A new felt board was added in Murray House’s infants’ room, with lots of felt pieces reflecting the children’s current interests, such as the story ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ and the nursery rhyme ‘Five Cheeky Monkeys’. The children love playing with the felt figures, and talking about the felt pieces that they recognise. They really enjoy counting the number of monkeys falling off the bed and shaking their heads to say “no more cheeky monkeys jumping on the bed!” The children also enjoy listening to the ‘Dear Zoo’ story as we use felt pieces and watch the animals go back to the zoo. The felt board has always been a wonderful literacy resource that encourages children to develop their imaginations and creativity. The board helps the children to visualise the context of the story and to acquire meaning from a variety of text. As the children manipulate the felt figures on the wall, they are also practising their fine motor skills and learning to share their play and space with other children.
Developing relationships is one of the main focuses of the educational curriculum in Murray House toddlers, especially at the beginning of the year. This includes educators developing relationships with new families and with new and existing children, and supporting children to develop relationships with each other.
This week we have had children transitioning to our toddler program from our infant program, and have had new children starting, and will also have more new children starting next week. Developing reciprocal, trusting, and respectful relationships with children and their families is our priority.
To help us to develop relationships with the children and to also assist them to develop relationships with each other, we have been sharing stories in small groups and introducing small group circle games such as ‘Sandy boy/Sandy girl’ and ‘Duck, Duck, Goose.’ These games are new to the children and they are really enjoying them!
We have been taking the children who are moving to the preschool program in Robinson House on regular visits to the centre throughout the day and supporting them to develop relationships with Robinson House’s educators and children. The children have been very excited to visit, and we’re confident that their transition to Robinson House will be a seamless and positive experience.
This week at Robinson House the children and educators have been reflecting on the news and events they have heard, watched or read about regarding the fires across Australia. Each day we come together during gathering and we discuss issues, events and news and share our thoughts and any challenges that affect us either directly or indirectly. Our comprehensive discussions encourage us to share significant topics and perspectives about not only how we may feel, but the feelings of fellow peers, citizens and our beloved natural environment, including creatures big and small. Our daily ‘Acknowledgement of the land’ reminds us all that it is our responsibility as custodians to care for, respect and appreciate what we have, such as our health, family and amazing country.
From these discussions the children have been sharing stories of how grateful they’ve been feeling as they hear about the brave firefighters and volunteers that have been helping to support fellow citizens and animals affected by the fires. Together children and educators discussed several ideas about how we could express our gratitude and how we could thank them. Some of the children said that drawing pictures and writing a thank you letter or cards for the firefighters might be an idea, so the children have started to draw pictures for us to send over the coming weeks. This is an example of how children are extremely willing and capable of making a difference and contributing to making positive changes in the world. They are able to understand and interpret global issues, such as how climate change is affecting the world.