts and expressive language through wet sand play. A small group of children aged 18 months to 2 years have been finding sandprint resources of different shapes and sizes, and using them to make prints in the same. As co-learners, educators have been able to have extended time playing alongside, chatting with these children as they built these ideas day after day. Several of the children involved attend 3 or 4 days a week, and had plenty of time to explore, return to this play, and build on ideas from previous sessions.
Firstly, the children explored circles, enjoying the cause and effect of making them in the sand. Then squares and rectangles, hexagons and diamonds were added to the repertoire. Children and educators talked about the shapes, including their names and their sizes, and found examples of them in the environment.
Over the days and weeks, the children began noticing the shapes others were making, welcoming their contribution to the play, and learnt the best techniques, such as having a smooth surface, taking their time, and the right amount of ‘wet’ in the sand. As confidence grew with using the shapes, and working together to share the resources, children also combined shapes together to make objects, such as big and little circles to make flowers, and a teddy bear and tree shape to make the Teddy Bears Picnic, one of their favourite songs.
At Johnson House Preschool, children have been practicing their fine motor skills by 'threading' pieces of pool noodles onto a large rod. Threading facilitates fine motor manipulation – the key skill needed for writing, drawing and using scissors (and therefore the beginning of school readiness skills). Threading with pool noodles is not only fabulous for developing fine-motor skills but can also be used as a way to introduce children to a variety of mathematical concepts such as colours, patterns, shapes and counting.
Children in Johnson House Toddlers have been interested in discussing animals that live in the sea. An interest learning area was set up in the indoor environment. The children then had the opportunity to build on their existing knowledge of sea animals in a creative art experience, drawing their own animals and expressing their own ideas and thoughts about each sea animal.
Robinson House have been using gardening as an educational tool, as their garden emerges they are watching the children's learning emerge as well:
Engaging the Senses: all of the children have been observed using their senses to interact with the garden, for example putting their noses to the rosemary and mint and comparing the smells and then observing the differences in the shapes of the leaves.
Development of Scientific Understandings: the children are exploring concepts of botany, chemistry, and biology. The children hypothesize about what will happen next and monitor the progress of their work each day.
Developing Responsibility: the children are establishing rules to ensure the care of the garden and they are responsible for maintaining it. The children look at the state of the plants before deciding what it needs and responding accordingly.
Team Work: this is a group effort and educators have observed new connections emerging as the children identify a shared interest in gardening.
Patience: In many experiences that children engage with they feel the gratification immediately, however in gardening it is a slow process. Children are learning that waiting can also be exciting as each day the garden changes ever so slightly.
Mathematics: the current mathematical problem children are working on is, How far apart do carrots need to be planted for effective growing?
Fmaily Day Care children became mini masterchefs this week at the Family Day Care Sydney Wide Northern Beaches Playsession.
With some measuring, pouring, stirring and rolling, the children made some ANZAC biscuits to share at morning tea. The children showed joy and delight as they saw the biscuits come out of the oven cooked and ready to be eaten.
The children were amazed at how different the biscuits looked after they had been cooked, and this was a great opportunity to use reflective thinking to consider why they looked different, and what could be learned from this experience.
Are you, or is someone you know looking for childcare? The Infants' Home currently has vacancies across all age groups and is enrolling now. Call today on (02) 9799 4844 to find out more, or see here.
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