Last Week at The Infants’ Home 19 February to 23 February 2024

Welcome to The Infants' Home weekly news roundup.

2024 News Articles, All News Articles — Published 26 February 2024

Johnson House

Banksia Room

Story by Educator Cathy

To continue following the children’s interest in the book ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle, the children in Johnson House Banksia room had the opportunity to act out the story and to draw caterpillars and butterflies with chalk in the outdoor environment.

To begin this learning experience, the children engaged in the story while it was being read using props. They have become very familiar with the adventures of the caterpillar and the foods the caterpillar eats, so this was a great opportunity for them to be active participants and to develop their understanding of the story. This experience also facilitated their recall of the story.

At the conclusion of the story experience, the children acted out the story and drew butterflies or caterpillars with pavement chalk. This creative experience enabled the children to build on their imagination skills, self-expression and creativity. They were very enthusiastic about extending their existing knowledge of the story and to recall what a butterfly looks like and how they fly.

Family Day Care Sydney Wide

Story by Educator Ebony and Educator Support Officer Maureen

Recently at Precious Possum’s Family Day Care in Phillip Bay, Educator Ebony, has been focusing on colour learning ideas with the younger age grouping of children. As a continuation of this learning, the children had the opportunity to engage in a coloured rice making exploration, which was an intentional experience to encourage group-based learning to promote peer scaffolding, language development, and to explore a variety of STEM concepts.

The children sat out in the sunshine on a mat under a large umbrella to provide shade. Ebony gave each child a wooden bowl and spoon and then poured dry rice into the bowl. The children then chose what colour they wanted to add to the rice to make the colour change. They all worked hard, mixing and stirring using the spoons, and the younger girls enjoyed the sensory experience of getting their little fingers and hands into the rice to assist the colour change. Ebony then offered the children a small plastic jar with a lid. Mia and Ryder were able to fill the pots and layer the colours. Maia and Lisbeth used the containers to scoop up the rice with a little help from Ebony to fill it to the top.

The follow up for this activity will be pouring all the rice into a large container to create a rainbow effect and this will be a hands-on, open-ended experience.

This experience brought about lots of dialogue, such as “Why are we not eating the rice’?”, “Why is it dry?”, “I need more colour”, and of course “Mine!” when 1.7 year old Maia wanted to do the task on her own. Mia also chose to take her jar and pop it in the back of the ride-on car, announcing that she had a delivery on the way for Ebony.

It was impressive to see the younger children being included in this group experience, which honoured the importance of giving children the agency in explorative and process-based learning to build their skills and knowledge.

Community Playgroups

Story by Playgroup Coordinator Rebecca

Welcome to 2024, what a start to the year! The playgroup team thanks you for your patience and understanding during the disjointed start to playgroups this year. Our playgroups are now up and running and it has been wonderful to see you all. Children grow so quickly, and this is never more evident than after a break. We have been amazed at the difference in the children attending our playgroups from last year to this and we wonder how they could possibly have grown up so quickly!

At playgroups we try to provide activities that help children to develop skills that are useful in the ‘big world’. Learning to use scissors correctly is one of those skills, and it is one that requires some very sophisticated fine motor skills. Moving your fingers and thumb in unison to open and close the scissors and then holding what is being cut with your other hand is not easy, especially at first.

However, it is an essential life skill and one we often use. Of course, it is not appropriate to give young children sharp scissors, but we can provide opportunities for them to practice the necessary fine motor skills in other ways. Using child-safe plastic scissors with playdough is one safe way to practice. In these pictures you can see one of our friends exploring the scissors and investigating how they move.

At playgroup every activity is a learning opportunity hidden in play. Your child doesn’t even realise they are learning, they are simply having fun. For example, washing dolls is a fun experience and a time to learn about hygiene and caring for others, while digging in the sand pit uses all the muscles of the body, and children can also practice measuring as they work out how deep they want the hole to be. Play is our children’s first introduction to learning and we know that play in the early years enables children to explore and make sense of the world around them. So, let’s play!