Recently the children in Johnson House have been exploring Aboriginal symbols, using art as a means for exploration. The children have worked on both individual and communal artworks, and they have used this to develop a dedicated learning space in the Johnson House environment. This experience has provided the children with the opportunity to explore diversity in our culture. It has also helped them to further develop their confidence in working together on a project, showing persistence and following through with ideas.
Playing ‘peekaboo’ has been one of our children’s favourite play activities in the Murray House infants’ room this week. The peekaboo play was extended using a range of resources such as scarves, blocks and other items in the room. The children all giggle and chuckle when they hear “Peekaboo!” The peekaboo play provided an opportunity for the development of relationships between children and educators especially those children who just have only recently started in Murray House. Our educators are pleased to see the children developing these relationships as they participate in the play with enthusiasm. The children also show interest when other children are hiding as they play the game, and they express their excitement with words and sounds.
While the children in Murray House toddlers are continuing to settle into the room’s routine and developing relationships with their educators and peers, they are displaying a strong sense of feeling safe, secure, and supported. This outcome is vividly demonstrated through their increasing confidence in taking risks as they explore their learning environments and participate in learning experiences.
It can be said that our educational program is now in full swing, and we’ve started gardening and sustainability projects with the children. They have been very excited to feed the worms with food scraps and they are engaging in conversations about sustainability with the educators every day.
We are also continuing to foster children’s turn taking skills through many games, songs, and rhymes throughout the day. These experiences include taking turns to jump with the elastic band, playing ‘Duck, Duck, Goose’, and taking turns to tap the ‘singing bowl’ before listening to a story. Turn taking is a pivotal skill for toddlers to acquire as it helps them to play cooperatively with others and to build and maintain friendships.
We’re also embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives into the program by introducing our Wangal Land song to the children. This song will be sung regularly with the children in small group gatherings:
We live on Wangal Land
We play on Wangal Land
Everyday we come together and learn on Wangal Land
Thank you Wangal Land
Thank you Wangal Land
Thank you Wangal people for sharing your Land.
‘Risky play’ is an important part of childhood. Children need opportunities to challenge themselves both physically and mentally. They need time to practice new skills and develop their bodies and physical skills. Children have a natural instinct to take risks and test their abilities and strengths physically, as they climb a little higher, jump further or run faster, emotionally and mentally, as they overcome being scared and learn about their own limits and how to get out of trouble.
The educators in Rigby House recognised the children’s interest in climbing and jumping, and provided them with a more challenging obstacle course. With the educators’ support, this new course is encouraging the children to take risks as part of their learning and development. As they jump off the balance board, move through space and land on the mat, the children display their enjoyment and sense of achievement, through their big smiles and exclamations of “Again!!”
Family Day Care Sydney Wide
The children at Wendy’s Family Day Care in the St George/Sutherland area have been talking about different types of houses from around the world.
The experience generated a lot of conversion about the materials that are used for building houses, for example, what is used to build an Igloo?
Wendy and the children then set about gathering natural materials to build their own house using the fallen bark and leaves in the garden.
Natural materials provide a range of opportunities for open-ended for play and learning, as the children can use these as they are or imagine them into something else.
It has been a lovely start to the year at our playgroups as we welcome returning families and new families. This week the children enjoyed playing with sand and playdough, and doing painting. They created butterflies at the craft table and searched for butterflies in coloured rice. We sang and danced to ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ and ‘Rock-a-bye Your Bear’ and read the storybook ‘I Went Walking’ during group time.