This Week at The Infants’ Home 14 August to 18 August 2023

Welcome to The Infants' Home weekly news roundup.

2023 News Articles, All News Articles — Published 21 August 2023

Gorton House


Story by Educator Russell

The toddlers in Gorton House have been exploring the concept of light and colour of late. This was born out of a comment by one of the children, who informed us, “I made shadow puppets with Nonno”. We found this delightful interaction between grandparent and grandchild to be the ideal opportunity to explore light, how it impacts us and what we can do with it.

Identifying light as “a radiant energy that we can sense with our eyes, making things visible”, we initially discussed different sources of light. Some of the most pertinent responses included, “the sun”, “the lights on mummy’s car” and “the light up there on the roof”. Working with the sun in mind, and considering where the original idea came from, our initial explorations involved attempting to make shadow animals. This led to everything being “a dog” or “a kangaroo”, depending on how atrocious my shadow puppet attempts were.

We then pondered how we might make a shadow while we’re inside where there is no sun, which brought us back to the headlight answer. Now, seeing as we couldn’t find a compact sedan small enough to be driven inside, we turned to torches and began casting shadows with them. The children really enjoyed chasing their shadows up, down and across the wall, and we also ended up discussing how we can never really catch a shadow. This also led to a discussion about coloured light, as one of the torches projected a blue light. Where to next? Well, we broke out the light board and some coloured, translucent construction tiles, and explored how the colours change in shade and tone with the introduction of a light source. We also touched upon colour mixing and identification, but our focus was definitely on the aesthetics and how light changed this.

Our more recent investigations have centred around glo sticks and how colours can change when both light and/or a change of state are considered. The children marvelled at how the sticks went from dull and lifeless to bright and vivid once they were bent. There was even some debate around identifying colour, with some deciding the violet glo sticks were blue while others insisted they were purple…hey, why not both?! Right?

Our plans moving forward involve exploring coloured cellophane to look at colour mixing as well as creating coloured lenses for the torches so that we can cast shadows with a coloured aura.

Johnson House


Story by Educator Alisa

Active play and gross motor experiences are a regular part of the program in Johnson House preschool. Gross motor skill development is vital for children to perform daily functions such as walking, running, climbing on playground equipment, engaging in sports, writing, and self-care skills such as feeding and dressing/undressing themselves. Recently, the children in Johnson House have been engaged in ‘javelin’ pool noodle throwing and potato sack races.

Using pool noodles as javelins, the children have practiced throwing these through hoops. With much practice the children familiarised themselves with holding the pool noodles in the correct way and built their aim accuracy in hitting a target, mostly within a close distance to the hoop. They even assisted other peers and demonstrated to them how to play the game.

Engaging the children in sack races was also a great opportunity for them to improve their balance and to practice fundamental gross motor skills such as jumping and hopping. The children associated putting a sack on with the way they dress themselves, which helped them to visualise how to put the sacks on ready to jump. Through this experience, the children learned about the concepts of speed and distance, and used the mathematical language of who comes first, next and last in a race. Engaging in relay games and races encourages children’s expression and the regulation of their feelings as they collaborate, negotiate, and resolved conflicts, especially if they feel that someone has won a race unfairly.

We will continue to practice these skills in the coming days to prepare for the Johnson House preschool sports carnival.

Murray House


Story by Educator Yi

As part of their ongoing learning about and exploration of colour, recently the children in Murray House toddlers enthusiastically engaged in a sensory science program by participating in a multitude of art experiences, doing painting and drawing with different types of tools.

The children were shown how to use oil pastels, and they felt the slick texture of these as they covered the paper in their artworks. The children worked out how to blend the colours by using force and friction and overlapping the colour layers. The children then covered their oil pastel artworks in black paint, before using a paddle pop stick to scrape away the paint to reveal the colourful, oil pastel artwork beneath.

Their compositions and the versatility of the media allowed for amazing effects and soft textures as we observed absorption of colours underneath the brighter sight.

Robinson House

Story by Educator Cathy

Loose Parts Play: Floating and Sinking

In Robinson House the children enjoy engaging in construction activities which facilitate their problem-solving skills. To celebrate National Science Week, the children enjoyed engaging in some STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) based play. To begin our experience, the children engaged in a ‘floating/sinking’ experiment. We used different resources such as paddle pop sticks, marbles and seed pods. The children were excited as they discovered which items floated and which sank. I asked the children what they thought before we did the experiment. They were very confident that the marble would sink, however, they were unsure about the paddle pop stick. They then worked out that if we put more water in the cup that the paddle pop sticks would float. The children demonstrated their confidence in problem solving as they decided the seed pods would float too, and they were excited to discover they were correct.

At the conclusion of our floating and sinking experiments, the children had the opportunity to explore a variety of loose parts to create with. Loose parts play uses open ended materials. The children were very creative as they built, explored and created with cups, paddle pop sticks, small blocks, small squares and and coloured pom poms. There were several learning opportunities as the children engaged in this experience. They built on their curiosity, creative thinking, problem solving and abstract thinking skills as they explored the materials and discovered new ways of playing with them. The children were also developing their collaborative play skills and experiencing sharing and belonging as they interacted with their peers.