The large grounds of The Infants Home provide the children with lots of opportunities to explore and discover. In Johnson House preschool this week the discoveries made during a walk through our grounds including finding cicadas, discovering flowers, seeing butterflies and even spotting some colourful ribbons hanging from the trees. The children enjoy this time to get in touch with nature, explore the environment and to spend time with peers. The Early Years Learning Framework is a key component of the National Quality Framework for early childhood education and care, and it highlights the importance of children’s involvement in the natural environment. Natural spaces invite open-ended interactions, spontaneity, risk-taking, exploration, discovery and connection with nature. Children gain an appreciation of the natural environment, develop environmental awareness; this also provides a platform for ongoing environmental education.
The children in Murray House infants have been busy playing with insect figurines this week. After observing a group of children discovering and showing great interest in ladybugs in a bush in the playground, educator Dalia set up an exploratory table with insect figurines to extend children’s learning.
The children were excited about the new set up in the room and they gathered around the table and observed each insect with curiosity. They touched them and named the insects that they recognised, such as the spider, caterpillar, and butterfly. The children also talked about ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ visual resources on the table. It was amazing to see how children remembered the sequence of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ story about a little egg turned into the beautiful caterpillar. Some children were a bit afraid the insect figurines, making educators wonder if they thought the insects were actually real!
The insect exploratory table allowed the children to observe insect and discuss their features carefully. It also inspired the children to engage in pretend play as they sang ‘Incy Wincy Spider’ and pretended to crawl on the table, and they were also learning more about the living creature that are around us.
Over the last few weeks at Robinson House the children and educators have been talking about how many of them celebrate a range of festivals. They have learnt how everyone has unique ways of feeling connected with and enjoying these celebrations.
A few children shared how they celebrate birthdays and everyone has the opportunity to have a special dinner or breakfast. Another child shared how they celebrate Christmas with family and friends, eating yummy food and giving presents. Another child shared how they also celebrate Easter and go to church like they do at Christmas. One educator shared how she celebrates a range of festivals because it helps her and her family to connect with others and to learn about the unique and special celebrations around the world, not just in Australia.
To further extend these discussions one educator read a story titled “Celebrations”, which shares how people around the world celebrate a range of special festivals in the calendar year. The children learnt how these celebrations bring people together, and how they encourage people to give, to consider others and to be thankful for all they have.
Something the children have been doing at Robinson House is making cards and drawings for their loved ones. They have been reminding each other that festivals are about thinking of others, promoting peace, harmony and respect. The children have also been learning some songs that their peers know and sing with their families. These songs range from Christmas carols to songs sung in other languages, and an educator has introduced the song “Imagine” by John Lennon. The children and educators have also shared our creative art talents by making inspired festive decorations.
At Robinson House the children and educators are continuously learning and sharing knowledge about significant issues, festivals and the importance of valuing diversity and difference. They think about how it’s important to acknowledge what each and everyone one of us brings to our local and global community, by just being ourselves and accepting others as who they are and aspire to be.
Family Day Care Sydney Wide
Morning tea at Family Day Care Sydney Wide’s ‘Little Avalon House FDC’ sees the children enjoying this experience as they butter their own toast for snack time. This is great way for the children to develop their self-help and fine motor skills, and they also use tongs to select their own fruit from the shared platter. A yummy way to learn!!