This week the children in Johnson House been exploring science (this week, 15 -23 August, is National Science Week). Science has been an ongoing interest for some time and the children have been busy engaging in a range of experiments, creating hypotheses, and revisiting ideas. By engaging in a variety of science experiments, the children have been able to gain a greater understanding of the learning associated with what is happening and how this learning is taking place. They have also had the opportunity to build on learning basic scientific terminology.
Through such experiences, the children have also been able to build on their communication skills, collaboration, persistence as well as problem solving skills, all of which are important for overall learning and development.
Recently the educators in Murray House infants have built a new cubby house with boxes which they have filled with objects reflecting the children’s current interests. This week some flashing light bulbs and soft materials such as pillows were added and children are currently fascinated by these items!
The children love observing the lights and they engage in conversation about what they have discovered. Identifying the colours that they recognise is a favourite activity, and they can name “blue” and “yellow” and many other colours
‘Peekaboo’ is another favourite play activity for the children in the cubby, which is a popular hiding place for them. The educators love watching children’s reaction as they yell “boo!” The children giggle and laugh in absolute joy.
The new cubby house has allowed the children to practice many different skills, such as developing positive social skills as they share a limited space and expanding their vocabularies and language skills. As they engaged in shared conversations.
In Murray House toddlers, educator Denise has been promoting and exploring the act of kindness with children through various books like Let’s Find out about Kindness and Stories about Kindness and Emotions: What Can We Do to Be Kind? Through these books Denise encouraged the children to discuss what kindness means, what acts they can do to be kind to our friends and family members, and how to build their sense of empathy.
Educator Mandy continued to work on the healthy food project, inspiring the children to broaden their knowledge about food through various picture books in her group. The children learned where foods such as eggs, milk, honey, bananas, flour and vegetables are sourced from and how they reaches our homes. They also explored and learned how various food are processed. For instance, milk that comes from cows needs to be transported to the factory to kill bacteria before it is packed into packages for the shops; and grains need to go through many special machines and processes to clean, soften, crush, and grind them into flour.
The children are also continuing to practice handwashing techniques and to learn about germs. To help them visualise and develop an awareness of germs, pictures were incorporated into group experiences. A sensory experience using corn flour and glitter was also offered to the children, where they were encouraged to pretend that the glitter was germs on their hands and they were encouraged to use handwashing techniques to wash their hands till there was no more glitter. The children also revisited their bread experiment, comparing ‘clean’ bread with the ‘dirty’ bread they put their germs on two weeks ago. The experience vividly demonstrated that there was more mould growing on the bread that had been touched by everyone compared to the clean bread, indicating that people’s hands carry germs that they can’t see.