Last Week at The Infants’ Home 18 March to 22 March 2024

Welcome to The Infants' Home weekly news roundup.

2024 News Articles, All News Articles — Published 22 March 2024

Johnson House

Banksia Room

Story by Educator Denise

Leading up to Harmony Day, the children in Johnson House Banksia room and I engaged in a story time in which we read three stories: ‘Nian: The Chinese New Year Dragon’, ‘The Proudest Blue’ and ‘The Kindest Red’. These stories encouraged the children’s learning about cultural diversity, and they explore themes of kindness, respect and empathy towards others.

‘Nian: The Chinese New Year Dragon’ was previously read with the children during Lunar New Year. It tells the story of Mei who saves her village from a fierce dragon called Nia, with the help of a magical warrior and using her intelligence and courage to outsmart the dragon.

‘The Proudest Blue’ is about two sisters named Asiya and Faizah. It explores cultural diversity and helps build a sense of curiosity and wonder about our own and others’ cultures and the importance of kindness. The story is told from Faizah’s perspective, and is about her older sister, Asiya who is having her first day of hijab, which is a head scarf worn by Muslim women and girls, on her first day of school. This marks her maturity and represents her cultural identity and her religious faith. When some students make fun of Asiya’s hijab, Faizah observes how her sister doesn’t let their hurtful words affect her and that she continues wearing her hijab with pride and with the support of her friends who like her for who she is.

‘The Kindest Red’ is the sequel to ‘The Proudest Blue’. In this story, we see Faizah and Asiya getting ready for School Picture Day. Faizah and her friends are inspired to create a kind-powered world as we glimpse the ways they express kindness and respect to each other. These examples range from playing together, sharing things, taking turns and helping each other with difficult tasks. When Faizah realises that she isn’t dressed like her older sister for their sibling picture, we see how kindness is reciprocated when Asiya’s friends create a makeshift hijab for Faizah.

The children and I engaged in ‘dialogic reading’, meaning we had conversations about the stories as we read them. We had discussions about how we may be different from each other in how we live, how we eat and even in how we dress, and how these differences can be celebrated. I encouraged the children to identify the emotions of the main characters and to imagine how they may have felt at certain points in the stories. This helped the children to consider the protagonists’ perspectives and helped build their emotional literacy while also developing their understanding of the world around them.

Murray House

Jacaranda Room

Story by Educator Cathy

Happy Harmony Week! This week in Murray House we have been celebrating the diversity in our Jacaranda room.

Our Jacaranda toddlers excitedly pointed out their own faces on the photos on our Harmony Day banner, showing their ability to recognise and name their own photos as well as those of their peers.

We added paper people figures to the display, which the children individually decorated to represent how we are all different, yet all belong to the Jacaranda room.

Some other exciting Harmony Day experiences the children participated in included making a handprint heart, engaging with texts and songs such as ‘Taba Naba’ which explore cultural diversity, and developing our understanding of being inclusive and the importance of treating others with kindness.

Family Day Care Sydney Wide

Story by Educator Support Officer Alix and Educator Ultima

Educator, Ultima, who runs her Little Pods Family Day Care service in Mosman, is lucky enough to live a short bus ride away from Taronga Zoo. The children at her service have regular excursions to the zoo because of its proximity and because of the great learning benefits the children receive from their ongoing visits. Ultima has very kindly shared her most recent visit observations with us.

Zoo Visit
The animals at the zoo were quite active today! We saw a koala moving about the tree branches, perhaps searching for food, while a few others were having breakfast. Pip was a bit scared, but I comforted her, saying it’s okay to be scared and reassuring her that she was safe, and that the koalas couldn’t come near us.

The giraffes were, as usual, magnificent, and the three lionesses and four lions were also walking about. We had our morning tea, and Pip became much braver and didn’t seem scared. Leo seemed fascinated, as he kept pointing at the lions and babbling words to me. Afterwards, we looked at the meerkats and then went to see the penguins, and it was amazing to see two kinds of penguins swimming closely together.

Our last visit was to the seals at the bottom of the zoo, where we had our lunch. Pip was a bit scared of them, so she sat next to me while Leo enjoyed watching the seals swimming below him.

Reflecting on Leo and Pip’s exploration around the zoo, it was heartwarming to see Pip’s initial fear gradually diminish as she gained confidence throughout the day. My reassurance seemed to have a positive effect on her, which was comforting to witness. Leo’s fascination with the animals, especially the lions and penguins, was evident, and his excitement was contagious. The children’s curiosity and joy reminded me of the simple pleasures of discovery and appreciation for the natural world. As we navigated the different exhibits together, it felt like a journey of bonding and learning for all of us.