- September 7, 2018
Welcome to The Infants Home's weekly news roundup.
The children have been enjoying the integrated group on Fridays with Simone (Speech Pathologist), Amanda, (Occupational Therapist) and Sabreena (Educator). The children have had the opportunity to enhance both their social communication and play skills. Social communication skills refers to the use of language in social contexts, which includes social interaction, social thinking, how children communicate and how they interpret social messages from their peers. The children have been supported to check in at the start of the group, and then they participate in a variety of songs, movement experiences and games. These experiences have supported the children to feel more comfortable with turn taking, requesting permission, making conversation and indirect requests. Being able to use a range of social communication skills helps children to play and interact with their peers for longer. The integrated groups form a great basis for the children to engage with others and to then enhance these skills in their interactions with the wider community.
This week the children demonstrated great interest in pretend play at the mud patch. Pretend play allows children to develop their social skills and a strong sense of self-identity.
One of the children was pouring mud from a cooking pan into a cup. An educator sat next to her, and the child the raised the cup up and said, "Dudh". The Educator’s home language and the child’s home language share some common words, and the educator knew that ‘dudh’ means ‘milk’ in English. The Educator thanked the child, and said to her, "Warm dudh is very good for health. Did you warm it up for me in that pan?” The child responded by smiling and nodding. After listening to this conversation, one of the other children said, "I brought dudh for you too, Janna!". The Educator explained to the other children playing in the mud patch that in the Nepali and Bangla languages the word for milk is dudh. This was a great opportunity for the children to develop their social skills and sense of belonging with each other through pretend play, while also learning about diversity and other languages.
A visit to meet new friends
On Thursday 23 August, a small group of Gorton House preschoolers and Educators went for their first visit to a local aged care facility. On the way we chatted about the possibilities of making new friends and wondered who we would meet, what might be their names, what might we play once we got there? We were greeted by very friendly staff and soon wandered out into a courtyard to meet our new friends. While some of us were initially (understandably) a little uncertain, others eagerly began chatting and drawing alongside residents. Some children showed interest in looking at the birds in an aviary, while others began making and flying paper airplanes with one of the residents, comparing the speed and length of each flight. Other children connected with residents and staff over their drawing techniques and skills.
We hope that over time, and over many visits, our children and the residents will have the opportunity to make connections and build rich relationships. Through these visits we hope to foster in the children a sense of awareness, appreciation and value for the many people within our community through shared positive experiences. We are also hoping that at some point our new friends might come and visit us in Gorton House Preschool.
Rigby Babies and Toddlers continue to build their understanding of recycling, sustainability and caring for the environment. After having a drink of water, they pour any leftover water into our garden beds, so that the plants can also have a drink. They also help their Educators put recyclables into the correct bins.
Our young babies are displaying the development of their language skills, complex thinking and imagination, as they pick up objects and pretend that they are phones. The children babbled while on the phone and even told us that they were talking to “Dadda”!
Over the last few months at Robinson House one of our educators has been passionate about sharing her bilingual skills in speaking both English and Mandarin, and she has been teaching the children as well as educators how to speak Mandarin. This intentionally planned group encourages and provides different opportunities for the children to practice Mandarin and to learn a language other than English. The children are encouraged to sing children's songs in Mandarin, and practice greeting words and phrases they could use to connect with people, such as saying “My name is —”. This group also encourages the children to extend their vocabulary by identifying animal names in Mandarin, identifying some basic mathematical and literacy concepts such as counting, the alphabet, days of the week and colors. A significant outcome of this group is that the children are also learning about and sharing aspects of different cultures and, learning about the cultural diversity within their local and global community. Learning a new language broadens children’s view of the world. The children develop their oral skills and increase their self-confidence, as well building relationships and connecting with others in social learning experiences.
This week we contributed to National Child Protection Week by supporting the children in being respectful and aware of their own and others’ emotions. So this week, mat time has been focused on feelings. We’ve been reading books (‘Bear feels happy’ and ‘Bear feels sad’), singing songs (‘If you’re happy and you know it’) and engaging in activities which supported our discussions about feelings. Throughout mat time the children demonstrated an understanding of feelings by talking about what makes them happy and sad.
Recently at FDC Sydney Wide St George, Family Day Care Educator Chi helped the children to explore art through natural materials, offering them tree stumps and rocks to use in their art work. This learning experience provided the children at Chi’s family day care with the opportunity to explore pattern making through art.
Last week we had a fun week celebrating Father’s Day. The children enjoyed making cards and ties and getting their little fingers dirty planting gifts for their dads, and morning tea was adored by all!
Join us next week for more news from The Infants' Home.
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