Story by Speech Pathologist Hannah
This month our Johnson House toddlers have been immersed in a world of teddy bear picnics, bear hunts and ‘unbearably’ fun activities.
We created a sensory walk based on the all-time classic storybook ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ by Michael Rosen, helping the children to learn how to activate their tactile senses and movement into their learning. It was superbly squishy, swishy, splashy and squelchy!
There were many opportunities for the children to develop their language during this activity. We talked about how slippery, slimy and squishy the clay/mud was and many children were heard repeating these adjectives. Some of the children began mixing the foam with the water tray to make a different sensory experience. These activities often lead to further exploration and creative thinking, which we highly encourage. Multisensory learning, where lots of the senses are engaged, for example touch, sight, sound, is highly effective in teaching as it is more memorable due to activating more parts of the brain. This is why getting children to act out a story as a sensory experience enhances their learning.
Story by Educator Denise
Collaborative STEAM Project in the Sandpit
Today the children in Robinson House were invited to work on a large-scale STEAM project using loose parts in the sandpit. The sandpit was quickly transformed as the children displayed tremendous teamwork, creativity and innovation. With a wide range of loose parts available, they collaborated to construct many different structures that were all part of one big project.
One of the highlights was the creation of a flying fox for transporting our dinosaurs across the sandpit. Some of the children’s ideas were limited by the fact they couldn’t reach certain areas, but I was happy to help them, and the children were very clear on their ideas.
We also saw a quicksand tub added, which was a very risky element for the dinosaurs, and we needed to be very careful that they didn’t to fall into this!
During the learning experience we saw so many unique ideas incorporated into one project, which was very exciting to see, and it was great to see the development of skills such as teamwork and problem-solving. Amazing work everyone!
Story by Playgroup Coordinator Rebecca
Summer is coming and it is a perfect time to do some ‘tearing and sticking’ artwork using different materials such as leaves, flowers, sticks, barks, confetti and colourful paper. At our Red Bug Playgroup this week, we made a collage, an activity which helps children develop their creativity as they can choose whatever they like to stick on the artwork, such as dried leaves, flowers or colourful straws. Children can also use collage creations to tell different stories and express their imaginations; for example, they can use leaves and tree bark to illustrate their own house or use different sized sticks and straws to tell their stories.
Collage helps children to develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as they pick up the collage materials and place them on the collage, using their small muscles to stick or press the materials onto the artwork. With some more advanced collage activities, such as a two-step process in which the children have to put glue on the materials and then put them on the artwork, they may encounter some challenges. However, through such challenges their learning experiences are enhanced. Problem-solving skills, persistence and resilience are developed through their trial-and-error attempts.
Doing collage is fun, especially in a natural environment. Before embarking on collaging, you can challenge children by asking them to pick as many natural materials as possible, or to find different colours in their surroundings. This way, the children’s enthusiasm, exploration and knowledge of things in their environment are encouraged.
Collage is an easy to prepare activity that can help children develop many skills. It can be done at home, in the park or when having a picnic, as the materials needed are almost endless, and can be found everywhere. Creating different textures, colours and patterns also helps children learn basic mathematic concepts.